Winter Vegetable Soup

Last Updated on Monday, 31 January 2011 10:26 Written by Flax Monday, 31 January 2011 09:58

Seasonal eating is something that comes to us naturally.  In the spring and summer we want lightly cooked or raw foods while in the winter, we search for something heavier and warming.   Foods that cook for a long time absorb the heat of the cooking time and thus are more warming than lightly cooked foods.

The most common question that I get is “doesn’t long cooking kill all the nutrients?”  The answer to that question is twofold.  First of all, when food is raw or lightly cooked, it does have more nutrients.  On the other hand, it is harder to digest raw or lightly cooked foods.  This means that we aren’t getting any more nutrients from raw foods than from well cooked foods which have less nutritious value but whose nutrients are more easily digested. 

Second of all, I teach seasonal cooking.  This means that we are trying to be in balance with nature and in harmony with the seasons.  When it is cold out we should eat foods that warm us up.  Eating the foods that are in tune with the seasons helps to keep us healthy.  Warm foods warm us, cold foods cool us off.  Eating raw vegetables on a cold winter day is like going outside without a coat and wondering why it is that you are cold.  Foods that cook for long periods are the most warming of foods as they absorb the heat of the cooking fire.  This fuels our internal fire and allows us to produce our own body heat which is what really warms us and helps us to best deal with cold weather. 

While I am providing you with an idea for a soup, please feel free to change the recipe based on whatever vegetables are in the market.  Keep in mind however the well-balanced diet.  That means, a variety of orange, white, and green vegetables.  When you use all three colors, you know that you are getting all of the five flavors as well as the nutrients that your body needs.  A nice bonus is that people will think that your food tastes great-this is because you are truly satisfying their nutritional needs and their own bodies are saying thank you. 

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 cm ginger, grated
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 celeriac, peeled and chopped
  • 2 broccoli stalk, peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 4  carrots
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 bunch coriander
  • 1/2 bunch dill (optional)
  • 3 liters water
  • 1/4 cup amaranth or lentils
  • Atlantic grey sea salt
  • pepper 

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onions, garlic, ginger and leek and saute for 5 minutes on a low flame.  Add the carrot and zucchini and saute for 5 more minutes.  Add the water and bring to a boil.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 1-3 hours. 

Puree and serve hot.

Enjoy!

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Macro-biotic Vichycoise

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 October 2010 01:18 Written by Flax Sunday, 25 July 2010 12:58

My French husband is always happy when I make his native food. It can be a little bit challenging make a french dish without butter or cream but we try. In this recipe I substitute the butter with olive oil, the cream with soy milk (ok, it’s not exactly the same thing) and here’s another trick that I use. When a soup calls for a potato, which is basically intended to add body to the soup, amaranth or millet work just as well.

Are you asking, “Why do you need to substitute? What’s wrong with the potato?”

Well, there’s nothing wrong with the potato. However, first of all, potatoes are grown underground and they therefore absorb high levels of insecticide and pesticides, so if you do use them, try to use only organic potatoes. Secondly, potatoes are a nightshade vegetable. That means that anyone with a skin condition, asthma, arthritis or rheumatism should not be eating any potatoes. Thirdly, potatoes are one of the most consumed foods, that means when you have an alternative to potatoes you should use it.

Amaranth is one of the healthiest foods in the world. It is definitely on the top ten if not the top three foods on my list. It is a whole grain and supplies you with all your nutrients.

Ingredients:

6 leeks, well washed to remove the sand and dirt and sliced into 1 inch rounds
1/2 cup amaranth
2 liters water
2 cups soy milk
olive oil
salt, pepper

Sautee the leeks in the olive oil until they are soft. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes. Puree.

Traditionally, vichycoise is served cold. In our house we eat it both hot and cold. To serve it cold, chill in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving.

Garnish with croutons or chives.

Enjoy!

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Cauliflower Quinoa Soup

Last Updated on Tuesday, 6 July 2010 10:28 Written by Flax Tuesday, 6 July 2010 10:10

This spices in this soup turn it a golden color and add a little bit of a kick to the cauliflower. The result is a soup that has a bit of an Indian flavor.

The quinoa in the soup is used as a thickener and is a healthier alternative to the more commonly used potato.

Ingredients:

olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger root, grated
2 liters water
1 medium sized cauliflower, outer leaves removed and chopped into medium sized pieces.
5 carrots, chopped
1 tbspn cashews
1/4 cup quinoa (can be replaced with amaranth if desired

1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
salt
pepper

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and fry on a medium flame for one minute, add the garlic, ginger and spices and fry for one minute more, being careful that it doesn’t burn.

Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

Puree and serve hot.

Serves 6-8

Enjoy!

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