Soup is Good Food
by Leanne Ely, C.N.C.
If you’ve made your list and checked it twice, you’re ahead of the holiday game. But even with lists and plans, there’s still a lot to do and we get stressed out which only contributes to that downward spiral. Add to that eating poorly and you’re going to be struggling big time to keep your chin above water.
To fend off bad eating, make yourself a big pot of soup this week (in your large crock cooker) to help keep both your nutrition and sanity levels from hitting bottom. You need something easy, delicious and nutritious to get you through this hectic time of year.
Here is a recipe for a major crock-pot full of phytochemically rich veggie soup that you can tweak here and there with the variations I have added to keep you from getting bored. Once the soup has been initially cooked, put it in the fridge and heat up what you need in a small saucepan.
So here’s the soup-compatible for vegetarians and low carbers, too.
And do remember while you’re running around shopping, visiting, schlepping, whatever; to drink your water. Water is a NUTRIENT, not a beverage. Drink a LOT of water and keep yourself hydrated.
Leanne’s Basic Veggie Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 large carrots, chopped
2 small celery stalks, chopped
1 medium turnip, chopped
1/4 head cabbage, chopped
2 small russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups green beans, cut in 1″ pieces
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 cups low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
In a large soup pot, heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook till nearly translucent, now add the garlic. Don’t let the garlic brown and saute another couple of minutes.
Add the rest of the chopped veggies, sauteing for just a minute or two; use extra olive oil if you need it for the rest of the veggies. Remember–you’re not cooking them– just sauteing them for the wonderful flavor this quick step will infuse in your soup. Add the thyme and salt and pepper while sauteing. Now put the veggies in the crock-pot, add the tomatoes and broth. Cook on low 7-9 hours (depending on your crock-pot) or high 4-6 hours. Just before serving, gently mash some of the potato chunks against the side of the crock-pot to thicken the soup, give it a stir and serve.
Nutrition Per Serving: 94 Calories; 3g Fat; 7g Protein; 12g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 286mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat. Points: 2
SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Grilled cheese sandwiches on whole grain bread and a spinach salad.
Quick Fixes for Variations on the Basic Veggie Soup
Now remember, don’t do these to the whole pot of soup! Just the little bit you pull out to fix yourself for lunch, etc. so that you can do all the Quick Fixes.
Quick Fix #1: Tex Mex Veggie Soup. Add some (eyeball it–how much do you want?) black beans (drained and rinsed), a little bit of cumin and chopped cilantro. Top with some tortilla chips and cheese, or serve with a quesadilla.
Quick Fix #2: Tuscan Veggie Soup. Add some (eyeball it again) cannellini (white kidney beans) or white beans (drained and rinsed), a little bit of Italian seasoning and some chopped kale. Cook till heated through and the kale is tender.
Quick Fix #3: Minestrone Veggie Soup. Add some cooked pasta, a little dried basil and top with a fresh grating of Parmesan cheese.
Quick Fix #4: Autumn Veggie Soup. Add some diced acorn squash or butternut squash, a handful of cooked brown rice, a sprinkling of nutmeg and some chopped parsley.