It’s a pretty, bright, crisp autumn day, the kinda day that is cheery but demanding of a hearty colourful bowl of tasty vegetable soup, so that’s what I whipped up! I think I’ve mentioned it before but I get a little insecure when I my fridge isn’t fully stocked with a WIDE variety of veggies. It means that I can’t be spontaneous with my meal preparation if I am short on something and with fall here, it’s soo much trickier to have a wide variety. But this soup is great cuz it means you can kind of use what you have on hand and see what happens! So that’s what I did. You can’t really go wrong. But what I love the most about this recipe that I have been making for a few years is that I don’t need to rely upon having a tetra pak of veggie broth or a veggie boullion cube on hand to make it. I can concentrate flavours by juicing veggies in a jiffy and it’s even more tasty that anything you can buy. Honestly, I got tired of the flavour of store bought organic veggie broth which lead me to find alternate ways to flavour my soups.
Today was a full fridge day! I had lots yummy veggies on hand to make this soup full of variety. You may have other ingredients on hand, if so, go for it and toss them in. Be conscious of their cooking time, slow or fast and put them in accordingly. I love to have raw soups for some meals but there are days when we yearn for a version of ‘healthy’ comfort food. It’s still important not to cook this soup too long in order to maintain some of the vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately thru heating these veggies we will lose some of the nutrients, but for the sake of healthy warmed food this isn’t unhealthy for you in comparison to say macaroni and cheese, made with butter, milk and cheese and white pasta that many people refer to as comfort food. We can get the same kind of satisfaction from this hearty soup, minus all the nasties! I still like to include live enzymes with every meal so I serve this soup along side a green salad and perhaps a slice of sprouted organic whole grain bread-yeast free, if I can find it.
Hearty Vegetable Soup w/ Quick, Easy Veggie Broth
Yield: Serves 8-10, large bowls soup
Please use organic produce
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
3 large carrots, diced
3 potatoes, diced (you can sub sweet potatoes if you like)
1 cup diced autumn squash of your choice
2 large tomatoes, diced,
4 ribs celery, diced
2 small zucchini, diced
1 red pepper, seeded & diced
1 jar of cannellini beans, rinsed (or dry beans, soaked and pre-cooked)
Himalayan salt or sea salt
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley, additional 2 tbsp for garnish
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley, additional 2 tbsp for garnish
For Broth– additional veggies required
1/4 small cabbage
2 small zucchinis
4 ribs celery
1/2 red pepper
Run all broth veggies thru a juicer and set aside. In a large pot add diced onion & garlic and 2-3 tbsp filtered water, steam fry for a few minutes til onions are translucent. Add broth and one cup filtered water. Heat broth and then add carrots & potatoes & squash, simmer for 5 mins. Now add celery and zucchini and simmer for 5 mins, then add peppers and tomatoes & cannellini beans and simmer for 5 more mins. Add a little bit more water, 1/2c or so, if broth seems too little. Test for flavour and season with Himalayan salt or sea salt and stir in chopped herbs. If any further seasoning is desired, sprinkle with some dulse perhaps. Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh chopped basil and parsley. I even sprinkled mine with hemp nuts for good protein measure and it was yummy!
This recipe will yield a generous pot of soup that you can invite friends over for or you can portion up left overs for lunch or you can freeze some for other quick meals. If you plan on re-heating a good portion of the soup it’s a good idea to under cook it a wee bit so that with reheating it doesn’t over do the cooking of the veggies. Just ladle out a few bowls full before the soup is done, allow to cool and then chill or freeze.
Today we ventured out to the pumpkin patch to choose our Jack o’ lanterns. I love how the pumpkin patches in our community seem to appear from nowhere as the cool damp weather melts their green vines away and a sea of pumpkins is suddenly visible. It always surprises me when I am driving thru the country and I see the brilliant orange globes, especially on a sunny day like today. It always makes me yearn to photograph my kids amongst the vibrant colours. I have year after year of photos of the kids at the pumpkin patch, cuz I just love capturing the joy they have as they explore the crop, searching for the perfectly shaped pumpkin.
I also love how creative the farmers get with their abundant pumpkin crops. Take a peek at this display of endless pumpkins atop fence posts! I just HAD to pull over and capture this scene to share with you, isn’t it great? And the colour of the maple trees….. makes it soooo festive for the season!
These are the days of autumn I love. Born a spring baby, I love Spring the best but I have to say I’m really enjoying this season and all the cozy colours. Once the rain really sets in and the lovely colours are long gone, I’ll be desperately seeking ways to cope or escape to a warmer climate for some relief. But for now, I’m soaking up the rays and lovin’ the scenery. How about you? What’s your favourite season?
The weeks are steadily passing with new courses and lots of valuable lessons as I study at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. If you haven’t tuned in previously, I’ve been sharing some of what I learned since I began the program just recently in September.
This week we talked about sugars, and juices and how practically every single store bought juice has been ruined by pasteurization-it’s an attempt to keep us safe from molds, germs and bacteria all the while damaging and tampering with the nutritional value of the juice. Many, many of the juices also undergo further chemical destruction, making them absolutely unfit for drinking, from my perspective. You might be better off drinking the worst tap water. We watched this short video news clip that discusses the process of deaerating the juice or removing the oxygen, which strips the flavour and the colour of the juice. This leaves behind a clear fluid that can then be stored in enormous vats for practically endless amounts of time to ensure year round supply or for when it may be ready to tweak for market. Then this fluid is jazzed up with flavour packets that are virtually pure chemical simulations of the once said juice-this is the scary part! Additives and chemical derivatives are poured, pound by pound, into these vats until this clear liquid looks, smells and tastes kinda like the real thing-but not! It’s tampered with to make it ever so sweet and addictive to many consumers, especially children. This process is fondly referred to as delicious juices “Not made from Concentrate”. Didn’t you used to think that any juice that wasn’t generated from a concentrate was actually a better choice? I used to, way back, when I did buy juice, which is no longer even an option in our house any more. The only juice we drink is freshly pressed with our juicer, or frozen coconut water. We sometimes also pick up fresh, frozen apple juice from the orchard as a treat but we avoid store bought juices. When I see organic oranges on special by the mesh bag full, as a treat, we’ll juice up the entire bag and all of us will have a very small glass as it takes sooo many oranges to yield a small pitcher. Just as well, since the concentrated sugars in one small glass of orange juice, natural or not, will spike your blood sugar immensely. To get the optimal nutrition possible from an orange you are best to eat the entire fruit as the fiber will lessen the impact of the sugar on your blood and you will fill up with the fiber before consuming too much sugar, all the while benefiting from the healthful nutrients like vitamin C and phyto nutrients in the white pith that are all present when you consume the whole fruit.
The worst thing about this terrible juice manufacturing process is the lack of understanding by those that consume the juice. They are lead to believe by marketing, labeling and the food guides that fruit juice is a healthy option, and little do they know that the nutritional content is near nil and the sugar content is outrageous. And who’s drinking all the juice?- it’s the kids! Just stop by any progressive school that recycles and you’ll see the volumes and volumes of juice tetra boxes being recycled. And this doesn’t include what might be sent to school in a thermos. It’s no wonder childhood diabetes is out of control! Not to mention ADD, ADHD and childhood obesity that also develop from excessive sugar intake along with the multitude of chemicals and dyes that the juices contain.
If the children could just begin to drink water in place of juice we would see a world of difference in their health, their weight, their temperament, and a great reduction in the health issues that are plaguing our young generations.
Again, it’s so disturbing to know this information, that so many others do not, and understand and realize that big corporations have absolutely no conscience when it comes to selling a completely unhealthy product, aimed directly at children. One of the worst offenders is…. are you ready….you might have guessed it…. Sunny Delight, or now called Sunny D in some areas. There are definitely many others but this one takes the cake. This site gives a little more info on Sunny D and it’s ingredients.
If you or your kids enjoy drinking store bought juice, my suggestion, to slowly wean off this juice, is to dilute it with filtered water, bit by bit, until you are only lightly flavouring the water. Then work towards flavouring your water with an orange wedge or better yet a nice slice of alkalizing lemon. It may take time but you will see a noticeable difference once you eliminate store bought juice from your diet.
We are also studying comparative diets where we are examining a vast array of healthy and not so healthy ways that we’ve been lead to believe are good ideas for losing or maintaining healthy body weights. Perhaps next week I can outline a few for you. My other course is Bio Chemistry which you may not find very exciting but if it heats up I’ll give you the goods.
I hope you have a great week, now back to the books for me!