Here at West Apothecary, we recently celebrated the annual tradition of Samhain. A pagan holiday marking the end of the harvest season and the commence of winter or known as 'the darker half' of the year. This particular time of the year invites us to go deeper, to embark on an inward journey and reflect on the recent past, to acknowledge poignant chapters, lessons, achievements and to honour our growth. It's a powerful time of year, nature reminds us to rest as she does and honour the dark, ready for the light to return and the birth of a new seasonal wheel to come.
Our love for seasonal herbs and ingredients, supporting local growers and embodying the nourishment that is synergised with the land, connects us with the natural abundance of our surroundings. Living seasonally and paying tribute to the land during celebrations like Samhain, reminds us of our origin and ties a closer bond with nature.
Herbs and spices as we know are simple medicines turned remedies to sustain us daily with their health benefits. As temperatures drop, this changes many functions of the body and can invite those seasonal colds, fevers, etc. The herbs and spices featured in this recipe, provide warmth and enhancing properties, igniting digestion, boosting immunity and even promotes gut health and increased flora... where 85% of our immunity is based, a happy gut = a happy body!
See recipe for our Herby + Spiced Samhain Soup below, a delicious bowl of warming seasonal nourishment that connects you with the local lands near by!
You will need:
- 1 small pumpkin (peeled + deseeded),
- 2 Red Peppers, (peeled + deseeded),
- 3 red Onions, (peeled)
- 3 medium Potatoes, (peeled)
- 3 medium sweet apples (peeled + de-cored),
- 1 large handful of Sage leaves (chopped),
- 1 tbsp of fresh grated Ginger,
- 3 Garlic cloves, (peeled + crushed)
- half a tsp of each Cinnamon, Cumin, Paprika + Fennel Seeds, (add more for flavour)
- 1000ml vegetable stock,
- salt + pepper to taste.
Pre heat your oven to 180c, add your peeled and chopped pumpkin, red peppers and red onions to a roasting tray, next drizzle on some oil of your choice, add salt, pepper, Cinnamon, Cumin, Paprika and Fennel Seeds and mix well, place on the top shelf of your oven for 40-45 mins. Next add a large pan to your stove, add some oil of your choice, apply a medium heat, add your chopped potatoes and apples, chop and add your sage leaves, crushed garlic and chopped ginger, mix well and fry for 5 mins. Next add your vegetable stock, and increase more heat to a boil for 15-20 mins and then reduce the heat. Once your pumpkin etc has roasted, remove from the oven and add to your pan and mix well. Take off the heat, with a hand blender, blend together until a smooth and silky soup is made, add more water if you like your soup runnier and less thick. Taste to see if you're happy with the flavour, add more salt, pepper and spices if needed... adding some chilli powder too gives an extra kick! Add heat to your soup and simmer for a few minutes, take off the off the heat, serve and enjoy!
Plant medicine blessings, Harriet Coleman - Medicinal Herbalist and Founder of West Apothecary.