It’s “breast cancer awareness month” (October 2008) and there are all kinds of ads in print and online regarding cancer awareness.
An entire coupon book devoted to cancer awareness appeared in the newspaper, filled with pink text and food that is supposed to be healthy for you. But is it?
But what I found in the coupon book is the following:
- Canned soups filled with salt
- Boxed pasta dinner kits
- Cheese covered frozen broccoli
- A kit you can use to help your hamburger (also filled with salt)
- Refrigerated white flour rolls and biscuits
- Refrigerated cookie dough
- Microwave popcorn
- Fruit roll-ups
- Bars filled with sugar
- Snack mixes (take a guess what is in it!)
These foods do not fight cancer! These foods do not help your body usher “bad” cells out of your body.
Since I’m writing this when the weather is getting colder, I’ll just focus on one food: soup.
Even though I’m a busy business woman, I make my own soup. That’s right. No canned stuff for me. (I’ll admit that once in a while I purchase certain soup stocks made by certain companies.) But nothing beats making my own stocks and soups. I know what is in them! I control the amount of salt in these soups.
I’ll share a recipe for a soup stock that you can make ahead and freeze. Then I’ll share a soup recipes (that also freeze well).
Vegetable Soup Stock
- 1 large onion
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stalks (keep the leaves on them)
- 1 bunch scallions (green onions), including 1/2 of the greens
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 T. olive oil
- 8 to 10 parsley sprigs
- 6 sprigs of thyme (or 1/2 t. dried)
- 8 to 10 cups cold, filtered water
- 2 t. salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 T. olive oil
Wash the vegetables and chop the onion, carrots, celery, and scallions into 1-inch pieces. Heat the olive oil in a very large pot (I use a soup pot). After the oil is heated (but not smoking), add the onion, carrots, celery, scallions, garlic, parsley, and thyme. Cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. You want the green vegetables to get brighter green. Add the water, salt, and bay leaves. Bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. After it’s simmered, strain out the vegetables. You can either use the stock right away in another recipe, refrigerate for a day or two before using, or freeze it.
Italian Lentil Soup
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into circles
- 2 stalks celery, sliced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 T. olive oil
- 7 to 8 cups water
- 1/2 small head of cabbage, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed & drained
- 1 large can diced tomatoes (this is one veggie I’ll buy canned)
- 1 1/2 t. salt (I use Celtic Sea Salt)
- 1/2 t. dried oregano
- 1/2 t. pepper
In a dutch oven (or a soup pot), heat the olive oil and cook the carrots, celery, and onion for 5 minutes. Stir in the water, cabbage, lentils, tomatoes, salt, oregano, and pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Wheatberry & White Bean Soup
If you want, you can use 8 cups of the Soup Stock from the earlier recipe to replace the following in this recipe: rosemary, garlic, water, parsley, thyme, bay leaf
- 1 1/2 cups dried navy beans (about 3/4 pound)
- 1 1/4 cups uncooked wheat berries (I buy these at Whole Foods in the bulk section)
- 1 t. salt, divided
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 cups diced onion (c/b 1 or 2 onions, depending on the size)
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1/2 diced carrot
- 1 t. dried rosemary
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 cups water
- 4 parsley sprigs
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 t. pepper
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 bag spinach, washed & chopped
- Sort and wash the navy beans; place them in a large bowl. Cover with water to 2 inches above the beans; cover for about 8 hours (or overnight). Drain.
- Place the wheat berries in a medium bowl; cover with water to 2 inches above. Cover and let stand 8 hours (or overnight). Drain. Place the wheat berries in a large saucepan. Cover with 2 inches water above. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes. Stir in 1/2 t. sale; cook 20 minutes; drain.
- While the wheat berries are cooking, heat oil in a Dutch over (or soup pot) over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, rosemary, and garlic; cook 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the beans, 8 cups water, parsley sprigs, thyme springs, and bay leaf. Partially cover, and cook 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender.
- Discard the bay leaf, parsley, and thyme. Stir in the wheat berries, 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 t. pepper, tomatoes, and spinach. Cook for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heater.
- If you’d like, garnish with chopped parsley.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
This is a favorite of mine. I’ve never seen or tasted another recipe for butternut squash soup that I like better. There are several ingredients in this soup that, when put together, make it taste as good as it does. Also, while the squash is raw, you only need to cut it in half. It’s roasted in two large pieces ahead of time. After it’s cooked, you scoop it out. (Other recipes I’ve found for this soup have you cut the entire raw squash into cubes while it’s still raw. Are you kidding? Cutting a raw squash into cubes takes too long. I don’t have that kind of time!)
Also, if you freeze this soup, after you thaw it out, put it into the blender on “low” for a few seconds to get it to blend together. (It’s not pretty after it thaws.)
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
- 1 T. veg oil or olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onion
- 1 chopped shallot
- 1 T. chopped fresh ginger
- 1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded & chopped
- 1 1/4 t. salt
- 1/4 t. black pepper
- 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
- 6 cups veg. broth
- 1 T. honey
- 1/2 t. dried thyme
- optional: 1/4 cup soy milk
- Either one day ahead or earlier in the day, you’ll roast the squash. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place the cut side down on a non-stick baking sheet that has “sides.” Pour about 1/2 cup water in the pan. Roast for 45 minutes (check the water level periodically and add more water if needed). Remove and allow the squash to cool.
- Remove the seeds and the peel from the squash. Place the cooked squash in a medium size bowl and mash it coarsely.
- In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil; then add the onion, shallot, ginger, jalapeno, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until the onion is soft and begins to turn light brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add the pears, and cook another 5 minutes
- Measure 3 cups of the cooked, mashed squash; add it to the pot.
- Stir in the broth, honey, and thyme, and bring it to a boil.
- After it boils, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes
- Puree the soup in batches in a blender. (No more than half a blender full at a time.) Then return the soup to the pot. Stir in the soy milk (optional) and keep the soup warm. (Do not boil it again.)