Soups — a nutritious winter meal

“Fresh” and “alive with flavor” are the keywords to describe the taste and feeling of a nourishing soup.

by Stan Kalson — 

As the temperatures cool, thoughts of warming and nutritious meals created in a pot fill our minds. Growing up in a much cooler climate than Arizona, I remember coming home on a cold winter night to the smell of a pot of soup cooking on the stove. Those memories reflect a time when a pot of soup and a loaf of hard-crusted bread fed a whole family.

Soups can be chockful of plant-based, whole-food items made from organic vegetables of the season, such as grains, legumes, etc. “Fresh” and “alive with flavor” are the keywords to describe the taste and feeling of a nourishing soup. You can also enjoy a sandwich or a salad with a hearty soup.

Here are a few healthy soup recipes to try:

Cream of Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped winter vegetables (be creative)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup plain almond milk (at health food stores)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

Instructions:

Steam vegetables until tender. Drain. In a blender, puree vegetables with almond milk. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and stir for a few minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and cook until thickened. Stir in vegetable puree, salt and pepper; simmer three to five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in optional seasoning and yogurt. Use any or all of the following to add texture and variety to this recipe: minced fresh dill with yellow vegetables or potatoes; a pinch of ground nutmeg with spinach, chard or beet greens; fresh or dried marjoram with zucchini, green beans or tomatoes; or minced, fresh parsley with cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli.

Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups steamed pumpkin, butternut or banana squash
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups plain almond milk (at health food stores)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup leeks, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
  • 4 tablespoons flour

Instructions:

In a large soup pot, sauté onions, celery and leeks in the vegetable oil over medium heat for 7 minutes. Add vegetable stock, squash and cinnamon stick; simmer for 15 minutes. Next, add the almond milk and stir until blended. Season with cumin, nutmeg, garlic, salt, Bragg’s and parsley, and cook for 10 more minutes.

Quick and Easy Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 cups chopped bok choy
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups stock or water
  • 1 bottle (48 oz., more or less) tomato juice
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

Instructions:

Cook the ginger, bok choy and basil in the stock or water in a medium stockpot for 10 minutes. Add the tomato juice, soy sauce and bean sprouts, and cook another 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and lime juice, and serve with croutons.

Pasta Fagioli Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 3 cans canellini beans
  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound ditalini pasta
  • 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Grated Romano cheese (optional)

Instructions:

Cut the fresh rosemary leaves into small pieces. Peel garlic and cut into thin slices. Place into a small bowl. In a large cooking pot set on medium heat, sauté the olive oil and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds; add chicken broth. Let the liquid come to a simmer and add the canellini beans and juice from the can. Add the tomato paste, rosemary, salt and pepper. Continue to cook on medium-low for 8 minutes. In a separate large cooking pot, boil water with a sprinkle of salt. Cook the ditalini pasta as instructed on the box and drain. Add the cooked pasta to the broth and taste. Add salt and pepper if necessary. Serve hot and sprinkle with grated cheese, if desired.

 

Stan Kalson is the founder and director of the International Holistic Center, Inc. and has been active in the Greater Phoenix holistic community for 30 years. www.holisticresources.org. 602-287-0605.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 6, December 2006/January 2007.

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