Holy grail soup

This holy grail soup uses onion, celery and carrots as a foundation.

Fancy cooks of course call it the Holy Trinity but I feel a little uncomfortable with that. These three common vegetables make the foundation of many tasty and nutritious soups.

Those enjoying meals like this holy grail soup, sourdough breads and unpasteurised wines are not afraid of butter as you can see.

Holy grail soup

Then just add whatever is in season to make a fine delicious supper. A couple of chicken bones or a few slices of frozen-salmon add to the flavour and nutrition unless you're a vegetarian.

Holy grail soup ingredients

A very simple thickening for soups can be made from half a grated potato; the in-season susu adds to the important nutrients and boils down to a magnificent filler.

Give a thought to your waistline and use only new potatoes[1]; they have what is known as resistant starch[2]. They won't give you a blood-sugar surge.

You can have your potato and eat it but you may have to grow it yourself; or visit the farmers' markets.

Thickening for soups; potato and susu.

Holy grail soup

Our holy grail soup then enables you to use whatever is in season to make a nutritious supper.


  • Onion, celery and carrot
  • Other vegetables in season
  • New potato for thickening
  • Thyme branch for extra flavour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A piquant or sweet pepper
  • A green legume
  • A chicken bone

Go for it

  1. Drop a good tad of butter into a heavy-bottomed pot and add the chopped onion, celery and carrot whilst still cold. Lightly fry.
  2. Add the other chopped vegetables and grated potato with 1/2 tsp salt.
  3. Use a vegetable or chicken bones stock.
  4. Add a few cups of unchlorinated water.

Vegetarian soup

Even if you are a born-again carnivore you can take a leaf from our vegetarian friends' suppers; they do live longer and more healthy lives. The phytonutrients in this holy grail soup add not only to the flavour. They are also functional foods; those that enhance our wellbeing and make us more resistant to disease.

It's simple things like adding a few vegetables to our food that do a myriad of things like keeping us off statins and preventing macular degeneration. You would like to take less medication I presume; and contribute ten good years to your lifespan.

Green legumes

No question of it, the research is strong, we should all be eating more legumes for protein. For example in all five of the Blue Zones where longevity is the word they eat peas and beans daily.

There is some controversy however about the anti-nutrients; phytochemicals like lectins that inhibit the absorption of minerals. There are far less in the green legumes which is probably also why they are more digestible than dried beans.

You cannot see them but I tossed half a cup of frozen broad beans into our holy grail soup; they are rich in vegetable protein and a phytonutrient called L-dopa. It helps keep the tremor in my hand under control. They are the only known food that will supply an adequate amount of the hormone that is deficient in those suffering from Parkinson's disease[3].

The susu known as chaote

Basket of susus

The susu in a little known and often disliked gourd; it has a lacklustre flavour. Nevertheless it is very easy to grow producing an abundance of fruit rich in important vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

It makes the perfect filler for dishes such as our holy grail soup where the flavour comes from other vegetables, herbs and spices.


Researchers from the Beijing Medical University have found that a celery seed extract improves the outcome after acute ischemic stroke caused by a clot when given in addition to conventional treatment.

After three months they were "70% more likely to have a favourable outcome[5]."

For those more concerned with preventing a stroke than dealing with the oft tragic outfall after the event, enjoying foods like this holy grail soup on a regular basis makes a lot of sense.

"Prevention is better than a cure" is easily trotted out but not many take it seriously; strokes only happen to other people, right?

For the carnivores

We freeze all our chicken bones and either make them into a bouillon or simply drop a couple drumsticks into dishes like this holy grail soup; so easy.

A slab of frozen salmon is another simple alternative to add good nutrients and flavour to our food in a jiffy; just chop off a few slices and drop them into your soups and stews.

Research clearly shows that young and old need to eat more protein but in the middle years rather less.

Vegetable stock

Making a vegetable stock from scraps is so simple, reduces waste and improves the flavour of any and every soup. We are convinced that there are many tiny things we can and should do to enhance both our own lives and that of Mother Earth. Otherwise where will our grandchildren live?

Have you seen photos of the great Pacific garbage patch?[4] It's the eighth continent, three times the size of France and growing all the time.

We are doing our level best to build a tiny Cyan Zone in our backyard; caring for both ourselves and the planet.

Holy grail and bean soup

To turn our holy grail soup into an anti-tumour meal we have added fresh green broad beans and the pips from a cob of corn. The cancer association recommends having a whole grain and a legume at every single meal.

What is a lignan should be a subject that every single woman knows something about; these phytonutrients halve the odds of getting a malignant breast tumour.

Cooking shows

I hate most of the cooking shows; they make good food look so intricate and difficult that many folk throw up their hands in horror and march off to the takeaway. I have no desire whatsoever to be a master chef. I will admit to having learned a few tips from Jamie Oliver though.

Keep it simple is our motto; slow food made fast. This holy grail soup took no more than ten minutes to prepare; actually a little longer as I had to march down the garden to lift some new potatoes.


Alcohol as we all know only too well makes a good servant but a very bad master. The research is not unequivocal; the scientists are not in agreement. It no doubt depends on what you are drinking, how much and the wholeness of your diet; there are a lot of variables.

In four of the five Blue Zones most people drink one to three glasses of natural, unpasteurised wine with their meals daily; clearly alcohol per se does not preclude a long and full life.

With this in mind, being a beekeeper, I ferment an all-hive mead that keeps me happy and the live yeast cells contribute to the microbiome.

Demjohns of mead

Whole grain breads

It is universally accepted in nutritional circles that whole grains are good for us; but those that are refined make us fat and prone to type-2 diabetes.

The problem is that bread made with 100% real flour is very hard to find. We made the decision 30 years ago to purchase a mill and bake our own; it turned out to be a profoundly important call, one we have never regretted. 

Bread and soup go hand in glove; but it needs to be a nutritious loaf.

We call ours the best bread in South Africa; that's a cheek I will admit; there are plenty of other bakers using excellent ingredients. It costs less than half a dollar to make and takes just five minutes including milling the flour to mix the dough.

Bread loaf in pan


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

Here are the back issues.

  • Lifestyle and ideal body weight
  • What are ultra-processed foods?
  • Investing in long-term health
  • Diseases from plastic exposure
  • Intensive lifestyle management for obesity has limited value
  • A world largely devoid of Parkinson's Disease
  • The impact of friendly bacteria in the tum on the prevention of cancer
  • There's a hole in the bucket
  • Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
  • Pull the sweet tooth
  • If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
  • Nature is calling
  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home

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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa