Go Green Veggie Soup

Go Green SoupA

Although it’s officially spring, here in Alabama, we’re still experiencing on and off chilly weather. One day the heater in the house is on, then the next day, it’s off. And if it’s not cold or hot, it’s raining cats and dogs. While we’re experiencing the almost daily changes with the weather, one thing that doesn’t have to change is the season to make changes to your eating habits.

During the winter months, you eat heavier and warming foods like roots and tubers (i.e. sweet potatoes, white potatoes, winter squashes), and warm and comforting soups. You’re eating heavier and may be feeling and looking heavier as well. I know that is how I have been feeling this winter. So, to shed some of this winter weight, I’m eating more plant-powered foods that are in season.

For many years, I would not eat soup outside of cold or chilly days. I lived in Miami, FL for many years and didn’t seem to make sense to eat hot soup when it was hot outside. But over the past few years, I’ve learned to create soups that can be eaten any time of year. So for the beginning of spring, I made this green vegetable soup. It uses vegetables that are healthy and cleansing for the body. And, it’s light! Just what this Florida girl needs.

Only one-quarter of American adults eat three servings of vegetables a day. To eat them regularly is denying your body of the wonderful benefits you get from eating them. Vegetables are loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals like fiber, magnesium, vitamin A, B, C, and K, protein, manganese and iron. Studies have shown that a higher vegetable intake lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. You also reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and digestive disorders like IBS and colitis.
You can get creative with adding other healthy foods like brown rice, Bok Choy or sliced avocado. Keep me posted on how you made the soup and any changes you made.

Go Green Vegetable Soup

Serves 4
1 large leek, rinsed well and sliced
2 celery stalks, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup frozen green peas thawed
1/2 bunch kale, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, cut into chunks
2 zucchini, cut into small chunks
1 Tbs. lemon zest
4 cups vegetable stock, low sodium

Sauté the leek and celery in a large saucepan over a low heat for 2 minutes until soft. Add the stock, zucchini, green pepper and kale. Let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the peas. Simmer for another 3 minutes. Ladle soup in serving bowls. Add zest before serving.

Note: For additional protein, add tofu chunks with the peas.

Foods with Benefits (FWB)

• high in fiber (helps control blood sugar levels, aids in achieving healthy weight)
• rich in magnesium (helps build bones, reduces high blood pressure, alleviates headaches)
• iron (helps produce hemoglobin and red blood cells, transports oxygen throughout the body

• Low in fat, high in protein, fiber and micronutrients
• Assists in weight management
• Improves bowel health and peristalsis