‘I feel better’ vegetable soup
When you’re under the weather for any reason, this soup has lots of nourishing and disease-fighting ingredients and is easy to eat. Plus it helps hydrate the body. More or less of any ingredient is OK.
Go ahead and make this your signature soup by tasting and adding as you go along. This recipe is meant to be a guide, not set in stone.
It’s actually a delicious supper soup on its own. Not only that, the soup freezes well so you can make a double batch to share.
Olive oil – enough to film bottom of pan
3 cups butternut or acorn squash or pumpkin – can buy already chopped
2 nice sized carrots, sliced
About 2 cups diced onion
1 generous teaspoon garlic or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 cups or more of broth, low sodium chicken, vegetable, or your choice
14.5-oz can diced tomatoes – I used fire roasted
Couple handfuls fresh chard, spinach, kale or mixed salad greens
15 oz. can drained chickpeas or favorite beans
Salt and pepper to taste
For garnish: Romano or Parmesan cheese, shredded
Heat oil in pot over medium-high heat. Add squash, carrots, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and squash start to soften.
Add allspice, thyme, broth, tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until veggies are tender. Stir greens into soup and serve with shredded cheese.
Tip from Rita’s kitchen:
Save time: Use shredded carrots, jarred garlic, already chopped onion, and already cut up pumpkin or squash.
Why this soup is good for you:
Winter squash: In season right now and a rich source of plant based nutrients like omega 3’s and beta-carotene, which are important for a strong immune system.
Onions: Don’t over peel. The flavonoids/health benefits tend to be more concentrated in the outer layers of the flesh. Eating several onions a week helps lower cancer risk.
Beans: Good source of protein for strength and complex carbs for energy.
Allspice: Not a combination of spices, but one spice with a complex flavor, and with huge anti-oxidant and healing qualities due to its vitamin C content. It’s also a carminative spice (soothing).
Thyme: Antibacterial, among other things, so really good for colds and flu.
Adapted from an Ellie Krieger recipe.
Thirty-Minute Vegetable Soup
If your family doesn’t like spicy soup, use regular canned diced tomatoes. Pass plenty of cheddar or Parmesan!
1-1/4 pounds lean ground beef
1 generous cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic
1 jar, 20- 30 oz. chunky garden style pasta sauce
2 cans beef broth
Water to taste (start with 1 soup can of water and go from there)
1 can, approx. 10 oz., chopped tomatoes and chilies
1 bag, 16- 20 oz., frozen mixed vegetables, thawed if you have time
Fresh spinach (optional)
Cheddar or Parmesan for garnish
Cook meat, onion and garlic together. Add everything else but fresh spinach. If you have the 30 oz. jar of pasta sauce, add almost all but taste before adding the rest. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Toss in spinach and cook until just wilted, about a minute more.