January is National Soup Month and there’s no better time to make some healthy soups that not only taste good, but are good for you! Throughout the month we will feature some of our favorite recipes.
Our first two new soup recipes this soup season are:
• Carrot and Cilantro
• Mediterranean Vegetable
(Both can be vegetarian and vegan)
1. 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)
½tsp fresh ground pepper
¼tsp cayenne pepper (for more heat use ½tsp)
crème fraîche for garnish (omit for vegan)
cilantro leaves for garnish
In 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—over night would be preferable. If serving hot, return to the soup pot and heat through. Perfect served with crème fraîche and fresh cilantro leaves.
2. Mediterranean and Vegetable:
Jam-packed with a variety of healthy and delicious vegetables, this soup has a rich tomato base and no cream. Perfect for lunch or as a light supper, just cook up some orzo for a more filling vegetarian/vegan meal. Red peppers which have much more vitamin C than oranges, are a good source of vitamin B6 which helps brain function, as well as anti-oxidant beta-carotene, iron and potassium. They can help ward off infections such as colds and flu and—like other red fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes—can reduce the risk of lung cancer. Zucchini contains selenium—which helps protect cells from free radical damage, so may reduce the risk of cancers and heart disease. Selenium is also needed for thyroid function. Oregano, is an all-round anti-bacterial, so helps protect overall health.
Makes 12 servings:
1Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 red peppers seeded and chopped
1 yellow pepper seeded and chopped
1 large onion coarsely chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium zucchini chopped with skin on
3 large carrots peeled and chopped into ½” dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 plum tomatoes chopped
28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups water
2 tps dried oregano
1Tbs fresh chopped basil
1Tbs fresh chopped parsley
In large soup pot heat the oil and add carrots, celery, peppers, onions, and minced garlic. Cook till vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add water, wine, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, chopped plum tomatoes and dried oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are almost tender about 15 minutes. Add coarse chopped unpeeled zucchini, fresh basil and parsley and simmer 15 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.