Tree planting is not an easy job, I tell you. It’s hard on the body and the mind too and you really need to eat well to be able to perform on the site. Since it’s so cold here in France, I prefer to take warm food with me in my thermos for lunch and as a vegetarian living with Celiacs disease, nutrition is even more important for me.
Winter means soup season for me, so naturally I love to make hearty soups packed with veggies and plant based proteins for the muscles. It has everything I can think of when I think about the nutrients my body might need. With an impressive amount of protein and fibre, you also get a ton of nutrients from the spinach, tomatoes and beans, and the aromatics like onion and garlic.
This soup quickly became my favorite as it’s super easy and quick to make – after a hard planting day and a long ride in the car to get back to our accommodation, cooking is not the thing I’d love to spend my time with, but I guess I’m not the only one. I used canned beans, so I don’t need to spend a lot of time cooking and it spares me a lot of work. You can also use a mix of beans, sometimes I use kidney beans or black beans as well. But I imagine navy beans would do just as fine, too!
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small white onion, finely diced
- 1 small carrot, finely diced
- 4-5 pieces of garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tbsp chili paste
- 600 ml vegetable stock
- 300 ml tomato sauce with provencale seasoning
- salt + pepper, to taste
- 1 large can canellini beans, drained
- 150 g sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 150 g spinache, chopped
- vegan sour cream, optional
- Gluten free bread, toasted (optional)
Take a large pan and heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in white onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, smoked paprika, and cumin. Cook for 5-6 minutes.
Stir in chili paste and cook for another minute.
Add vegetable stock and tomato sauce. Stir well to combine.
Add in beans, sun dried tomatoes and season with salt, and pepper. Cook for 5 more minutes to warm the beans through.
Finally add in the chopped spinach and cook until it just gets wilted. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Serve and garnish with vegan sour cream, and/or chili flakes and freshly cracked pepper.
Serve with a slice of toasted GF bread and enjoy!