With our current global situation, it is very important to look at ways to boost our immune system. In the Austrian Alps during lockdown, we are looking towards our nutrition needs and our daily dose of exercise as ways to try to stay healthy. Sometimes there is nothing more beneficial to the soul than a hearty and nutritious soup.
Now soup, we must say, must be one of those dishes that could win a Nobel prize if there would be such a thing for foods. Soups are great! They can be healthy and warming, normally very easy to make and very affordable. Also, if you don’t have much fresh veg in your fridge, you can always experiment with pulses and legumes.
Here are the MoaAlm Mountain Retreat we love serving soups as an occasional starter. Last week we made Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato soup which our guests really enjoyed and as a result everyone asked us for a copy of the recipe. We are also sharing our Turkish Red Lentil Soup. This soup is packed with protein and zingy lemon flavours.
• 2 onions
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 1 big sweet potato
• 1 small butternut squash
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tsp salt
• Pinch of pepper
• 1 can of coconut milk
• 1 litre of vegetable stock
• 1 tsp of chilli flakes
• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
First peel and finely chop the sweet potato and butternut squash. Preheat your oven to 200 C degrees, slightly oil the vegetables and roast them for 10 minutes.
Saute the onions on the medium heat with some splash of olive oil. Once the onions are soft, add the garlic and chilli and fry it for a few more minutes stirring continuously. Then add the butternut squash and sweet potato, stir it and combine with coconut milk and vegetable stock.
Bring it to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10-15minutes or until butternut squash and sweet potato are soft and cooked through.
Remove from the heat and blend with a stick blender, adding salt, pepper and apple cider vinegar.
We like to serve it with roasted pumpkin seeds (just fry them in a pan for a minute or 2 with no oil) and splash of pumpkin oil.
Another one that we would like to share is a Turkish Red Lentil Soup. Even if we cannot currently travel, there is no reason why we cannot explore the world through the food we are eating. Every corner, every little restaurant and café in Turkey had this delicious red lentil soup. In fact, some of the restaurants used split lentils, some green lentils and some red. This soup is extremely easy to make and doesn’t require many ingredients. Adding lots of lemon juice creates this zingy and fresh taste. When you don’t have many fresh veg in the fridge, this soup will be a winner!
• 1 onion
• 4 cloves of garlic
• 4 cups of red lentils
• 2 diced carrots
• 2 lemons, juiced
• Good pinch of salt and pepper
• 1 tsp of ground cumin
• 1.5 litres of vegetable stock
• 1 tsp of brown sugar
First saute the onion on medium heat for a few minutes until the onion is soft and golden. Then add the garlic and red lentils, carrots and while continuously stirring heat it for another few minutes. At this stage you want to be super careful as the lentils may easily get burnt and then you will have burnt taste in the soup.
Then add the vegetable stock, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring it to boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until the lentils cook through. Add lemon juice and any additional water if the soup is too thick.
We like to serve with an additional splash of lemon juice and some fresh greenery like parsley or coriander.
Please share our recipes with friends and family. We would also love to have some of your favourite recipes to try in the coming weeks. We are busy testing and trying out new recipes for our summer season in Austria, we are looking forward to sharing meals with happy hikers and content guests. Send us a message on our Facebook page if you have a recipe that you think would be perfect for MoaAlm Mountain Retreat.