Dulse and Pea Soup
Bursting with minerals (and vegan protein) this dulse and pea soup is a quick and easy way to eat more sea vegetables – that isn’t sushi. Sea weeds or sea vegetables could certainly be considered the vegetables of the future because the seas haven’t been depleted of minerals like our soils have.
What is dulse?
Dulse, or Palmaria palmata to give it its botanical name, originates from the North Atlantic ocean. The earliest record of dulse is of St Columba’s monks harvesting the sea vegetable some 1,400 years ago in Ireland.
It grows attached to Liminae algae or rocks by its discoid holdfast (root-like structure). The tentacles of the dulse, which range in colour from deep rose to darkish burgundy, are said to be very beautiful when they dance in the tidal surge.
Dulse is very nutritious and rich in fibre, and is considered one of the most delicious sea vegetables, with its slightly salty flavour and chewy texture. It contains high levels of protein, even higher than chickpeas, almonds and whole sesame seeds. It makes a very versatile ingredient, and can even be pan-fried and combined with tomato and lettuce to give a great-tasting DLT sandwich.(1)
2 Major health benefits of dulse
- Immunity boost
Seaweed benefits from containing both vitamin C and iron, as vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron. Along with B vitamins they work together to boost our immune systems.
- Healthy heart
The potassium found in seaweed helps to maintain normal blood pressure and improves cardiovascular health. (2)
According to Professor Arasaki of the University of Tokyo, sea vegetables contain more minerals than any other food. All of the 56 elements essential for human health are present in sea vegetables, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron, and zinc, together with important trace elements such as selenium that are often lacking in land vegetables due to soil demineralisation.
What is more, the minerals in sea vegetables exist in a chelated, colloidal form that makes them readily ‘bioavailable’ for use in crucial bodily functions. Population studies show that people with a regular intake of sea vegetables show few symptoms of mineral depletion and the longevity of the people in Okinawa is believed to be due to their regular consumption of sea vegetables (3).
(1) www.clearspring.co.uk (2) www.maraseaweed.com
(3) Sho H, ‘History and characteristics of Okinawan longevity food’ Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition 10 (2001)