HEARTY VEGETABLE SOUP

IMG_8107After the endless holiday eating, my body is ready to get back on track and start the new year off in a healthy way. In order to do so, Andre and I are going to cut out some of our favorite things – alcohol, caffeine, dairy, gluten, sugar, and yeast – for a few weeks. We do this every January and really do feel amazing at the end of the month. The key to it all is making sure you have satisfying and filling dishes to eat on hand when you get hungry, so you don’t have a blood sugar melt down and eat a burrito. Making hearty soups is a great way to keep the body satisfied and full when you are doing this kind of “cleanse”. I make big batches on Sundays and just reheat portions on the stove-top with a few scoops of short grain brown rice. Feel free to add any veggies you like. I usually just throw in whatever I have on hand in the fridge.

IMG_8084HEARTY VEGETABLE SOUP

3 quarts of homemade chicken or vegetable stock (I prefer to use chicken stock in my vegetable soups for flavor but feel free to use whatever you like)

1 onion, peeled and diced

5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1 leek, cleaned, halved, and cut into half moons

5 carrots, peeled and diced

4 celery stalks, diced

1/2 cup cauliflower florets, chopped

2 tomatoes, cored and diced

1/2 bunch kale, stalks removed, leaves torn into small pieces

1/4 bunch parsley, leaves removed

2 bay leaves

spinach

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

good olive oil

cooked short grain brown rice (1/4 cup of rice per serving of soup)

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IMG_8109In a large stock pot, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, leek, cauliflower, and bay leaves. Stir to coat. Season generously with sea salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. As the vegetables begin to cook and soften, add the chopped tomatoes, parsley, and kale. Stir and cook for a couple more minutes just to soften. Slowly add stock, at least enough to cover all the vegetables if not a bit more. I like a lot of broth so it really depends on what ratio of broth to vegetables you prefer. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Taste. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Just before serving, stir a handful of fresh spinach leaves into the soup. In each individual soup bowl, scoop 1/4 cup cooked brown rice. Ladle the soup over the rice. Finish with freshly chopped parsley or dill and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy!

 

 

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