In Chinese medicine winter belongs to the organ of the kidneys. The kidneys are the powerhouse of the body, they store essence (Jing) which we inherit from our parents at birth. People with strong constitution are said to have strong Kidney Jing. We can also generate post-natal Jing from eating a well balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and leading a low stress life as much as possible.
As we age, the energy of the kidneys decline and we start seeing strands of beautiful white hair appear, our energy levels decline and we begin to feel dryer. That's why reserving our kidney Jing especially in the winter months is important.
In order to preserve out Kidney energy in winter, it's important to eat plenty of warming and we foods like soup. One of my favourite things to cook in winter is minestrone with plenty of kidney beans, and as the name suggests they are in fact beneficial for supporting kidney health.
2 cups of kidney beans soaked overnight boil for 40 min
1-2 cups Cannellini and chickpeas beans soaked overnight then boil for 40 mins
1 onion chopped
1-2 carrots cubbed
1-2 celery stalks cubed
1 cup of tomato passata
(The beans can be made the day before and left in fridge when you’re ready to make minestrone)
Sauté the onion, carrots, celery in 2 tablespoons of virgin olive oil.
Add 1 cup of tomato passata.
Add the beans and chickpeas. Just cover with chicken or vege stock.
I like to add chopped zucchini, potatoes, and pumpkin too if I have them in the fridge.
Salt, pepper, parsley to taste
Let this simmer for 40-60 min
It’s ready when all the vegetables are soft andcooked through.
Serve into bowls you can add pesto or grated Parmesan and a touch of oil.