Happiness Soup

25 Mar

Obviously, I’ve been eating a lot of offal. And writing about it. Behind the scenes, however, there is a large vegetable component to being an Offalsaurus.

This is an invented recipe, inspired by feeling a bit glum and having got a copy of Readers Digest ‘Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal’. Not a lot of offal heals apazza. However, foods that heal, and specifically boost mood, are many and various. Inspired by the blog, written by Neals Yard, about how to boost your mood, I made a Happiness Soup.

There are five key ingredients: butternut squash, sweet potato, dates, walnut, turkey. They help boost serotonin in particular and include vitamins A, B3, B6, C and E, fibre, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and lots of other good shiz n ting.

(The turkey leg I purchased satiated an early chicken craving. Probably cheating, I imagine, it was excused as I would never have thought to buy a whole turkey leg prior to the offalicity of my current diet. The meat is brown? Asda is balls for offal? I hadn’t got my boundaries right? Whatever, the soup is lovely.)


1 medium onion, 3 finely chopped garlic cloves, 1 medium sweet potato, half a smallish butternut squash, 50g chopped walnuts, 50g dried and pitted dates that are roughly chopped, 2 pints turkey stock plus any of the meat you have

  1. Put the walnuts and dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water. It’s best if you chop them first then cover them. They will soften down a bit while everything else does its thing.
  2. Finely chop your onion and fry it gently in some oil. Add the garlic. Stir.
  3. Add the roughly chopped sweet potato and butternut squash. Stir. Keep them cooking on a medium heat for about twenty minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Now add any turkey meat you may or may not have. Stir.
  5. Add the date and walnuts. Stir. (Do you get the gist?) Fry for about five minutes, stirring all the time. The date-flesh will sort of melt into the other ingredients and it all might seem a bit sticky.
  6. Add your stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for about twenty minutes.
  7. Depending on how you like your soup, either whizz with a hand blender, or leave it chunky. (I whizzed, but the texture had a few chunks still.)

There you have it. You could easily leave out the turkey component and have a delicious vegan soup. It’s quite thick when it’s made, but you can always water it down a little. I like a nice thick soup, particularly in February, which was when I concocted this idea.

I felt very well while I was eating the soup, but whether that was due to my own smugness at having homemade soup for lunch everyday, or the ingredients, I’m not sure. However the more I read about eating in relation to specific requests you put on your body, the more sense it seems to make. I’d recommend an explore of the Neals Yard Natural News site – I’m forever writing down recipes and tips from there. My friend Daisy also discusses eating healthily (and how tricky it can be) on her blog.

What I am discovering is that my offal diet, is perhaps not the most healthy of diets for me. In that overnight I went from *almost* vegetarian (by price, rather than ethical choice) to a Meatatarian (as my friend Gus put it). I’m toying with the idea of putting the offal aside for a week to be a vegemetarian- what do you think I should do?

Do you have a happy soup?

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