Hearty, Healthy Winter Soups

We love soups and as winter is closing in, we put together three of our all-time favorite hearty, healthy soups to warm you up on those bone-chilling days ahead!

 

Moroccan Vegetable Stew  (pictured above)

This recipe features a simple combination of winter vegetables, chickpeas, herbs and spices and you can easily substitute vegies you have or what’s at your local market. Butternut and other winter squash are packed with vitamin C, fiber and cancer-preventive carotenoids. Aromatic spices like turmeric are being studied for their ability to suppress inflammation. The spices are what make this an amazingly aromatic stew. It’s best after a day or two of cooking!

 

Makes 6 servings. (8 cups) 

2                     white turnips, peeled and cut into 1” pieces

1 cup               sliced carrots, in ½” slices

1 cup               finely chopped onion

1½ tsp             ground cumin

1 tsp                ground sweet paprika

½ tsp               ground ginger

½ tsp               ground turmeric

Pinch of cayenne pepper

4½ cups           reduced-sodium vegetable broth

2½ cups           butternut squash (acorn squash works well too), in 1” cubes

1 cup                chopped zucchini, in to ½” pieces

¼ lb.                string beans, trimmed and cut in 1½” lengths

1 (15 oz.) can   chickpeas (no salt added) drained

¾ tsp               salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3                      plum tomatoes, cut crosswise into ¾” slices

¼ cup             chopped cilantro

¼ cup             chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

 

In medium Dutch oven (or large soup pot), combine turnips, carrots, onion, cumin, paprika, ginger, turmeric and cayenne. Pour in 2 cups of broth. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add butternut squash, zucchini, string beans, chickpeas and remaining broth. Add salt and 3-4 grinds of pepper. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, 20 minutes. Arrange tomato slices on top of the vegetables, cover, and cook until tomatoes are just soft, 5 minutes. Add cilantro and parsley and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Serve hot, directly from pot.

If desired, cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat, covered, over medium heat.

 

 

Lime and Chicken Soup with Avocado

Chicken soup may be a winter staple, but this zesty lime and fresh avocado makes it feel like a summer day! With a medley of colorful veggies, Italian herbs and juicy citrus—limes are an excellent source of vitamin C. They’re also packed with phytochemicals like limonoids and flavonoids, making them an excellent part of any cancer-protective meal. It’s a really great soup for any time of year.

Makes 6 servings. (8 cups) 

2 Tbs              extra virgin olive oil

1                      large yellow onion, chopped

3                      stalks celery, thinly sliced

1                      medium jalapeño pepper, seeded, diced

5                      cloves garlic, minced

1 lb                  boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 cup               frozen corn

1 can (14.5oz) no salt added diced tomatoes

6 cups           reduced-sodium chicken broth

1½ tsp          Italian seasoning

1 tsp               oregano

¼ tsp            cumin

3                     medium limes, 2 cut in half, 1 cut into 6 wedges for garnish

½                   bunch cilantro Including stalks), rinsed, chopped

1                     medium avocado, cut into ½ “cubes

In soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion, celery, jalapeño and garlic for 6 minutes or until tender. Add whole chicken breast, corn, tomatoes, broth, Italian seasoning, oregano and cumin to pot. Stir to mix ingredients. Over high heat bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for one hour.

Remove chicken breast to large platter and shred using two folks. Return chicken to soup.

Over strainer to catch seeds, squeeze juice of 2 limes into soup. Add cilantro and gently stir. Ladle soup into serving bowls. Top each bowl with avocado, garnish with lime wedge and serve.

 

 

Carrot and Cilantro:

Say yes to carrots! This simple soup is bursting with flavor and is equally good served hot or cold. Carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene and other carotenoids, which help protect against cancers and cataracts, and boost the immune system—just what you need during cold and flu season! Cilantro contains high levels of anticancer antioxidants, helps lower blood pressure and aids digestion. If you want this to be a vegetarian soup switch out the chicken stock for vegetable and for vegans omit the crème fraiche.

Makes 8 servings:

2Tbs                unsalted butter

2Tbs                extra virgin olive oil

1                        large onion, diced

2 pounds        carrots, peeled and diced

2 ribs               celery, chopped

8 cups             chicken stock (or vegetable)

½ cup             chopped cilantro (including stalks)

1tsp                  salt

½tsp               fresh ground pepper

¼tsp              cayenne pepper (for more heat use ½tsp)

crème fraîche for garnish (omit for vegan)

cilantro leaves for garnish

In a large soup pot melt the butter and heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over a low heat until wilted, about 10 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, stock, cilantro, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then puree the soup in batches. If serving chilled, put into the fridge—overnight would be preferable. If serving hot, return to the soup pot and heat through. Perfect served with crème fraîche and fresh cilantro leaves.

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Juliette Baumann