Outsmart your body with a bowl of soup- my Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

This weekend, as we turn the clocks back,  marks the official start to our desire to hibernate.   It’s not the cold weather, as many believe, that ups our desire for heartier fare. It’s the shorter days that send on the hunt for higher calorie options.

Outsmart your body, though,  with a bowl of soup.

Here’s a simple recipe to get you started.  Use this as a base and add other vegetables that you have on hand.  The last time I made this soup, my garden was overflowing with Swiss chard and zucchinis so I threw extra in and made it even more chunky than usual. And I am now enjoying the fruits of my labour as I froze plenty in small containers. Do double, triple or quadruple the recipe, if you like.

The soup, from my book, The Enlightened Eater’s Whole Foods Guide (Viking Canada)  is great garnished  with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese or a spoonful of pesto. Or enjoy it naked.

Mediterranean Vegetable Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup diced carrots
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium zucchinis,  diced
5 cups low-sodium or sodium-reduced   vegetable or  chicken broth
1  28-oz/796-mL can plum tomatoes with juices, pureed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh   basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh  parsley
2 cups baby spinach or coarsely chopped Swiss chard
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add carrot, celery and zucchini; cook until soft,  about 10 minutes. Add  vegetable or chicken broth, canned tomatoes,  2 tablespoons each chopped fresh   basil and  parsley,  salt and freshly ground pepper .  Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer,  covered,  for  30 minutes;  stirring occasionally.  Stir in chopped spinach or Swiss chard and continue to cook another 20 minutes.  Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.

Per serving nutritional information:
Calories:  76
Protein:  4 grams
Fat:   3 grams
Saturated Fat: less than 1 gram
Carbohydrate:  12 grams
Fibre: 3  grams
Sodium: 300 milligrams

I will have more on soup-making, both the whys and how-tos  in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Do you make soup in your kitchen or have you found some ready-to-eat varieties that fit your needs? Please share in the comment section below.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Recipes

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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  1. For winter appetites: Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup | Enlightened Eater - November 15, 2013

    […] Outsmart your body with a bowl of soup- my Mediterranean Vegetable Soup […]

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