I consider myself to generally be a healthy eater. But that’s because my fiance makes it easy for me. He likes to cook, I don’t. So when I have to make it on my own at home, I often can it when it comes to soup. I have a motto when it comes to recipes: KISS. Keep it Short and Simple. That’s why I turned to our own Healing Recipes in my quest to avoid prepackaged foods! It’s really not as hard as you might think.
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite wintertime meals is a hearty soup (sans all of the sodium that canned soups contain, which causes hypertension and fluid retention).
The appeal of the Garden Vegetable soup with Pistou is that it is chock full of goodies. AND it was the most interesting twist on vegetable soup I’ve seen. Don’t get me wrong, I like a creamy pureed soup. But when it comes to this classic soup, I want it chunky and hearty. I learned that pistou is a cold sauce made from cloves of garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil, but this pistou is served warm and can be done just as well without adding any olive oil. First, we diced the carrots, celery, zucchini, green beans, leeks (be generous with these because they are so great for your digestive system) etc. This is the easiest, but most tedious part. If you chop everything beforehand versus as you go along you could make this recipe from prep through serve in about 30 minutes!
The recipe calls for fresh great northern beans, but if you don’t have a whole day to let them soak, canned ones will suffice. Just rinse them and they will taste great!
Once you’ve begun simmering the beans in the chicken stock (substitute for vegetable stock if you want — we used a combination of both), add the vegetables with the bay leaves and wait for the natural aromas of the vegetables (as opposed to the chicken stock) to emanate as they soften.
Once you have blended your Parmesan (the most fabulous component of this recipe) with the basil and spices with hot stock, you’ll get a soupy, dressing type of consistency that smells like Italian heaven. Pour it into your simmering soup on the stove and mix together.
After a few minutes, you’ll smell the blending of spices with the chicken stock. Add the diced tomatos and then serve with a whole grain bread. The Parmesan taste is so subtle in the soup, which despite its subtleness is pretty rich and earthy. My soup turned out more green-colored than the picture shown. I suspect that is because we added more spices that it called for. Here you have a meal for under 150 calories per serving! This healthy meal for 4-6 cost under $20 to top it off. With just the good stuff.
Stay tuned on Thursday as we try a new garlic tahini dressing!