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Winter Vegetable Soup



Cream soup with dried crusts isolated on white, studio shot

image: © derkien / Fotolia

Soups are essentially comforting and really filling, and ideal for those who want to follow a balanced diet, yet, with the little pleasures offered by life. This recipe makes use of a lovely array vegetables and pulses, and wisely keeps all sort of dairy or animal protein out. The richness of spinach and kale ups the vitamin K quotient considerably, and just a bowl of this soup can actually fulfill most of your daily need of calcium, vitamin K and several other minerals.

Ingredients:

– ½ head of broccoli, chopped into large pieces
– 1 cup chopped butternut squash or pumpkin (canned pumpkin will work as well)
– 1 onion, sliced
– 1 cup cooked pinto or great northern beans (you can use 1 cup of canned beans as well)
– 1 cup chopped tomatoes (or you can use 1 can of diced tomatoes)
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– ½ teaspoon ground sweet paprika
– 1 teaspoon minced garlic
– 2 teaspoon olive oil
– 1 big bunch of kale, washed and chopped roughly
– 1 small bunch of spinach, washed and chopped roughly
– 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, crushed
– 1.5 liters vegetable stock
– Salt to taste

Procedure:

In a large saucier or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and add the garlic, followed by the onions. Sauté till the onions are soft, about 6-7 minutes. Add the kale, broccoli, squash or pumpkin, and stir. Let cook for another 10 minutes, and then add the rest of the ingredients except salt. Bring to a strong boil, cover, and cook for 40 minutes. Once the vegetables are all soft, remove from the heat, and puree to your desired thickness. Adjust salt and serve.

The beauty of this recipe is, the individual vegetables cannot be discerned, and so this becomes a great way of sneaking in a few vegetables which might not be too popular. Served with a few wheat thins or crackers, this becomes the perfect winter-night meal.