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This Healthnut Soup will not win any beauty contests, if you throw the fresh spinach into the pot at the beginning. The overall color will be a green gray, which is not exactly enticing..
So cook all the veggies and, just before blending, throw in a bunch of fresh spinach (say, half a bag). The fresh spinach will do wonders for brightening up its color.
This soup will also do wonders for your health, your skin, your figure and your heart.
Two years ago, I went on this totally obsessed health craze. I would make this soup every week, store it in the fridge, and have some every morning around 11:00, when I usually want breakfast. I think I invented it because I was growing a lot of Swiss Chard and Kale in my garden and needed some way to use it up.
If you work, you can bring a container of it to work and microwave it.
After a year or so, I burned out on eating Eight Million Veggies a day. There was just so much health nuttiness my psyche could take. So, did I do what normal people do? Did I take a short break (even once a week) from my daily soup? Did I quit for a week or two and then get back on it?
No; don’t be silly. I’m an extremist of the worst sort. I went off of it completely. All things in moderation. Including moderation!
Chances are, it was summer and the idea of hot soup held no appeal, at all.
Secondly, this was when I was exercising an hour to an hour and a half a day. My arthritic knees did not appreciate this abuse. Time for another replacement!
Recovering from my knee replacements took forever. I’m talking an entire year for the first one and maybe as long for my recent one. We’ll see.
So, while I did my daily recuperating exercises, I was feeling too sorry for myself to add to my painful regimen by eating Green Soup every day. I needed a bit of comfort food.
And just like that, I gave up on broccoli.
Well, my new Fitbit that my awesome daughter got me from Amazon has re-inspired me to get back on the good health bandwagon.
This soup takes literally a couple of minutes. (No, Jami, I am NOT exaggerating!) You can grab much of the ingredients straight from your freezer. After all the veggies are soft, you throw them in the blender or food processor, or you can use your immersion blender. Then you can pour the soup into large mason jars, cool, cover and refrigerate.
When I had been eating this well for several months, I went to the doctor for my annual check-up. He wanted my cholesterol levels measured.
The results were amazing! He said he had only heard of levels like mine in Olympians or professional athletes. Wow – not bad for a 61 year old.
And while he insisted that the incredible cholesterol numbers were due to all the exercise I was getting, I am convinced to this day that my diet played a huge role in it, too. But since I am currently lacking a medical degree, maybe I’m nuts.
I have another visit coming up in 5 months, so I’m staying on this soup-for-lunch diet until then.
Believe it or not, this soup really does taste amazing. Don’t make it without plenty of onion and garlic. Try it; you’ll like it!
One sweet onion, coarsely chopped (or a leek, chopped)
One Tablespoon chopped garlic (from the jar is fine)
Salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive oil, enough to cover bottom of pot
Celery, coarsely chopped
Carrots, sliced (or whole baby ones)
Bell peppers, chopped
Any combination of the following:
Baby spinach (add at very last minute)
Swiss Chard, chopped
Butternut Squash, cubed
You get the idea. Work with what you’ve got.
It doesn’t matter if you buy the ingredients in the freezer section or the produce section or your garden. I grow about 50 pepper plants and cut them up and throw them in freezer bags for my soups. Everything else comes from the store.
Heat a large stock pot to medium low. Add enough oil to cover the bottom. Toss in onion, garlic, carrots, celery and peppers and saute a few minutes.
Toss in any combination of the rest of the ingredients. A variety will make sure you get a wide range of nutrients. Add 6 to 8 cups chicken broth, or just enough to cover. Don’t use more broth than that, or your soup may be too thin! If you are using fresh spinach, don’t add this until the last minute, right before putting all the veggies in the food processor. The spinach will make it a brighter green, which is so much prettier to look at.
Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook about 15 to 20 minutes, or until carrots are soft and tender. Turn off, remove the lid and let cool a bit.
Place your soup pot right up against your food processor. Using a large strainer/scoop, transfer just the veggies to the food processor. (This is a cool scoop: I originally ordered it so that I could safely lower donuts or won tons into oil. I don’t have a very good record, when it comes to working with oil: http://amzn.to/2CeD5cY.
Reserve 2 cups of the broth. Leave the rest of the broth in the pot.
Process until the mixture is smooth and thick. Return the veggies to your original soup pot and combine with broth. If you need to thin the soup, add in enough reserved broth that you get a consistency you like.
(If you want to use an immersion blender, instead, remove 2 cups of the broth and then blend. When it’s all blended, add in more broth until the soup is the consistency you want). There is an advantage and a disadvantage in using an immersion blender. One advantage is its cost. This is the Cuisinart model I got from Amazon: (http://amzn.to/2BIBFXb). Cleanup for this baby is easier than a blender or food processor, too. The downside is that it takes a bit more effort and time.
Taste for salt and pepper. Cool soup on the counter or in the fridge.
Using a canning funnel made for mason jars, pour or ladle soup into large mason jars, screw on the lids, and store in your fridge. This will last up to a week. If you don’t yet own a canning funnel, check out this cool stainless steel one on Amazon. I really don’t like plastic utensils, except for rubber spatulas: http://amzn.to/2E29uEg.
In order to develop a nice, bright halo, have this every day for lunch. You’ll feel so proud of yourself and your body will thank you for it.
Happy Healthy Eating!