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  • Writer's pictureSeed Nutrition

Eating for the season... winter, warmth and old-fashioned self care.

Like many households around me, I have noticed the spike of coughs, colds, COVID and other viruses as the weather cools and we begin to feel the effects of ‘flu season’. I think someone in my family has brought home a new lurgy to share every week this term.

 This constant battle with sickness and chorus of coughs that fill my evenings has forced me to slow down, cancel engagements and get back to basics when it comes to my own health and wellbeing – all the usual, but undeniably helpful, things like sleep, rest and nourishing foods.

The dropping temperatures have prompted a change in my own appetite. I am reaching for warming porridges for breakfast, herbal teas and vegetable laden soups for lunch. It’s interesting that food temperatures have such a focus in eastern-style health philosophies. Chinese Medicine and Ayruvedic Medicine both emphasise the therapeutic properties of warming foods and spices. And, it’s easy to see why this ancient wisdom has stood the test of time. Warmed and well-cooked foods are easier to digest and can help us to feel nurtured. There is even benefit for the immune system in keeping the body warm as cooler body temperatures are more susceptible to infection.

Have you noticed a change in your appetite lately? How have you responded?

Today, I am sharing my favourite soup for this time of year – it ticks all the boxes for the type of food I look for at this time of year… plant-based proteins, stacks of vegetables, warming spices. It’s a Harira soup – a tomato-based soup originating from Northern Africa and is traditionally used to break the Ramadan fast. It freezes well if you want to store in individual serves for another time. Your future self will think you’re wonderful! Enjoy x


Harira Soup


2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 onions, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

3 carrots, diced

1 bulb fennel, diced

Spices – 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ½ tsp turmeric, pinch of fennel seeds, 5-6 saffron threads

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tin tomatoes

1 tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained

750mLs vegetable stock


Optional extras for added elevation:

2 cloves garlic

1cm / 1 tsp grated ginger

Fresh herbs – a few sprigs of parsley and/ or coriander finely diced

1/4 lemon – cut into wedges



  1. Sauté onion in olive oil for a few minutes. Add celery, carrot, fennel and cook until softened.

  2. Add spices and stir through.

  3. Add tomato paste, tin tomatoes, chickpeas and stock and stir to combine. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20mins.

  4. If you want to elevate the flavours, dice the ginger, garlic and fresh herbs as finely as you can and stir through the soup a few minutes before the cooking time is completed.

  5. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon


*Adapted from “Special Delivery” by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharp



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