Up here on the mountain, the month of May is the most undecided month yet. It toggles between spring, winter, and summer. Sometimes all in one day. For example, this past week had varying temperatures of 57° to 85°. Since the kids are home-schooled and my husband works from home, lunch is prepared with that in mind. On warmer days we may have a substantial salad. For cooler days, and sometimes even in summer, we enjoy soup. This soup is a veggie soup, a sort of “whatever is in the fridge” type of soup. So it varies every time.
Why soup? Not only is it super easy to make, it’s incredibly nutritious. Even more so than a salad. Cooked vegetables are more easily digested as compared to chopped up raw greens. Keep in mind that a balance of raw and cooked foods is optimal. However, when it comes to absorption and digestibility, cooked veggies often rate higher than their raw counterparts. There have also been studies done on the benefits of consuming soups. One of these benefits relates to portion control, as we often will consume a soup at a slower pace than other types of foods. Eating slower allows for better digestion and less chance of over-eating as it takes roughly 20 minutes for our stomach to let us know we are full. Also, unless you chew your food VERY well, blend it or chop it up super tiny, your body is only absorbing a fraction of the nutrients. I am sure most of us have experienced this…..the digestive “results” from a hastily eaten salad. It is pretty obvious that not everything that was consumed was properly utilized if it appears to still be whole. Salads are a fantastic way to add veggies to your diet, but should not be the only way. Include some nutrient-dense soups as well.
There are many ways to make nourishing whole food soups. They can be made on the stove, in a crock pot or even a pressure cooker. The latter is my preferred method. Pressure cookers are not only faster, they preserve nutrients better than the other methods due to steam under pressure. Foods are cooked at a faster rate, but not higher heat, thus preserving more of the nutrients.
Recently, I made a soup that included the following veggies: kale, spinach, Swiss chard, onion, carrot, potatoes, cilantro, seasonings, and ghee. To begin, I set my Instant Pot on sauté and cooked the onions in some ghee. Then I added the veggies, some salt, pepper, and spices. I added water just to the level of the vegetables. Adding more water will make a more watery soup. We prefer a thicker type of soup. I then set the Instant Pot to cook for 20 minutes and released the pressure when finished. Allow the soup to cool a few minutes. It is now ready to eat as is or blend for a smooth cream-style soup. In the past, I have used my Vitamix to blend the soup, most of the time I use a hand blender. Add a protein option of your choice, as a side dish, and now you have a nutritious and satisfying meal.
If you are considering to purchase a pressure cooker, visit my Amazon store to see the one I personally use and recommend.
A healthy planet begins with you!