Wow wow wow!!! What a team Alessandro and his partner Jules are!!! I attended Alessandro’s lectures at CNM while I was studying there and I always found his passion and knowledge of nutrition infectious. He always mentioned his family, so when I met Jules, I felt like I already knew her. Jules and Alessandro met while studying Nutritional Therapy at ION in the early naughties. They now both lecture, are involved in research studies, write articles, papers and books and run clinics. They are also parents to Milo, and proud owners of two gorgeous cocker spaniels. It was a true honour to visit them at their home where they cooked up a feast!

To not overwhelm the senses, I will break this down into 2 posts. First up is Jules’ foraged green soup with linseed bread. Living in the countryside with a wood on their doorstep, foraging is natural and this soup was seriously delicious!

GUT NOURISHING FORAGED GREENS SOUP

“We’ve know for some time that vegetables provide nourishment for our gut flora, but more recently we have learnt that variety of plants eaten is also very important. As such, eating wild seasonal greens, will help to nourish a wider diversity of healthy bugs in the gut. Nettles are also fantastically nourishing including many nutrients that are particularly useful in bolstering and cleansing the blood.”

April is a great time of year to forage for nettles and wild garlic, but do be careful where you forage – make sure that it is allowed and choose areas away from exhaust fumes or pesticide spray. We are lucky enough to live in front of some woodlands so I try to take advantage of the free seasonal offerings!”

This soup is made from nettle tops, dandelion leaves and wild garlic but you could easily substitute spinach, kale or chard and fresh herbs.

4 big handfuls of nettle tops – wear rubber gloves to pick the nettles and just take the tips of new
growth.
1 handful of dandelion leaves – you can actually use the leaves, flower and root from the
dandelion plant. The leaves are quite bitter but highly nutritious
1 handful of wild garlic – pick the young smoothest leaves. If in doubt whether it is wild garlic, rub a leaf between your fingers and you should smell the distinctive garlic aroma.
1 medium onion – finely chopped
1 stick of celery finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric powder – optional
1 litre chicken broth (or vegetable stock if you want a vegetarian/vegan version)
1 tbsp coconut oil
seasoning
lemon juice

Gently saute onion, celery and turmeric powder in coconut oil until it become translucent. Add the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the well washed greens and allow to wilt (you still need to handle nettles with gloves until they are fully wilted or cooked). I cook the leaves for a minimal amount of time to retain as many nutrients as possible – you should only need 1-2 minutes for leaves to wilt down. Allow mixture to cool slightly before blending to a smooth consistency. Season well and add a squeeze of lemon juice to taste. Serve topped with a dollop of coconut yogurt or yoghurt of your choice and slices of Linseed Bread.

Linseed Bread

“This is a simplified version of the original low carb ‘Banting bread”. It contains just three ingredients- eggs, linseeds and olive oil. As such it is low carb and relatively high in protein. The high linseed content makes this bread a really soothing option for the gut, while beneficial for hormonal balance too. Really quick and easy to make and freezes brilliantly.”

2 whole eggs
5 egg whites
70ml good quality olive oil
225gm golden linseed ground (whizz up in Nutribullet or blender to a fine powder)
50gm golden linseeds (whole)
1 tsp sea salt

Line a 1.5L (2lb) loaf tin with parchment paper. preheat oven to 180C.

Whisk up the egg whites un4l they form stiff peaks. Using the same whisk, beat the whole eggs, olive oil and salt until well combined. Pour whole egg mixture onto linseeds and stir well. Fold egg whites carefully into the mixture un4l just combined. Pour into lined loaf tin. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes or until firm to touch and when a skewer is inserted into the loaf it comes out clean. Allow to cool fully before slicing. Keeps for a few days in a sealed container or slice and freeze for convenience.

Thank you Alessandro & Jules!!!