By nutritional therapist Christine Bailey
This healthy light soup is full of fresh seasonal flavours with a punchy kick and plenty of protein to keep you energised. Leeks are one of the top prebiotic foods to be eating this winter. Leeks contain up to 16 percent inulin fibre, an important prebiotic that helps promote healthy gut bacteria. Improving your gut flora has been shown to ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
15g dried wild mushrooms, such as porcini or shittake
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
350g firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into eight cubes
Cornflour for dusting
Olive oil or coconut oil
4 free range eggs
1 leek, shredded
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 pak choi, roots trimmed, leaves separated and washed
100g shittake mushrooms, thinly sliced
200g straight to the wok rice noodles
2 tbsp white miso paste
Large handful of fresh beansprouts
2 spring onions, trimmed, very thinly sliced
50g roasted cashew nuts, roughly chopped
Fresh coriander leaves
Sliced red chilli (optional)
Put the dried mushrooms in a jug and cover with a little boiling water. Allow to soak for 15 minutes then drain (reserve liquid) and chop finely.
Combine the tamari, vinegar and mirin in a shallow bowl and stir to mix. Place the tofu in the marinade and turn to coat. Leave to absorb the flavours for about 30 mins or more.
Scatter the cornflour over a plate. Remove the tofu from the marinade, reserving the marinade, and roll in the cornflour to coat all sides. Heat a wide frying pan over a medium-high and add enough oil to cover the base of the pan. Fry the tofu, using tongs to turn, until dark golden and crisp all over. Drain on kitchen paper.
Soft boil the eggs. Heat a medium sized saucepan to a rolling boil. Use a slotted spoon to gently place the eggs in the water. Cook for 5-6 minutes and immediately transfer to a bowl of cold water to prevent further cooking. Let cool until they are able to be handled and peel.
Place 1 litre of water in a medium saucepan with the reserved marinade and bring to the boil. Add the reserved mushroom liquid, dried mushrooms, shredded leeks, ginger, pak choy, mushrooms and noodles and return to the boil. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 3-4 mins. Turn off the heat and stir in the miso paste, beansprouts and spring onions.
Halve the eggs. Divide between four bowls and place the tofu cubes and eggs on top. Scatter with chopped nuts and coriander leaves and a little sliced chilli if wished.
About Christine Bailey
Christine is an award-winning nutritionist, chef and author. With a passion for creating delicious nourishing recipes, Christine has a reputation for transforming people’s health and love of real food. As well as seeing clients and writing for national press, Christine runs ‘Nourish’ cookery classes including popular hands-on days for children. Christine is an inspiring nutritional chef well known for her engaging style and enthusiasm.
Christine is the author of numerous health and recipe books including ebooks on paleo eating and gluten-free recipes. Her books include her popular Supercharged Juices and Smoothies, The Juice Diet Book, The Raw Food Diet Book and Eat to Get Younger. Christine has particular specialisms in paleo diets, allergy free cooking, digestive health, coeliac disease and other autoimmune conditions, allergies, healthy ageing and weight loss.