Fall weather ushers in soup season. Soup can be a healthy meal if it is done right, and making a large batch on the weekend will ensure that you have enough to last you all week. Use a slow cooker so that you don’t have to worry about the pot boiling over.
Most store-bought soups and soup broths are high in sodium. Avoid this by making your own broth at home or by choosing low-sodium broths from the grocery store.
Some health food stores carry Harvest Sun organic low-sodium vegan vegetable bouillon cubes, which are another healthy alternative to regular broth.
Cream and cheese abound in soups found in most restaurants. This increases the calorie and fat content astronomically.
Choose broth-based soups at restaurants and ask what ingredients are used to make it. Large quantities of oil will also contribute to a high calorie and fat content in your meal, even if the soup appears to be broth-based. Appearances can be deceiving!
Trade heavy, fat-laden cream-based soup recipes for this deliciously spicy broth-based homemade soup loaded with vegetables.
You can put as many different kinds of vegetables as you like into it. Play with the seasonings to suit your tastes. Using a generous amount and wide variety of herbs and spices means that there is no need for any salt to be added for flavour.
This soup tastes wonderful with a crusty multigrain bun dipped in it. Be sure to keep leftovers in the freezer – you will want to have the soup on hand in case you get the sniffles from the colder temperatures outdoors in the coming weeks.
Homemade Vegetable-Bean Soup
• 1 bunch leeks OR 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
• 1/3 – 1/2 small head of cabbage, chopped
• Corn chopped from 1 cob
• 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
• 1 can mixed beans, drained and rinsed to reduce the sodium content
• 1 small potato, chopped (keep the peel on for added nutrients)
• 3 cloves minced garlic
• A generous shake each crushed red pepper flakes, ground black pepper, oregano, basil, cumin, and thyme (to taste)
• About 4 cups vegetable broth, or enough to reach the top of the slow-cooker
Stir all ingredients together, plug in the crockpot and turn the heat to low.
Let it simmer for about six hours. Enjoy!
You can throw just about any kind of vegetable that you have in your kitchen into this soup. Using chicken or beef broth would also work well. Feel free to add cooked ground bison to the soup for a heartier meal.
There is enough bulk and volume in the soup that it fills you up; the beans add a good amount of protein.
This vegetable-bean soup is a low-calorie, nutritious meal that just takes a little bit of chopping on your part.
Sagan Morrow is a freelance writer and editor with her own health and wellness blog. Check it out at www.livingintherealworld.net/healthy.
Published in Volume 65, Number 4 of The Uniter (September 23, 2010)