An Easy Step to Healthier Eating — Using a Soup Base
It’s the new year. With that comes plans and promises (dare I say resolutions) about how we want to live in the coming year.
After a holiday season that was full of treats, it is time to renew our pledges to ourselves to live healthfully.
Let’s start out easy on ourselves!
Let’s start by making a soup base we can use in a wide range of meals.
How does that figure into healthy eating?
In countless ways, actually.
If we make a very basic soup, and then blend it up, we can use that soup base as the cooking liquid for a variety of dishes:
We can use that soup base as the start of any of a number of soups and stews. We can use it revitalize leftovers.
Why is a blended soup base better than using water or broth?
When we use the whole vegetable in the soup base, we are keeping the fiber and nutrients that we would lose by discarding the vegetables. By keeping a lid on the pot while it simmers, we’re not losing too much good stuff through the steam.
I have used this soup base in place of water when making Middle Eastern Lentils and Rice from my book Welcoming Kitchen.
I have used it to reinvigorate leftover pasta and then turn that into a mac and cheese with Daiya and broccoli.
It’s also frugal, which might tie into your promises (ahem, resolutions) for the new year, too.
You can use whichever vegetables you have on hand that might otherwise go bad. I stay away from starchy vegetables like potatoes; they will make the base too creamy to work well. Go ahead and make a big pot, either on the stove or in the slow cooker, and freeze up some to use later. It will help you add another layer of healthfulness to whatever you end up cooking next month when your larder seems bare!
Makes as much as you like, depending on how big your pot is and how many vegetables you use.
A variety of vegetables (I used carrots, onions, garlic and kale.)
Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and roughly chop all vegetables.
- Put vegetables in a stock pot and cover with about the same amount of water. (If your vegetables take up 3 inches in height, add another 3 inches, at least, of water.)
- Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.
- Simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
- Blend thoroughly.
Kim Lutz is the author of Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes. Kim is the co-author with Megan Hart, MS, RD, LD, of The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book and The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism and the gluten-free, allergen-free, vegan website, welcomingkitchen.com.