Soups can be wonderfully nutritious and have to be one of the easiest things to make. Don’t buy soup. Store bought soups are loaded with:
1.Sodium: comes in the form of salt in canned soups often have high levels of sodium and high levels can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Current theory holds that you should not have more than 350mg of sodium a day.
2. Fat: Creamed soups have high levels of poor fats. Instead use tomato based, chicken or beef broth based or vegetable based broths. If you like thick soups – simply use a blender to puree the soup.
3. BPA: plastic linings in the cans usually contain BPA (Bisphernols) which are harmful to our health. If you have to buy soup, but them in cartons NOT in cans.
Soup recipes are easy to make in large batches, and are one of the most freezer friendly meals or just for tomorrow night. Double up on ingredients, grab a larger pot and make two meals instead of one.
You can make your own broth the night before: just make an easy broth with a bone – simmer it in a pot of water overnight. Then add:
- root vegetables: potatos, carrots, beets.
- heartier winter soups require more root vegetables
- vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, squashes
- I do avoid corn as we do not have the enzymes to break down corn – popcorn we eat as a snack
- herbs & spices: Himalayan salt & black pepper; onions, garlic, cilantro, chili peppers,
- when foods have a good aroma value to them – gently brown them first to bring out the aroma before putting into the soup – let them sweat a little
- lentils: Black beans (turtle beans), baby lima beans, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, Roman beans, Kidney beans, Navy beans, Pinto beans – great as a good source of proteins in soups
- Rinse & drain the beans and transfer them to a 3- or 4-qt. saucepan. Add 1 medium garlic clove (smashed and peeled), 1 bay leaf, and 6 cups of cold water. Gently simmer with a lid to the side. Stir every 20 to 30 minutes, until the beans are tender but not mushy. Cooking time will vary depending on how long they’ve soaked and how old they are. The older the beans, the longer they take to cook. But the longer you soak them, the shorter the cooking time. So the safest way to determine when the beans are done is to taste them as they cook.
- meats: when using beef or lamb or chicken in soups – make sure they are organic – you tend to need less in a soup, so you can afford to get better quality
- fish soups are great from clam chowders to hot & sour soups – all easy to make in minutes
- Do not cook the noodles separately. Add noodles as the last s tep and cook until tender. Noodles will flavor your soup. Buy a healthy noodle, allowing the noodles to take on the flavour of the soup. Noodles that are cooked separately will lack flavour and break down when added. If you plan on freezing your soup, don’t add the noodles. Instead add them once it has been thawed and brought back to a boil. The noodles will taste much fresher this way.
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 stalks chopped celery
- 2 chopped carrots (Options: potatoes, cauliflower, green beans)
- 1 chopped onion (white onion, cooking onion, shallots, etc – you choose)
- Himalayan salt and black pepper, cilantro, garlic – to taste (Options: chili powders if you like it hot)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 0r make your own
- 1/2pound green beans, halved
- 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed (Options: mixed lentils and/or peas)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/4cup pesto
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the vegetables and spices – stir till softened
- Stir in the tomato paste and cook until slightly darkened, 1 minute.
- Add the vegetable broth, green beans, chickpeas, and frozen peas.
- Simmer until the vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Top with the pesto.
Or what about a hot & sour soup:
- 3 C chicken broth
- 2 C water
- 2 C sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1/2 C sliced bamboo shoots
- 1/2 C shredded ginger root
- 2 crushed garlic cloves – note more medicinal to crush rather than to chope
- 2 tsp soy sayce
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or chili powder
- 1 lb thin strips of skinless, boneless chicken
- 1 tbsp sesame oil or avocado oil
- 2 chopped green onions (Options: parsley, cilantro)
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar (any cheap one will do)
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch (can use a flour base instead of cornstarch)
- 1 beaten egg
- Combine the chicken broth, water, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and hot pepper flakes in a large pot & bring to a boil
- Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer while you assemble the rest of the ingredients
- Toss chicken strips with the sesame oil to coat
- In a separate bowl, stir together the cornstarch and vinegar, and set aside
- Increase the broth to medium-high, and return to a rolling boil. & add the chicken slices
- Bring to a boil and then drizzle in the egg while stirring slowly to create long strands of egg
- Stir in the vinegar and cornstarch
- Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and the broth has thickened slightly, about 3 minutes.
- Serve garnished with green onions and cilantro.
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