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Why Soup is Great + 4 Yummy Recipes

Updated: Sep 13, 2022


With cold weather approaching and the Holidays around every corner, I find myself breaking out the largest pots in my kitchen to make one of my favorite foods: SOUP.

I genuinely don’t think you can eat too much soup, and honestly, many of us could be enjoying it even more often! Soup and stews keep you and your family warm and toasty when the temperature starts falling, but they also have a myriad of other benefits.


Here are just a few reasons to eat more soup:


CONVENIENCE AND MONEY

Soup and stew are effortless to make and don’t take a lot of time! Also, if you have leftovers in your fridge or vegetables that are slowly browning, you can throw those in for a fresh meal—no more throwing away old food when you get extra uses out of them! Or, you can use frozen veggies without sacrificing the value, texture, or taste.

And if you’re not sold yet, this also can save you money and take some much-needed stress off your wallet. Many ingredients in a soup can be bought in batches or may already be found in your house (either as staples or leftovers), so you won’t need to shell out a ton of cash to cook these soups.


HEALTH

As long as you avoid cream-based soups filled with fat, calories, and sodium, then you’ll find soup is incredibly good for you! Most soup recipes are loaded with valuable nutrients and can even help you meet your daily vegetable goal. With the right recipe, such as vegetable-based or broth-based soups, one meal may provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fibers without overwhelming your body with calories or fat.


MEAL PREP

Because most soups are inexpensive and easy to prepare, they make an excellent choice for meal prepping. They do well in the freezer and still taste fantastic when thawed. This can also be said for stews! So, if you have a busy week ahead, make a massive batch of your favorite soup or stew, stick it in the freezer, and save future you a lot of time and hassle.


HYDRATION

Staying hydrated is especially important in the winter and colder months, as our skin tends to dry out faster. Plus, many people will drink less water when it’s cold out because they don’t sweat or feel naturally as thirsty. However, your body still needs plenty of fluid, and thankfully, soups can help you get it. Since they’re primarily liquid and often include ingredients high in water (such as broth or celery), soup and stews are a great way to stay hydrated and full.


IMMUNE SYSTEM

Last but not least, soup can give your immune system a much-needed boost. Because of the nutrients I mentioned, most soups are great at fighting common illnesses such as the cold or flu. There’s a reason people give their sick loved ones chicken soup! It’s loaded with powerful antioxidants that help boost the immune system, such as garlic, carrots, spinach, and turmeric. And as a bonus, hot soups can help soothe sore throats.


Try one of these yummy soup recipes!


Turkey + Sausage + Spinach + White Bean Soup

Makes 6 servings




Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs. ground turkey or chicken (sometimes I use 1 pound ground turkey PLUS a 1/2 pound of Italian

OR Spicy sausage for more FLAVOR)

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large red or yellow onion, diced

1 tsp fennel seeds

4 fresh garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

1 bay leaf

1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped or baby carrots

4 ribs fresh celery, sliced

2 (15 oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed

6 cups chicken bone broth

2-3 cups fresh baby spinach, or baby kale

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste about 1/4 teaspoon each

Garnish ideas:

a handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped

fresh grated Parmesan cheese

red pepper flakes


Instructions:

In a large skillet, heat your oil then cook the ground meat with the diced onions, and fennel seeds, until nicely browned, breaking up the pieces with a wooden spoon; 5-6 minutes.

Add in the minced garlic for the last minute, and sauté garlic with the meat until flavors combine and garlic is golden. Sea salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat, then place all the ingredients (except spinach/kale) into your 6-qt slow cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-4 hours. I really think cooking on LOW for a longer time makes for a more flavorful soup.

To serve: Just before serving while the soup is still hot, add the spinach/kale and stir until nicely wilted. Remove bay leaf.

This soup stays great refrigerated for up to 5 days (tastes even better the next day!) And also freezes very well for up to 3 months.


Nourishing Minestrone Soup


This soup is GREAT because it uses up lots of zucchini and squash that are plentiful right now, along with many of our pantry staples!

Feel free to add or remove anything you want! Use your favorite veggies, and whatever needs to be used up in your kitchen! That’s the reason soup is SO GREAT!

This soup freezes well, and can last up to 3 months in your freezer. Just portion it into smaller containers, then freeze.


Makes about 8 servings





Ingredients:

2 Tbsps. olive oil, or avocado oil

1 large yellow onion

3-4 cloves fresh garlic

2 carrots

3 celery ribs

3 bell peppers, various colors

1 medium zucchini

1 medium yellow squash

2 (14 ounce) jars diced tomatoes

1 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 (14 ounce) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup fresh or frozen organic green peas

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon each

6 cups vegetable, or chicken broth

A handful of fresh curly parsley, chopped to finish


Optional:

shredded parmesan cheese, to sprinkle


Instructions


Chop your onion and mince the garlic.

Peel the carrots and dice along with the celery, bell pepper, zucchini and squash.

Heat oil in a stockpot or Dutch oven, over medium-high heat.

Add onion and garlic; sauté for 3 minutes.

Add carrots, celery, bell pepper, zucchini and squash. Cook until slightly golden.

Stir in the diced tomatoes.

Add all herbs and spices.

Pour in the broth and stir well.

Cover and cook on low for about 30 minutes.

Once the vegetables are tender add in the beans and peas.

Continue to simmer, about 10-15 minutes more.

Taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Ladle into serving bowls.

Garnish with fresh parsley.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.



Pesto Chicken Zoodle Soup

Makes about 6 servings



Ingredients:

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

6 cups chicken bone broth

1/2 cup fresh pesto

4 medium crisp zucchini, skin on

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes

1 fresh lemon, juiced

2 Tbsps. freshly chopped parsley

2 Tbsps. freshly chopped basil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste about 1/4 teaspoon each


Optional: additional fresh pesto for serving


Crockpot Instructions:

In a large crockpot or slow cooker, add in your chicken and the broth. Turn heat to LOW, for about 6-7 hours, or until chicken is cooked through, and very tender.

Make sure you skim off the white foam that floats to the top, a few times while cooking.

Meanwhile, using a vegetable spiralizer, shred your zucchini into “noodles”.

Once your chicken is cooked, remove from the pot, and using 2 forks shred it into nice bite sized pieces.

Return the shredded chicken to your crockpot together with pesto sauce, zucchini noodles and cherry tomatoes.

Stir and allow everything to heat through for just about 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Stir in fresh lemon juice, fresh herbs, and taste test, then season with sea salt and pepper to your preference.



Healing Turmeric Chicken Soup

TURMERIC has been shown to dramatically increase the antioxidant capacity inside our bodies. Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the culprits behind early aging and many diseases. Turmeric also contains natural anti-inflammatory compounds!

GINGER has incredible infection-fighting abilities and can help clear congestion.

Ginger isn’t just a great spice to turn to when you’re already sick, it can actually help to keep you from getting sick in the first place! It’s gingerol compounds lower our risks of multiple infections.

MUSHROOMS have cancer-fighting properties. Mushrooms are immunity-boosters, they can help lower cholesterol, they’re high in B and D vitamins, and can help relieve inflammation. To take advantage of all the available health benefits of mushrooms, you really should cook your mushrooms.

GARLIC supplements are known to boost the function of the immune system. Garlic is very nutritious but has very few calories. Garlic is said to help reduce symptoms and severity of the common cold and flu, among many other health issues.


Makes 4 servings


Ingredients:

2 Tbsps. olive oil, avocado oil, unrefined coconut oil, or ghee

2 shallots

5 cloves fresh garlic

1-1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs

8 oz. mushrooms (I used brown beech)

5 large carrots, peeled

5 celery ribs

1 cup uncooked brown rice

6 cups chicken or turkey bone broth

2 cups water

2 Tbsps. freshly grated ginger

2-3 tsps. turmeric powder

cayenne pepper, freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste, about 1/4 teaspoon each

2-3 Tbsps. freshly squeezed lemon juice

zest of 1/2 lemon

2 Tbsps. freshly chopped parsley, to garnish


Instructions:


Cut your chicken in half to cook faster.

Dice your carrots, celery, and shallots.

Mince or grate the garlic and ginger.

Heat oil in a large stockpot, over medium-high heat.

Add in the shallots and garlic; sauté for 3-4 minutes until softened.

Stir in mushrooms, carrots and celery, then continue to cook for another 5 minutes until veggies are tender-crisp.

Stir in chicken, rice, broth, water, ginger and turmeric powder. Season with some cayenne pepper, black pepper and sea salt to your taste. I added a teeny pinch of each.

Cover and allow to simmer on low for about 25-40 minutes or until chicken and rice is cooked and tender.

Remove chicken pieces onto a plate and using 2 forks, shred it just a bit.

Return shredded chicken back into your pot, along with the fresh lemon juice and zest; stir well.

Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.

Garnish the soup with chopped parsley and serve it piping hot.



 







jaimepalinchak@gmail.com


 



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