Lame title, I know but it truly is super easy!
It’s fall and where I live, the leaves are gorgeous! Vivid colors that pop out of the green landscape and the cool weather that makes you want to eat warm soup. Here’s a picture taken on a walk last week. Simply beautiful.
Listen, eating well and homemade cooking does not have to be hard, time consuming, or tasteless. That’s the theme of this blog. I want to show you how to eat well, simply; without having to buy rare ingredients at a specialty store, recipes that take minutes, and taste delicious! This recipe is what I call a “dump” recipe. I dump all of the ingredients into the pot with very little prep time. Easy peasy!
I have spun this soup recipe many ways but I must admit this one may be my favorite. It’s vegan which means it is entirely animal product free! I wanted to do it in October because you could also call this anti-cancer soup or anti-inflammatory soup but wellness soup fits more peoples wants/needs.
You cannot get too many veggies. If I’m missing a vegetable that you usually use in a soup or stew, add it. If there are leftover veggies in your freezer or refrigerator and you want to use them, throw those kids into the pool! Same thing with herbs and spices…use what you have and what you think will taste good together. You can’t go wrong with veggie soup, add what moves you!
To quote my dear friend and fellow dietitian Heather Tressler “Baking is a science, cooking is an art” meaning that when you bake something you probably should follow the recipe or it may not turn out well. Cooking however, is an art meaning that it is up to interpretation. Add, subtract, make it your own piece of art!
Let’s get down to it because I know you want the recipe!
Amanda’s Wellness Soup
- 3 tablespoons of canola oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic (or more up to you)
- 1 medium chopped onion (shortcut: use frozen chopped onions)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you want to really spice it up)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (surprise ingredient)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoons basil
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1/2 cup lentils
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 64 oz vegetable broth
- 32 oz frozen soup vegetables (microwave for 5 minutes in a glass bowl)
- 7 oz frozen corn
- 10 oz shredded cabbage (you can shred yourself (about 3 cups) or use already shredded
- 7 oz can of mushrooms (or any type of mushroom you like)
- 5 oz frozen chopped kale
- 1, 32 oz can diced tomatoes
- Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat, pour canola oil in and follow it up with garlic and onion. Allow the onion to cook until for 1-2 minutes.
- Add black pepper, turmeric, cayenne pepper and balsamic vinegar and allow the vinegar to cook down slightly (about 2 minutes)
- Add bay leaves, basil, oregano, lentils, and quinoa. The pan will be fairly dry but that is ok! Allow the lentils and quinoa to toast for about 1 minute before pouring the veggie broth.
- Place the soup veggies, corn, cabbage, mushrooms, kale and diced tomatoes into the pot.
- Allow soup to cook down (I had mine in the pot all day on low/simmer) or put in a crock pot on low all day.
- It’s ready to go right after all of the veggies warm up but I like to let the flavors marry for a few hours.
5 Quick Nutrition Lessons (from this recipe)
- Frozen veggies are just as awesome as fresh. In fact when vegetables are not local/seasonal then frozen is actually better than fresh. After veggies are picked they begin losing antioxidants within hours. Frozen vegetables are picked and flash frozen soon after harvesting which saves those amazing antioxidants. So this winter go for frozen vegetables!
- Turmeric is amazing (as you notice I have it in almost all of my recipes). It doesn’t work as well by itself so you need to make sure that you are pairing it with black pepper, garlic, and/or ginger for the anti-inflammatory properties to come alive. It’s also not as effective in supplement form. Cook with it! Enjoy that subtle smoky flavor in most of your cooking!
- Herbs and spices help improve the flavor of food without having to add a ton of salt. I do add some salt (not a lot by most standards) and let people shake it on if they prefer. We use way too much salt as a society so sometimes it takes a while to get used to the flavor without a ton of it in our food. If you (or someone you cook for) has high blood pressure, congestive heart failure (CHF), kidney disease, and some other diseases you may have to cut back. Reduce the salt and increase those delicious herbs and spices!
- Lentils, quinoa, peas, and corn are used as protein in this dish. You don’t need meat in order to eat protein…at all. All of these are actually less expensive than meat but more nutrient rich. So eating well doesn’t have to cost more, especially when you use these plant sources as protein. This soup is a meal in itself…protein, starches/carbohydrates, and vegetables all wrapped up into one delicious dish!
- This is a great soup for cold and flu season as well. It has been shown that garlic and onions are natural antibacterial and antiviral foods. They can help your body fight off these nasty viruses and bacteria! Remember when mom made chicken soup for a cold? There’s something to be said about that especially if she used garlic and onion. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C which is a building block for your immune system and cayenne pepper has also been shown to ward off illness.
Basically you cannot go wrong with this soup! From chronic disease prevention to common colds this soup has you covered!
I had leftovers that I wasn’t able to eat so there will be delicious leftovers in a few week!
I’d like to hear from you! What would you add to this soup to make it even more healthy and delicious?