“HEALING GREEN SPRING SOUP”

IMG_4336Yes, I am still on the soup kick. Seriously, you should try it. Soup is so comforting, full of vitamins and minerals and is a great way to nurture yourself ❤  This one is in honor of the first cool, wet Spring we have had in our northern California foothills in 4 years! Hurray! I can even deal with the mosquitoes if it means we get a few more weeks of spring vegetables and beautiful flowers!

So, head to your garden, the farmers’ market or wherever you get your organic, fresh vegetables and stock up on peas, fava (or broad beans), asparagus, greens like chard or kale, spring new potatoes, carrots and anything else that sounds good to you and make this nourishing soup. It is a great way to start off a spring detox if you are so inclined or just a way to celebrate spring’s bounty and be good to your body.

IMG_4339NGREDIENTS
(makes one big pot of soup 6 – 8 servings)

1 bunch of asparagus
1 cup shelled fresh peas (or frozen)
1 cup sugar snap peas
7 or 8 small new potatoes (purple, red and/or white)
1 cup shelled fava beans (or broad beans)
4 or 5 medium carrots
2 stalks of celery
1 leek
1 onion
2 – 3 cloves garlic
1 big bunch chard, kale, collards or mustard or turnip greens or mixed greens
10 – 12 cups stock or water with 2 or 3 veggie bouillon cubes
Fresh herbs: few sprigs each of parsley, thyme, oregano, and fresh chives
Salt and Pepper to taste
Optional: 1 TBSP Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and/or 1 tsp. nutritional yeast

DIRECTIONS:
1. Remove the fava beans from the pods by boiling them for about 10 minutes, rinse in cool water and open pods and remove beans. They will still have an inner “skin” so you need to boil just the beans again for about 10 minutes then immediately put them in ice water. That skin will pop right off (see photo).
2. Shell the fresh peas if you are able to find fresh ones, otherwise you can use frozen peas and skip the shelling but fresh peas are SOOO GOOD!
3. Slice the sugar snap peas into 1” pieces.
4. Chop the carrots, celery, leek, asparagus and potatoes into bite sized pieces.
5. Cut up the greens and peel and mince the garlic. Now all your vegetables are ready.
6. Heat a couple TBSP olive oil or coconut oil in a dutch oven or soup pot and when hot add the onions, celery, carrots, leeks and asparagus. Saute for about 10 minutes until onions are soft.
IMG_42827. Add the stock or water and veggie bouillon and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and fava beans and turn heat down to a simmer. Cook for about ½ hour, until carrots and potatoes are tender but not mushy. Add the greens, peas and any fresh or dried herbs and continue to simmer for another 10 -15 minutes.
8. Season to taste with salt, pepper, Bragg’s, and/or nutritional yeast. You can also add some garlic and onion powder if you like. Let it simmer a few more minutes to develop all the flavors, then serve with a garnish of roasted asparagus tips and a few peas.

IMG_4348This soup definitely gets better with time so if you can make it and refrigerate it overnight it will taste even better.

NOTE: NUTRITIONAL FACTS & INFO

One of the reasons this soup is so good for you and a great spring tonic/detox is that fava beans, peas, asparagus and greens are all very high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folates and B vitamins; as well as rich sources for minerals like selenium, iron, potassium, copper and zinc. Fava beans and peas are also good sources of plant protein. Additionally, they are full of antioxidants (lutein, carotenes, crypto-xanthins and more good stuff.) Together, these flavonoid compounds help remove harmful oxidant free radicals from the body and protect it from possible cancer, neuro-degenerative diseases, and viral infections!

A fun fact about asparagus: it is one of the oldest recorded vegetables and is a herbaceous perennial, closely related to onions, garlic, tulips and daffodils. Who’da thought?

I know, possibly TMI for some of you, but I love knowing about the nutritional value of the food I eat and would rather eat my vitamins and minerals than take pills 🙂
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