December 3rd, 2018

I have said this before and I'll probably say it again, but my boys love soup any time of the year, especially in the fall and winter months. Since we have the roaring fire pit on most weekends now, what better that to sit chat, laugh and reminisce about vacations, movies and family events with a blanket around your shoulders and a hot bowl of nutritious soup warming your hands and your stomach at the same time.

Since changing my eating habits to a more nutrient dense way of eating which includes mainly vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains and small amounts of lean proteins, I can't remember the last time I had the flu or even a cold. I know most people are rushing for their flu shots this time of year, but my flu shot is eating healthy with lots and lots of fresh vegetables and fruits each and every day. This vegetable soup is one way to fulfill our daily needs and apart from anything else this soup tastes wonderful. I'm sure you will come back to this recipe time and time again. Have fun, and remember if you have kids, get them to help! Cooking is a skill that can be learned or taught at any stage in our lives, so get back in the kitchen and enjoy.

Nutrition wise, how can you go wrong with this recipe? Look at the list of fresh bounty in this soup: carrots, celery, onions, leeks, garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, kidney beans and fresh herbs! It's loaded with vitamins A, B, C, E, K, and minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, selenium and folate. With over 5gm per serving of protein, medium amounts of carbohydrates and very low in fat, it's a great fall or winter soup to be enjoyed on cold dark evenings as a favorite comfort dish.

Vegetable Soup

Serves 4
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cups carrots, washed and cut into small dice
1 cup celery, washed and cut into small dice
½ cup onions, peeled and wash, finely chopped
1 cup leeks, washed and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 cups low sodium vegetable stock
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 cup wild mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 cup fresh tomatoes washed and chopped into small dice
1 cup baby spinach, washed
1 cup kidney beans, rinsed
1 tablespoon freshly chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano

How to make:

Take a large sauce pan and place it on a medium heat on the stove, pour in the oil and add the first five ingredients, place a lid on the pan and allow the vegetables to sweat for 4 to 5 minutes without color.
Remove the lid and stir the vegetables together, add the bay leaf and tomato pastes, stirring well, pour in the vegetables stock and bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer, add the mushrooms and gently cook for 5 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 5 more minutes to wilt the spinach and warm though the tomatoes and beans. Give on last stir and serve. This will serve six light portions for lunch and 4 large hearty dinner size portions.

 

Enjoy,
Chef Mark .

Copyright © 2018 Mark Allison