Rachel Kelly
Writer, Mental Health Campaigner, Public Speaker

Calming Green Broth from the Happy Kitchen

​A calm­ing re­cipe from the happy kitch­en: Good Mood Food for Nation­al Vegetarian Week.

The mag­nesium in this re­cipe could be re­spon­sible for the calm­ing ef­fect it has on me. You can be flexib­le with the green veget­ables you use. Caulif­low­er, for exam­ple, works as well as broc­coli, and you can re­place the cavolo nero, which is Italian for black cab­bage, with kale or cab­bage. If you can’t find a bouquet gar­ni, bundle up any spare bay, rosema­ry or thyme with str­ing and make your own.

Serves 2:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 1 courgette, roughly chopped
  • 100g broccoli, roughly chopped
  • Handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 bouquet garn
  • i100g cavolo nero, kale or spring greens
  • 100g spinach leaves
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon tamari (optional)

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the leek, co­ur­gette and broc­coli with the parsley and gar­lic for 2-3 minutes.

2. Add the stock and bouquet garni.

3. Chop the greens or cavolo nero into strips (the broth won’t be blen­ded, so keep them quite small) and add them to the pan too. Don't stir them in –let them sit on top.

4. Cover the pot with a lid, turn the heat down to low and leave it to simm­er for 20-25 minutes.

5. About 4 minutes be­fore the end of co­ok­ing time, add the spinach leaves. These will wilt quick­ly.

6. If you like a lit­tle more spice, you can add the tamari and chil­li flakes. Re­memb­er to take out the bouquet garni be­fore serv­ing.

Togeth­er, over 5 years, Alice Mac­kintosh and I de­veloped re­cipes that put around 150 nut­rition­al stud­ies into prac­tice. They’ve hel­ped me to be­come more en­er­gised, less an­xi­ous, clear­er think­ing, more balan­ced and a bet­t­er sleep­er. Our con­ver­sa­tions and ex­peri­ments led to our book the happy kitch­en: Good Mood Food . In it, I share in de­tail what I have learnt about eat­ing for hap­pi­ness. By har­ness­ing the power of food to boost my mood, not just on melancho­ly days, I have been able to stabil­ise my feel­ings. Nut­ri­tion has be­come an im­por­tant ele­ment in my holis­tic approach to stay­ing well.