Soups are one of the staples in my diet regime and I always advise my clients to eat one for lunch, accompanied by a big salad. The soup I’m referring to though has some very specific ingredients and preparation technique in order to make it healthier.
We all know that cooking above 45 celsius destroys 80% of the vitamin and mineral content and 100% of all enzymes present in the vegetables. So, how is a soup healthy? When you boil vegetables in water, their mineral and vitamin content actually stays in the water, that’s why it is important to never through that water away. The heating however destroys all the enzymes and there is nothing we can do about it, except… to follow my instructions listed below.
First of all, soup doesn’t have to be cooked and even if it is, like in the colder months we all need something warm, my technique leaves most of the ingredients raw. I actually simmer / poach* only the vegetables that need to soften a little, then remove the pot from the heat and add the rest. Option number 2 is to use hot water and cover the ingredients with it. That way, you have a warm soup, without boiling the vegetables and it is ready in less then 10 minutes!
Secondly, I always use 2 very simple vegetables for thickening and they do their magic every single time. I add raw zucchinis and avocados. I know, I know, avocados are a fruit in their botanical origin, but let’s pretend here that they aren’t. Besides, adding avocado removes the need of any other kind of oil in the soup.
Thirdly, I never ever add any kind of flour, noodles, pre-packed broths, meat, animal milk, rice or even potatoes. Occasionally, and only if you insist, you can add a little bit of cheese.
That’s it. Simple, isn’t it?
Now, let’s see how this healthy soup looks like in practice.
Base vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, pepper, onion, peas, spinach, etc.
Liquid – alkaline water or organic soya milk.
Thickening vegetables – zucchini & avocado.
Salt, pepper, fresh or dry herbs – according to your taste.
1. Add one or several of the base vegetables in a pot and cover with water.
2. Bring to a simmer* and remove from the heat when the vegetables soften.
3. Add the thickening vegetables, salt and herbs and blend everything together.
4. Serve right away, if you want to eat it warm.
My most favorite soups are:
Broccoli – soya milk – zucchini – avocado – salt & pepper – wild garlic.
Cauliflower, carrot, onion – water – zucchini – avocado – salt & herbs.
Red peppers, onion – water – zucchini – avocado – salt & pepper – cheese.
On the photo above – raw tomato soup with spices.
* Simmering means heating the water to 82°C (180°F)
* Poaching means cooking at 71–82°C (160–180°F)
Both ways preserve the flavor of the food, without destroying all their nutrients. The important thing is to never let your mixture boil and leave as many vegetables raw as you can (meaning adding them after the pot is removed from the heat).
P.S. Oh, and have you heard that the end of the world is postponed for march 2013? Now we all can relax and enjoy the holidays :))