This week has been so cold and rainy, and it looks like it's just going to get colder! Praying for some snow!!! This kind of weather makes me crave something warm like soup more than ever! How about you?
Soup has to be one of my favorite comfort meals. Soups are easy to make, easy to digest, typically low on calories, usually inexpensive to make and are packed with fiber, nutrients, vitamins, high water content and can aid with illness. WOW! So... why am I not making soup right now again?
Life today has become so fast paced that many of us don’t make the time or perhaps no one has ever shown us how easy it is to make a fresh pot of delicious soup.
I would love you to take some time this weekend to bring homemade soup and broth back into your weekly diets because of the amazing health benefits!
But here's the famous question - can You Really Lose Weight by Eating Homemade Soups?
Yes!!! Eating a bowl of soup as an appetizer is a great way to cut down on the calories. It leaves you feeling full before your main course so you eat less of the heavier foods.
What could make a healthy soup even healthier?
When making vegetable or legume soups, substitute homemade broth instead of adding water. Here’s why! True broths are rich in calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, collagen, gelatin, glucosamine, chondroitin, trace minerals and much more.
Broth is beneficial for joint health, digestive problems, immune system, cold and flu, hair and nail strength and the list goes on. Bone broth in particular is an incredible tonic for bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. Soups also help your immune system. Your immune system needs a lot of minerals to function properly and the typical diet does not always hit the mark. When you slowly simmer foods over low heat, you gently leach out the energetic and therapeutic properties of the foods, preserving the nutritional value of the foods. Keep in mind that boiling can destroy half of the vitamins found in vegetables, so cook soup over a low heat.
Most people think making homemade bone broth is difficult and time consuming, HOWEVER it is actually pretty simple and extremely cost efficient! You can cook the entire chicken in the crockpot giving you chicken for an entire week, then take the bones and put them back in the crockpot with any vegetables you have on hand (onions, celery, carrots, etc) and some water and spices and leave it on overnight to wake up to some delicious and incredibly nutritious broth! There are many easy to follow recipes for this depending on your seasoning preferences.
Eating soup seems easy enough for us grownups, but many parents ask the important question,
How I can get my kids to eat soup?
Get the kids to just try three polite bites as an appetizer! Or give them some cracker to dip into the soup! Most kids love to dip! Also add in whole wheat spiral noodles or lean ground beef or turkey to any soup to make it hearty for growing kids!
Here are my three favorite soups for the fall & winter! Try them and let me know what you think!
Healthy Healing Chicken Soup
8 Shallots finely chopped
1 bunch chopped green onions
1-2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
2 quarts Chicken stock organic low sodium
2 cups chopped Celery
2 cups sliced Carrots
2 cups chopped Parsnips (or potatoes)
1 kosher, or brined whole chicken (Trader Joes or Earthfare- or rotisserie chicken if you are pressed for time)
1 cup Mushrooms optional
2 Tbsp Herbs de Provance seasoning
2 Tbsp Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Optional: farro or barley or wild rice (1 cup) to add at end
Directions:. Cut up the whole chicken, leave skin on, brown the chicken in large stock pot with 1 tablespoon olive oil (2 minutes each side). Take the chicken out and place it in a bowl. Sautee the chopped celery, onions, & shallot until translucent in large stock pot then add in Herbs de province spice. Add 1 quart heated chicken stock (microwave in glass dish) to sautéed vegetables. Add the chicken back in to the pot and bring to a boil and simmer till the chicken falls off the bone (30 minutes). Take out the chicken carcass and pieces and let cool. Add back in the chopped carrots and parsnips. Then strip the chicken from the bones and skin, add only chopped chicken back to soup. Bring the soup back to simmer add Salt & pepper to taste.
Optional - mushrooms, faro, barley,rice, or noodles for family .
If pressed for time- omit the browning of the chicken and add the chicken meat the soup once carrots and parsnips are tender.
Roasted Carrot Ginger Soup
2 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into large dice (3/4-inch)
2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium onion, medium dice
2 large ribs of celery, medium dice (this is optional)
2 tbsps fresh ginger, grated
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 tsps kosher salt (use half if using table salt)
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 cup coconut milk
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the diced carrots & onion in a large baking or roasting pan. Drizzle
the olive oil over the carrots and toss to coat evenly. Roast the carrots for 35-45 minutes,
stirring the carrots after the first 25 minutes or roasting. Remove from oven.
You have two options:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for three
minutes until translucent. Add the celery and ginger to the onions and sauté for 4 more
minutes. Stir in the roasted carrots, broth, water, salt, and white pepper. Bring the soup
to a boil and reduce the heat to medium-low so that it is actively simmering. Cover the
pot with a lid and let simmer for 45 minutes. Using an immersion blender, purée the
soup until it is smooth and creamy, slowly add the coconut oil to taste. If you don’t have an immersion blender, let the soup cool completely before puréeing in a blender or food processor.
2. Add roasted carrots & onion into Vitamix blender on soup setting with all other ingredients and let your blender do the work!
Refrigerate for up to 5 days. Serve with homemade whole wheat pita chips!
This recipe is also wonderful if you add in a sweet potato!
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
(Taken from Southern My Way, by Gena Knox)
1 (2lb) head cauliflower (cut into florets)
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tsp salt
4 cups chicken stock
Parmesan cheese shavings and olive oil for garnish
First Preheat oven to 450F. Toss cauliflower with garlic and oil and salt and spread on rimmed, lightly greased baking sheet. Roast cauliflower until tender and beginning to brown, about 18 minutes.
Next, remove garlic from pan, transfer cauliflower to a stockpot, and add stock. Gently peel skins from garlic and discard. Ad peeled garlic cloves to soup. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree soup with a soup emulsifier or blender. Return soup to pot over low heat and season with freshly ground pepper.
Last, ladle soup into 4 bowls, drizzle with olive oil, and top with cracked pepper and cheese shavings.
I hope you are able to enjoy these delicious soups this weekend! Enjoy having leftovers for days and heating up a bowl of delicious, healthy, warm goodness that will leave you feeling so satisfied and nourished all day long! Stay warm, friends!
As we focus on the healing powers that soup can have, let us remember the one who truly heals us body, mind and spirit. It is only through Christ that we may be purified and healed completely!
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16
Take extra time this week to spend in prayer and quiet mediation with the Lord as we are shut indoors by the rain and cold! I am praying that this time is sweeter than ever before. I know after a long, but wonderful, first week in the studio I will enjoy having a few quiet moments! ! Have a wonderful weekend, friends!