I have the privilege of hosting a wonderful women’s group called Women On a Mission and this month the theme is “taking really REALLY good care of yourself”. It’s a peel-the- onion concept, but nutrition is often one of the first responses. Eating WELL is a critical component of self care! To me, eating WELL means eating tasty, nutritious food and that can be a bit of a struggle. I try to make good choices when eating out, but I often get tricked (I ordered a cobb salad the other day thinking I was eating WELL and it came with a deep fried soft boiled egg–yuck and YUCK!). And I try to make GOOD food when we’re eating in but that has its challenges as well.
If you know me, you know I’m no chef. The only food I’m good at making is salad, but I get sick of salad and tend to fall into the trap of thinking of it as diet food which equates to deprivation. So I invented SALAD SOUP. Soup is comfort food. Soup is warm and nurturing. And when you include lots of vegetables (nature’s candy), some beans/legumes/ whole grains, and even toss in a little bit of lean, well tended protein (you know, grain fed, antibiotic free, weekly manis and pedis provided), you’ve whipped up a delicious concoction sure to nourish the body and spirit!
The other thing I like about SALAD SOUP is that there is no way to screw it up! There’s no “right amount”, there’s no “wrong vegetable”. It’s always delicious, but never comes out exactly the same way twice.
Here’s my “recipe” for salad soup…
1. I hate watery broth, but a creamy broth does nothing for my girlish figure or cholesterol level so I had to figure out an alternative. I wanted to create a rich, healthy base that was both yummy and vitamin-y. The secret? Boil some combination of crazy healthy veggies—you know the ones too healthy to actually eat—kale, chard, spinach, parsley, etc., then put them (and the water you boiled them in) in the blender. Add to vegetable broth and voila! Yummy base.
2. No veggie is a bad veggie! Be creative! Combine fresh, frozen, canned… all good! Sometimes I challenge myself to see how many different veggies I can get in one soup.
3. That being said—veggie soup is BoRing! And… like a garden salad, leaves one feeling hungry just minutes after consumption so I like including some combinations of beans/ rice/ meat protein. I like great northern beans, black beans, brown rice, and chicken or fish (I pre-cook it, but not sure you need to if you just boil it with the rest of the ingredients.)
4. I’m a big fan of sea salt, seasoned salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper!
5. I also really like a little ZING in my soup. If you do too, try fresh jalapeno peppers, chili seasoning in a tube (in the produce section), and fresh pico de gallo!
So here’s the shopping list…
Vegetable or chicken broth
Veggie selection for broth
- Fresh herbs
- Vegetable selection
- Diced tomatoes (canned)
- Green beans
- Peppers… green, red, yellow, jalapeño, etc.
Great northern beans (white), navy beans, butter beans
Chicken or fish
Pico de gallo
Chili sauce (in a tube—produce section)
Start by putting the broth and broth- augmenting concoction in a big pot, then start chopping and dicing!
I don’t think there is any way to make this soup in small quantities so I recommend freezing.
Happy souping! Let us know how it goes.