GUEST BLOG #8 - by Parveen Ashraf, aka The Spice Queen

Pretty in Pink


'Pretty  In Pink' - I am not talking about the 1980 American classic film about social cliques and class. I am talking about Himalayan Pink Salt which in my opinion is in a class all of its own. Salt plays a vital role in cooking, it's not the star but it helps the main star shine. Imagine chips without salt or a steak with just pepper and no salt - it would just not taste as good. 


One of the most common comments I hear when teaching Indian cooking is 'ooh, that's a lot of salt' and my standard response is that if you were to pro rota the amount of salt in terms of per portion, you would probably have more salt in a bag of crisps or a tablespoon of ketchup. 


Food - just like clothes, comes in and out of fashion. Certain foods we take to our hearts and they become a staple in our diet and others come and go. For example, I am an avid fan of turmeric and I am pleased it is trending and will probably continue to do so but I haven't really converted to avocados as yet. The other thing that is massively trending is Himalayan Pink Salt. I am so pleased to see this salt increasingly grace our supermarket shelves. I am a huge fan of it and not because it's pretty and pink - although that does help. One of the main benefits for me personally, is that I find I don't get that thirsty feeling after eating it. In their raw form, these large rocks of pink salt crystals are so beautiful that you can even buy pink salt lamps. Himalayan pink salt is said to have a array of health benefits. Here are just a few but do your own research and hopefully you, like me will become a fan.  

  • Detoxifies the body by balancing pH levels
  • Improves hydration by providing trace minerals
  • Improves mineral status of the body
  • Helps balance blood sugar levels
  • Supports hormone balance 

Where can you buy this amazing salt?...Well, SaveCo Online of course. They have a whole range of this salt from Pink Salt Crystals, Pink Rock Salt, Course Rock Salt to Fine Rock Salt

O.K. you now have your pretty pink salt, how about a recipe?...Autumn is upon us, so let me give you a recipe using autumnal vegetables that will warm the cockles of your heart - a hearty potato and leek soup. Homemade soup is so much more flavoursome than ready-made and surprisingly easy to make. Some of my go-to soups are; tomato and red pepper, with a hint a chilli; potato and leek, with a hint of chilli and chunky vegetable with - you guessed it, a hint of chilli. Well, what did you really expect from the Spice Queen? Anyway, now that the nights are drawing in, there is nothing more comforting than putting on the fire, curling up on the sofa with a big fluffy blanket and a big bowl of hot homemade soup. So, go on - warm the cockles of your heart, try this recipe on a chilly day for my soup with a hint of chilli.

Parveen Ashraf


Recipe for Potato & Leek Soup with a hint of Chilli

COOKING TIME: 15 mins

PREP TIME: 10 mins

SERVES - 6

Ingredients

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan then add the onions, potatoes and leeks. Cook on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. 
  2. Add the green chilli, salt and pepper, stir through then add the boiling water. 
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes allowing the vegetables to cook until tender. 
  4. Take off the heat. Using a hand blender, blend until smooth then stir in the milk.

Serve with hot bread and a dollop of LOVE!


PARVEEN'S TOP TIP
For a creamier taste...simply add 50ml of single cream instead of the milk
For more recipes, please follow Parveen on Instagram, Facebook or YouTube

 

Parveen ashraf - the spice queenPink saltRecipe

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