A lot of people ask me my about my diet secrets and tips, which is why I wanted to start doing healthy Sunday cooking posts.
Today I wanted to let you in on another little secret of mine: Souping! Like juicing, but with soup. It’s something I do quite often; before a big event or photoshoot when I want to loose those last couple of pounds. I usually do it for about 4 or 5 days where I only eat (homemade!) broth based soups. I have a bunch of favorites and alternate between chickens, asparagus, beet etc, but today I want to share with you my recipe for soup starters! It’s not too light so it still keeps you full, and packed with veggies it’s extremely nutritious- the perfectly balanced minestrone soup.
***Please keep in mind that I’m not a doctor by any means and I’m not suggesting anyone to do a soup diet, only telling you my experience.
What you will need:
1 or 2 carrots
1 small onion or half of large
1 bunch swiss chard
2 stalks celery
2 C fresh green beans
1 32oz chicken broth
2 14.5oz cans chopped tomatoes
1 15oz can cannellini beans drained
1/2 C basmati or jasmine rice (optional, for a more hearty meal)
2 cloves garlic chopped
1T Italian seasoning
fresh basil for garnish
Parmesan cheese for garnish
piece of Parmesan cheese rind (optional but if you have some add it for extra deliciousness)
salt and pepper
First we’ll get our vegetables ready. Coarsely chop carrots. Chop onion, celery and garlic. Trim stems of Swiss chard and coarsely chop. Partially peel zucchini and cut into 1 inch pieces. Cut green beans into 1 inch pieces. Rinse and drain cannenelli beans and set aside.
Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil in bottom of large soup pot. Add onions, garlic, celery and carrots. Sprinkle on some Italian seasoning and saute for about five minutes until onions are translucent.
Add the green beans and saute on low for about 10 more minutes
Add the chopped Swiss chard and saute for about 10 minutes more. It’s like spinach and will wilt down when cooked so don’t worry that there is too much.
Now you can add the broth, cans of tomatoes, and Parmesan rind (optional). I like to chop the tomatoes a bit more so there will be no large chunks. Bring to a boil and turn down to low boil and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Fresh green beans take a while to cook (note: You can use frozen beans if you want. If you do, add the green beans in the next step) Season to taste with salt and cracked pepper. You can add a teaspoon or so of chicken boullion instead of salt. Or a great alternative to a lot of salt (and one of my favorite health tips) is squeezing a bit of fresh lemon.
Add the rice and let cook for about 15 minutes, then add the zucchini and cannellini beans. Continue to simmer until the rice and zucchini are cooked. I partially cover my pot so it won’t cook down too much. If it does you can add more broth. I added an extra cup or so of water and a few teaspoons of Knorr chicken boullion.
Top as you like with some basil and a small sprinkle of parmesan cheese. It also tastes amazing the next day and will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. This makes a large pot of soup. 5-6 servings. Hope you enjoy!