When January arrives, I think most of us, at some point, even if it’s just vaguely in the back of our minds, resolve to try to adopt some healthier habits for the new year.
Which is ironic because January seems to be the month least favorable for good health, in my opinion: everyone I pass on the street is either coughing or sniffling, half of my team at work is currently out of the office due to sickness, and last week the mayor declared a ‘Flu Emergency’ in my town of Boston.
So here is my yummy concoction to fight back against all the germs January has to throw at you and keep that Healthier New Year resolution going strong: 8-Veggie Winter Soup.
Just take a look at the lineup of healthy, nutritious, vitamin-packed, antioxidant-filled, immune-boosting ingredients in this hearty soup: garlic, onions, carrots, celery, diced tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, and corn.
Now, I know some clever readers will argue that the name “8-Veggie Soup” is incorrect because some of these ingredients aren’t technically “vegetables.”
For those readers, please know that “8-Veggie Soup” is the condensed title of the recipe.
The complete name is “Veggie and Fruit and Starch and Grain Winter Soup” (that should cover it, I think).
All the vitamins and antioxidants in this soup should keep your immune system in strong, fighting shape to either shield you from cold and flu or, if you’ve already been hit with a bug, nurse you back to health.
Begin by placing a clove of garlic on your cutting board with your knife lying flat over it. Smash down on the knife with your palm or fist, breaking off the skin and smashing the garlic.
Run your knife through the smashed garlic, mincing it up.
Next, chop the root end off an onion and cut it in half lengthwise, from stem to root end. Peel off the skin and place the first half flat-side-down on the cutting board. Cut thin strips lengthwise. And then run your knife in the opposite direction, chopping the onion.
Chop the ends off a rib of celery.
Cut thin strips lengthwise.
Then run your knife in the opposite direction, dicing the celery.
Follow the same steps as the celery to dice some carrots (no need to waste time peeling the carrots – just be sure to buy organic or at least rinse them well).
Heat some heart-healthy olive oil in a large stock pot or dutch oven.
Add all the veggies you’ve just chopped and sauté until they’re softened.
Add some vegetable stock and some diced tomatoes to the pot and bring the soup to a boil.
Meanwhile, grab a red potato and chop it up.
No need to take time peeling it – a lot of the nutrition lies in and just below the skin (just be sure to buy organic potatoes or at least thoroughly wash them first).
Toss the potatoes into the boiling broth and reduce the heat so the stew is simmering.
Next, add your first secret ingredient: honey.
Honey adds a hint of sweetness to the soup, which makes it taste so much more flavorful and interesting.
It’s a yummy contrast to the acidic chopped tomatoes.
Then add your second secret ingredient: turmeric.
Turmeric adds a wonderful, subtle spice to the soup.
It also happens to be extremely healthy – studies have shown it can help ease aches and inflammation, it may help slow and prevent skin cancer, and it may help speed up metabolism.
Lots of reasons to add this spice to more of your dishes!
While the soup simmers, grab some crimini mushrooms.
Use a towel to clean the mushrooms buy brushing off any soil.
Pull off the stems and cut thin slices.
Then run your knife in the opposite direction, dicing the mushroom.
Toss the diced mushrooms into the pot, along with some frozen sweet corn.
Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper.
Serve yourself a big, steaming bowl of this soup (it’s so healthy and low in calories, you can afford a very generous serving!) along with some protein (such as a turkey sandwich), and you have the perfect antidote to everything dark, damp, sickly January can throw at you.
The assortment of all those fresh veggies in this soup mean two wonderful things:
1) this soup provides a wide range of necessary vitamins and minerals, all in one bowl
2) this soup tastes rich and flavorful from the variety of ingredients (what’s better than a hot, steaming bowl of homemade soup on a dark, damp day?)
Bonus: this soup holds up extremely well and tastes just as wonderful (maybe even better) as leftovers.
Make extra and you’ll have a few days worth of healthy lunches to keep that resolution going strong!
Here is the complete printable recipe:
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 2 ribs celery, diced
- 32-ounce container vegetable broth
- 26-ounce container diced tomatoes
- 1 red potato, diced
- 1½ tablespoons honey
- 3 teaspoons turmeric
- 5 ounces crimini mushrooms, diced
- ½ cup frozen sweet corn
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until veggies are softened, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the vegetable broth and chopped tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Add the honey and turmeric and cook until the potatoes are softened, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and corn and allow the soup to simmer about 5 minutes more.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.