“Vegilicious” Soup

SOUP is the ultimate winter comfort food. Curling up with a bowl of hot soup and a slice of hot bread is like heaven on a cold day.  And it’s nutritious too!

When I make soup, I love to start with a base of veggie broth and then throw in whatever vegetables are in my refrigerator. It’s fun and you can discover some incredible flavor combinations you’ve never experienced before by making it this way.

Soup’s History: It’s hard to say exactly how soup came to be because it’s been around for so long, but I suspect it was most likely for economic reasons. When food was scarce, you could certainly stretch it a lot further by making a broth and then adding pieces of chopped up food vs. having an entire meal to yourself. Plus, it was more filling to eat it this way too.

I think this kind of sums up the value of it:

In one form or another, soup has been around since 20,000 B.C. and it’s easy to see why. A handful of ingredients on their own will only feed a handful of people, but if you were to cook them with herbs and spices in water, soup can feed a whole community. https://www.gloriousfoods.co.uk/inspiration/a-brief-history-of-soup

“Nutritalicous” Veggie Soup: The recipe below has all of the ingredients you need to make a healthy, nutritious meal.  It has vegetables, protein (beans) and grains (pasta).  You can even sub out whole grain pasta for the gluten-free kind.

And here’s what I love about it!

  • It’s naturally low in calories, fat and saturated fat.
  • It’s an excellent source of fiber!
  • It’s high in protein.
  • It’s also an excellent source of iron and potassium. Two nutrients that Americans can’t ever seem to get enough of.

Most of the protein in this recipe comes from the beans. If you’ve ever heard me speak, chances are I’ve talked about how beans are the most “perfect” food.  They are naturally low in calories, fat and saturated fat and extremely high in fiber! For example, the white beans in this recipe can have up to 19 grams of fiber in a cup and the kidney beans – 16 grams.  Even if you only ate ¼ cup of each of these types of beans in your meal, you would still consume around 9 grams of fiber – still an excellent source!  Beans are also a great source of protein, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate and B6. And not to mention all of the phytonutrients or antioxidants they contain. Very healthy stuff!

This recipe not only has a savory flavor, but also has an added sweetness from the tomatoes that sneaks up on you at the end. I even added an ugly carrot to enhance the sweetness.

Vegetable Soup

Paula’s “Vegilicious” Soup

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4-5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 zucchini – diced
  • 1 cup frozen Italian green beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) cannelloni (white kidney beans) – drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) red kidney beans – drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 4 ounces cooked pasta – small shells (about 1 cup)
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper

Instructions

  • Heat oil in large sauce pan over med heat. Add onion and cook stirring occasional for 5 mins. Add garlic and cook 1 min.
  • Stir in broth, zucchini, corn, green beans and seasonings. Bring to boil and reduce to low, cover and simmer 10 mins until veggies are tender.
  • Stir in tomatoes with juice and drained beans. Simmer for 30 mins.
  • Add pasta to bowl and add soup on top with basil and seasonings and serve. I enjoyed this with a slice of avocado toast.  Ummm, ummm good!

A special thank you to Paula Schmelter Koszarek @wagthedogmedia for sharing this incredibly delicious vegetable soup recipe with us.

***If you have a recipe you would like to share with our teachers and students, please send it our way and if we can, we will highlight it, along with its nutritional value on one of our blog posts.

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HEALTHY Halloween – Veggie Skeleton

Are your student’s diets ghoulish?
Have them make a “scary as they want” skeleton using fresh fruits and/or veggies.
Add a healthy ranch dressing dip with:
 Ingredients:
• 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt
• 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
• 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
• ½ teaspoon onion powder
• ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
• Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until well-blended. Serve with veggies from the skeleton.
This revamped ranch dressing vs. a traditional bottled ranch dressing has:
  • Less calories: 70% less calories in 2 tablespoons in this recipe
  • Less fat: 8 grams  in this one vs. 14 grams of fat in the bottled ones
  • Less saturated fat: .6 grams in this recipe vs. 2.5 grams in the bottled one
  • Less salt: 70% less salt in this one