I was looking to create a low glycemic, gluten free, cream of vegetable soup recipe loaded with nutritious vegetables, but free of any processed ingredients and animal proteins. Well, this one came out so healthy and so tasty that it was an instant hit even with my 5 years old!
Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and kale are nutrient dense cruciferous vegetables of the Brassica Oleracea family and a MUST in a healthy diet! Besides a high content in vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, and soluble fiber, these vegetables contain isothiocyanates which have cancer-preventive and anti-carcinogenic properties. Over the years, numerous studies have shown that high intake of cruciferous vegetables have been associated with increased protection against breast cancer, bladder cancer, prostate cancer. When cruciferous vegetables are consumed raw by people suffering from thyroid gland issues, they are goitrogenic. Goitrogens are naturally-occurring enzymes that interfere with the function of the thyroid gland, and can be significantly reduced by cooking the foods that contain them.
Fresh avocado is another superstar in this recipe… Avocados are very high in potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins and due to their beneficial raw fat content, they protect the body against cardiovascular disease, weight gain, diabetes, cancer of the mouth, breast, and prostate and help to more efficiently absorb fat-soluble nutrients. Recent research has shown that when adding one cup of fresh avocado or avocado oil to a meal that contains lycopene and beta-carotene rich foods (like bell peppers and carrots for example), increases the absorption of these nutrients between 200-400 percent.
Last, but not least, cayenne pepper and cilantro are well-known digestive aids that stimulate the nutrient assimilation and elimination by increasing enzyme and gastric juices production, promoting a smooth detoxification response in your body. They have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, help prevent cardiovascular damage and diabetes by having a blood-sugar lowering effect.
In order to enjoy the most benefits of the myriad of herbs and vegetables used to prepare this soup, some of the more fibrous ingredients are slowly cooked, while some are used raw. And the best part about it is that it has so much going on, that you still can’t go wrong if you need to tweak some of the ingredients based on what you have available in the fridge. Plus it can easily make a satisfying meal on its own!
- 1 small organic green cabbage, diced in large chunks
- 1 small organic cauliflower, separated into florets
- 1 bunch organic broccoli, separated into florets
- 1 bundle organic kale (including stems), cut large pieces
- 1 large organic bell peppers, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 small organic green zucchini, cut into ½” pieces
- 1 small organic yellow zucchini, cut into ½” pieces
- 5 organic celery stalks, cut into ½” pieces
- 1 large organic onion, cut into 1″ pieces
- 4 cloves organic garlic, whole
- 1 bundle fresh organic cilantro, chopped (save a few whole leaves to garnish)
- 1 tsp dry organic oregano
- ½ tsp organic cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp organic ground black pepper
- Celtic salt, to taste
- 1-2 organic avocados, cut chunks
- 1-2 organic carrot, finely shredded
- a few leaves of organic fresh cilantro
- Wash and cut all the veggies.
- Place everything, except for the fresh cilantro, oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, in a large cast iron or stainless steel stock pot (aprox. 6 to 7 qt).
- Add enough water so the top of the vegetables is 2” above the water level.
- Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and set on medium low until the veggies become soft. This might take about 3-4 hours or so, but in order to preserve as many nutrients as possible it is very important to cook this slow.
- When done, remove from the stove and blend slowly until very smooth using an immersion blender.
- Add the fresh cilantro, dry oregano, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Blend for couple more minutes until well incorporated while adjusting the salt to your own taste.
- When ready to serve, set in soup bowl and garnish with avocado chunks, shredded carrot and a few leaves of fresh cilantro.
This soup will keep well for days in the refrigerator. Serves approx. 8 to 10.