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Soups are a great way to rehydrate as well as nourish and this roast lamb, harissa and chickpea soup will leave you feeling satiated.

Soups are easy to cook in bulk and batch freeze.  Whilst Spring is on its way, personally I still feel the need for more warming foods and I love this one as it’s a bit of a meal in itself.   Stirring through some spinach leaves at the end is a great way to up your dark leafy greens too (you can always use frozen spinach cubes if you dont have any fresh).


Lamb, Harissa and Chickpea Soup

Notes:  You can cook this soup in larger quantities and freeze in batches so you only need to take out what is needed for the next day.  This soup is a meal in itself with good amounts of protein, fibre, anti-oxidants and healthy fats.

Can be done well in a slow cooker.

Stirring through extra left-over green veg or some spinach leaves as a great add-on.

For the Harissa paste – I use Belazu which I love but feel free to make your own or use another brand – I use this paste for the Shakshuka eggs I do most weeks too.  If not spicy enough for you add more than the recommended amount – I do but we like things with a kick so go slow and add more if desired.


  • 1 tin of chickpeas rinsed well.
  • 500g diced lamb
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil or ghee.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
  • 1 tablespoon of Harissa paste.
  • 1 large thumbnail of ginger, grated.
  • 1 chopped onion (red or white).
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 heaped tsp turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 500g of butternut squash or a large sweet potato.
  • 1 tin full fat coconut milk
  • 500ml stock/bone broth
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes.
  • salt and pepper to taste.


  • Seer the lamb and transfer to slow cooker if using otherwise put to one side.
  • Sauté the garlic, onion, paprika, turmeric, fennel seeds, ginger and harissa paste – transfer to pan/slow cooker with lamb.
  • Turn up heat and cook together on a medium heat for about 5 mins.
  • Add stock and butternut squash/sweet potato – stir and turn up heat to a simmer.  Add chickpeas and tinned tomatoes, simmer 2 mins.
  • Add coconut milk and return to simmer point again.
  • Slow cook on a low heat for 3 hours or if in a normal pan, cook on a low heat for 30 minutes or until sweet potato/squash is tender.
  • Season to taste.
  • Serve and stir through green is using.

Contact Katherine to find out how she can help you further.

Medicinal mushrooms have been known for thousands of years for their powerful immune-modulating  and anti-inflammatory properties.

Medicinal mushrooms are home to a group of compounds known as beta-glucans, particuarly beta 1-3/1-6, which can be found in shiitake, cordyceps and miatake mushrooms, amongst others.  They are one of the most effective natural group of compounds known to enhance the function of the innate immune system.  Our innate immune system is the one that comes in to play immediately or a few hours after we have been exposed to an ‘antigen attack’ of some description eg a virus.

Beta-glucans have been shown to increase the action of a particular immune cells (such as macrophages and natural killer cells) and activating the compliment cascade, an important component of the immune system.   They have also been shown to help restore health from various diseases and enhance recovery from exhaustion (a potentially useful tool for athletes also) due to their adaptogenic properties.

Here are 5 additional reasons why they could be a beneficial addition to your diet:

  1. They have been shown to increase anti-oxidant activity, important for reducing inflammation and chronic fighting infection.  
  2. They have been shown to help lower blood sugar in diabetic mice and lower elevated blood triglyceride levels.
  3. Shiitake mushrooms contain a compound known as lentinan which has been shown to have powerful anti-proliferative properties which may help prevent tumour growth.
  4. Another class of medicinal mushrooms known as Lions Mane has been shown to help improve cognitive function.
  5. Liver protective properties have been shown in shiitake mushrooms which make them a potential consideration for conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

How to take them: Medicinal mushrooms are available  in supplement form but, as with all supplements, suitably qualified advise should be sought, as side effects and interactions with any medication may occur.  Do not take them if you are on medication without having drug-nutrient interactions checked first.  This is also not a recommendation that they should be taken for Covid-19.   Please contact Katherine if you want any more individualised advise.

Different mushrooms will have different effects and often taken in combination may have more beneficial results due their synergistic effects.  When purchasing any supplement, consider the quality of mushrooms (eg organic)  you are buying and the brand so that strict harvesting and manufacturing guidelines have been adhered to to preserve the medicinal properties of the mushrooms.

Then of course you can cook with them.  There are many options such as mushrooms on toast, with eggs, in a risotto and adding garlic, onion and additional immune boosting herbs is going to pack an immune-system fighting-punch.   One of my favourite ways of eating them is via a soup as shown below:


Immune Boosting Mushroom Soup

Notes:  For additional immune boosting qualities, use bone broth as your base – simply boil an organic chicken in filtered water for 4-5 hours on a low heat, with a few garlic cloves, an onion and herbs of choice.  Reserve the stock for soup and you can add some of the chicken to the soup at the end for an added protein boost.


  • 1/2 pound of mixed mushrooms ensuring at least half of shiitake (you could use dried if you cant get fresh).
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 small leek
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
  • 1/2 chopped red onion
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 litre of stock (ideally bone broth for added immune support) if not stock use vegetable or chicken stock of choice.
  • 2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme (dried if you haven’t got fresh)
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh sage
  • OPTIONAL EXTRA: organic already cooked chicken for added protein.
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Spring onion to serve.


  • Chop the mushrooms and heat in half of the oil over a medium heat in a sauté pan.  If using dried mushrooms, squeeze dry and  reserve the liquid to use to add to stock before adding the dried mushrooms to the oil as well and lightly sauté.
  • Add the mushrooms to a larger pot along with the rest of the oil, the onions, leek, garlic and sauté again on a low heat for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the carrots and celery, sauté for approx. 5 more minutes or until everything is soft and lightly cooked.
  • Add the stock and any reserved juice from the mushrooms along with soy sauce.  Bring to the boil and then simmer for approx 20-30 minutes.
  • Add the fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste and add any additional chicken (eg from making the chicken stock) at the end for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • If you want a smooth soup, blend and serve.  For a chunky soup, blend briefly or serve as it is (unblended).  Sprinkle with chopped spring onions (optional).

Contact Katherine to find out how she can help you further.