One of my major nutrition “resolutions” for the new year is to eat more vegetables.
It might surprise you that as an ancestral/Paleo dietitian, I often struggle to eat the quantity and variety of vegetables that I know I should. News flash – I’m human, just like you! 🙂
[Tweet “Struggling to get enough vegetables in your #Paleo diet? With this #recipe, now you can drink them!”]
Even though I love the taste of vegetables, especially when using a gourmet recipe, and have no problem grabbing armfuls of them at the farmers market, the breakdown for me is the actual cooking process on a daily basis. Starting my business this year, plus getting a new puppy, has taken a toll on my healthy lifestyle habits, and one of those is the time I spend cooking. I’m sure many of you can relate – eating a real foods diet can take a lot more time than popping a TV dinner into the microwave!
Less time to cook means more meals scrounging for leftovers, and I don’t always have a ready-to-eat veggie side dish on hand. So there have been many days in the last few months where my nonstarchy veggie intake was inadequate. A habit like that isn’t good for promoting long term health, so I’m on a mission to bump up my green vegetable intake this year.
Since I’ll be recommitting to eating more nutrient dense “superfoods” this year, I need to find ways to sneak more vegetables into my diet. And what better way to do that than with a delicious mug of veggie soup?
As you can see in the above Instagram snap, this particular version of green soup was incredibly easy to make. And the great thing about this recipe is that there are hundreds of different combinations of flavors that you can put together just by changing the vegetables you use, using different types of bone broth (e.g. beef vs. chicken), or experimenting with different herbs and spices.
Here are my super easy instructions on how to make your own D.I.Y green soup:
- Choose one or more vegetables. I used kale in the photo above, but you can use any veggie or combination of veggies you’d like: spinach, asparagus, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, collards… I even used bok choy for a soup one time! Chop your veggies roughly to shorten the cooking time.
- Put the chopped veggies into a medium sized pot. Fill the pot with enough bone broth that the vegetables are mostly or completely covered. I recommend using homemade bone broth but you can also use store bought – I like this brand.
- Turn heat to medium-high until broth is at a low boil.
- Throw in any spices you like. For the above soup, I literally used all-purpose seasoning and a few shaves of fresh whole nutmeg, plus sea salt and fresh pepper. But for other soups I’ve made in the past, I’ve used fresh or powdered garlic, ground ginger, curry powder, Chinese five spice, cumin, cayenne pepper, rosemary, and/or thyme (but please don’t combine all those together!) Don’t be afraid to be creative.
- After stirring the spices in, turn the burner to low heat and let the veggies simmer until they’re fully cooked. You want them to be bright green and soft, but not brown and mushy. It’s better to slightly undercook them than overcook them.
- Once the veggies are cooked, turn the heat off and allow them to cool slightly. You don’t want to be throwing boiling hot soup into a blender.
- Optional step (but recommended): Add a few dashes of grass-fed cream or coconut milk into the pot and stir to incorporate. The reason I recommend this is not only because it gives the soup a great creamy flavor, but the added fat will help you better absorb the nutrients from the vegetables. Win-win!
- Now it’s time to blend. I personally use a Blendtec blender when I’m making my soups, and simply punch the “Soup” setting on the base. (Yes – there’s a “soup” setting!) But I know other people who really like to use a stick blender to make blended soups. Side note: I too had a stick blender once, but it broke somehow… so now I just use my Blendtec for everything. Whatever blending method you use, blend the soup mixture long enough so that all the vegetables are completely pureed. There should be no chunks of vegetables left, and the soup should be completely liquid.
- If your soup got too cold while you were blending it, simply pour it back into the pot and pop it back on the stove for a few minutes to warm it up.
- Now it’s time to enjoy! Pour your soup into a mug or bowl and you’re good to go.
Even though that took 10 steps to explain, I promise it’s one of the easiest ways in the world to eat a ton of vegetables. Drinking your veggies is far easier than chewing through a pile of them, and I personally believe you’re more likely to extract the most nutrients out of them if the chewing process has been done by a blender!
This is especially helpful for people who can’t tolerate raw or cooked nonstarchy vegetables due to digestive concerns. I have a lot of clients in this boat, and rather than forgoing the veggies entirely, I always encourage them to give blended vegetables a shot. I’ve never seen anyone not tolerate them, so if you’re one of those people who has GI distress after eating too many vegetables, try this soup instead.
Do you make vegetable soups? Got a favorite recipe? Share it in the comments below!
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