The Scientist and I are both creatures of habit in the morning and we each have an unvarying set of routines we have to stomp through before we transform into bright, cheerful and functioning people ready to face the day ahead. Our house is on three floors and our mornings are choreographed so beautifully that we can stumble in and out of bathroom, kitchen and bedroom and up and down stairs without ever crossing paths from first getting up to one or other of us being ready to leave the house an hour later. We both like to listen to Radio 4 as we dance lightly through our steps to awake-ness (I say 'dance lightly' - 'weave clumsily' is probably more accurate) but we don't necessarily hear any of the same stories as we variously wake, shower, dress and breakfast. All this is a long way of getting to the fact that The Scientist heard an interesting and amusing exchange on the Today Program yesterday about the merit of detox diets, but I missed it (asleep, in shower or failing to process words coming out of shiny box). One speaker was adamant that her company's detox diet removed heavy metals from the body, while a scientist and blogger's response was that this was complete piffle. Hard science appears to support him.
Our house runs on the Power of Science, and so I make absolutely no claims about the detoxing qualities of this soup. It does, however, contain sweet potatoes (high in vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, fibre and low GI), fennel (with anti-oxidant, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, and high in potassium, fibre and vitamin C), and carrots (good for carotenoids and vitamin C), and has some alfalfa sprouts served on the top (good for B12 and phyto-oestrogen, so a goodie for any female veggies in particular). And it was darned tasty, just what we needed after a chilly day: warming, wholesome and with an interesting hint of something fresh and aniseedy from the fennel. I'm sending this lovely flavoursome and healthy soup to Lisa and Holler for No Croutons Required, which is featuring nourishing veggie soups this month.
Sweet potato, fennel and carrot soup with alfalfa sprouts
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 fennel bulb, base and any wilty bits removed, chopped into chunks
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
Approx 1 1/2 pints veggie stock
Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil until soft. Add the veggies and cook briefly, then add the stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for about 20 mins or until veggies are soft. Blitz to a puree and season according to taste - I just added some pepper as the flavours were so nice. Serve with a spoonful of alfalfa sprouts as a garnish.