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Healthy Soups

Updated on January 6, 2017
Maria Dorland profile image

Mariaines enjoys writing about healthy and delicious food, mostly inspired by her mother in Colombia and her experience in South Africa.

Vegetable Soups

These tempting and delicious recipes are also nutritional and are perfect to be part of a balanced diet. First of all, I need to clarify that I am not a good cook! All these recipes are part of my mother's daily dishes. Cooking is an avenue for her to express her creativity and resourcefulness, It is an art for her, and also a way to give love to her family and friends. She spends easily 4 hours to make lunch every day!

She recommends starting the day with breakfast. A healthy vegetable or red fruits juice, first of all, to be followed by some whole fruit such as papaya or orange. She gives us some integral bread and cheese or eggs five minutes later. We share a cup of coffee to go over general topics before my mother goes to the kitchen to start her magic.

She usually cooks vegetables such as Broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, onions among many others to prepare delicious soups. This is how lunch starts. She also makes colorful salads to compliment the carbs and protein which follow. It is a feast not just for the taste, but for all the senses. My mother developed her own style and is able to create beautiful things out of ordinary, everyday ingredients.

I will publish first her carrot (or pumpkin) soup which is sweet and tasty. Please note that she follows very similar procedures to prepare all the vegetable soups, with minor but important variations that I will explain in the following paragraphs. She thickens the soup only with the vegetables mentioned in the ingredients, all the soups are creamy and thick.

Ingredients for Four

- 1/2 litre of water

- 6 medium to big carrots

- 1 Scallion

- 1 chopped onion

- 4 garlic cloves

- 1 celery stalk

- Parsley

- 12 leaves of peppermint


Preparation

The first step consists in chopping all the ingredients, except the peppermint leaves. After this, the chopped vegetables are put to boil in a liter of water, except the parsley, which is added only after the pot is retired from the heat. The pot is retired from the heat as soon as the mix is boiling. The pot's lid must be used all the time.

Wait fifteen minutes before adding all the hot mix in the blender. My mother recommends covering the blender with a small kitchen towel to avoid any accident in case the blender's lid opens. Blend until all the ingredients are finely mixed and a creamy texture is observed, after this, use a strainer and a spoon to refine the soup, making sure that all the liquid is poured back into the pot, leaving only the remaining "rags" from the vegetables. The soup is ready to serve. The peppermint leaves can be used to decorate the plates.


Would you dare?

Do you dare to change recipes following your creative hunches?

See results

For the rest of the soups, we only need to change the main ingredient. Let's start with the spinach (or Swiss chard) soups. 2 lbs of these vegetables are needed to thicken the soup. The difference cooking this soup is found in that the spinach (or swiss chard) is only added to the water that boiled with the other ingredients after the heat is turned off. In other words, the spinach and the Swiss chard only need to be bleached.

For the broccoli soup (cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes, celery), the process is different in that the vegetable is added to the water that is boiling with the rest of ingredients three minutes before turning off the plate.

By the way, when my mother finished telling me her way of making these soups, I asked her if perhaps we could cook these soups with an herbal tea as the base, instead of simply water. She never tried this but encouraged me to try it! She just mentioned that perhaps it would be a good idea just to make the herbal tea before adding it to, in this instance, the 3/4 liters of boiling water. Peppermint tea will go nicely with the carrot and pumpkin soups while the basil tea will go nicely with the green soups.

I finally tried replacing a cup of water with tea...It added an indescribable especial touch to the taste of the soup. I also added a stalk of lemongrass to the carrot soup and it was a very successful experiment too.

Tomato and Onion Soups

Now to two of my favorite recipes. They are a bit different in the preparation method. My mother learned them from a friend a long time ago, so I am not sure where they come from, however, they do have my mother's touch.


I wondered the origin of these two vegetables and found on the web, that the tomatoes were found in Mexico by the Spaniards, who started spreading them to the Caribbean and to Europe. The onion seems to have been found first in Asia (Iran and Persia) and from there was introduced first to Europe by the Greeks and Romans, at least, in the times of emperors and gladiators. Is it not amazing that two of the most used vegetables came from two very different parts of the world?

Ingredients for Four

1/2 Liter of Water

2 lbs red tomato ripped

1 stalk of celery

1 stalk of parsley

2 garlic cloves

1 stalk of spring onion

1 tbs sugar

Salt to taste

Preparation

Boil the tomatoes with a tsp of sugar to be able to remove the acidity from the tomatoes. The other ingredients are cooked in just 150 ml of water (a cup) for 3-4 minutes.

The water where the tomatoes are cooked is discarded. The next step consists in blending all ingredients in a mixer. It is expected to blend twice as most of the mixers can take only half of the cooked tomatoes.

Once the mix is blended, the next step consists in strain and pour back to the pot and heat for 1 minute if you are going to consume it immediately. If you are going to consume later and want it warm, just be careful not to boil it. You can also consume it cold if desired. Decorate using the basil or peppermint leaves.

Ingredients for Four

2 lb of white onion

0.5 lb beef or chicken

1 stalk of celery

1 stalk of parsley

1 stalk of spring onion

2 garlic cloves

2 baby potatoes

150 ml Milk

Olive oil

Cream (optional)

1 liter of water

Preparation

Peel the onions making circular cuts and fry them using a tablespoon of olive oil until gold. In the mean time put to boil the rest of the ingredients with the beef or chicken chopped in small blocks. After 10 minutes mix the onion with the stock and boil for two more minutes. Retire the pot from the heat and wait 15 minutes before blending in the mixer. Add low-fat milk and low-fat cream (optional) while blending. Strain and serve.

Note

I prefer to measure the water with the bowls I am going to use to serve the soups. I put 2 bowls of water if I prepare the recipe for four. You can modify the amount of water to make the soup thicker or thinner.

Enjoy!

Globalization is not, indeed, a new phenomenon by itself, being our daily food, perhaps one fortunate witness of the interchange among cultures under different circumstances through history.

© 2016 MariaInes

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    • Maria Dorland profile image
      Author

      MariaInes 7 months ago from Johannesburg

      Thank you, Bodylevive!

    • bodylevive profile image

      BODYLEVIVE 8 months ago from Alabama, USA

      Thank you for the recipes, being that I love soups. I cling to the recipes of my mother as well, there's nothing like a mother's recipe. I wish you well.

    • Maria Dorland profile image
      Author

      MariaInes 8 months ago from Johannesburg

      Hi, Audrey, please let me know how it goes! :-)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 8 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Thanks Maria for the photo info. Making one of your soups today!

    • Maria Dorland profile image
      Author

      MariaInes 8 months ago from Johannesburg

      Thank you, for your encouraging comments!! These soups are really good, please try them :-). By the way the pictures are from www.pexels.com. They share they pictures for free.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 8 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      I like your tip to replace water with tea. Super recipes and the photos are an invitation to dig in and try some. Thanks!

    • Maria Dorland profile image
      Author

      MariaInes 8 months ago from Johannesburg

      Hello, MsDora. Thank you for the comments :-) Yes, she is a blessing! I see the pictures, I am wondering what could be the problem...I will check. Stay blessed and happy New Year,

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 8 months ago from The Caribbean

      Don't know why I cannot see your pictures, but your article tells how blessed you are with a Mom who loves and knows how to cook. You show some creativity yourself. Thanks for the recipes.