I’ve slacked off, not eating as many vegetables as I know are good for me for reasons like vitamins, minerals, other nutrients, fiber, as well as tasty.
With the change in seasons, I haven’t been consuming green drinks or making salads like I do in summer. In Austin, where fall, winter, and spring are fleeting, it’s an in-between time, with some days warm and humid and others cool and dry. This fall in particular has alternated between drought and deluge and has been warmer than usual.
My nutritionist, Olivia Honeycutt, suggested cooking some vegetables and then running them through the blender or Vitamin. It’s how I would a make cooling green drink of veggies and typically one fruit in summer, only warmed.
Where I come from, that’s soup.
So that is what I am cooking, snug in my trailer on this rainy fall night. This is an improvised recipe, using what I had on hand. Needless to say, most of it is organic, especially important with celery, pepper, and greens. (See Dirty Dozen.)
Here’s what I put into a large stockpot (you can do a quick chop since everything will go through the blender):
avocado oil (about 1/3 cup)
1 large yellow onion
1/2 large red bell pepper
3 stalks celery
4 cloves garlic, smashed
3 red beets
greens from the beets
1 cup red cabbage
2 small zucchinis
6 cups of filtered water (you can add more later to thin the soup, or substitute tomato juice or vegetable stock)
1 24-oz jar of strained tomatoes (no BPA)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
salt to taste
splash of lemon juice
fresh herbs (I used rosemary, thyme, basil, and oregano)
Saute´ the onion, pepper, and celery in the avocado oil over medium head. Add the other veggies and stir well for a couple of minutes to start the cooking.
Add the liquids and seasonings. Stir well. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the slowest-cooking veggies (the carrots and beets) are done, 20-40 minutes. Let cool a bit. Adjust the seasoning, adding salt, lemon juice, and herbs to taste.
Once the taste is fabulous, cool to room temp and then blend a few cups at a time until pureed. Thin with more water, vegetable stock, or tomato juice if desired.
Serve in a bowl or mug. You can garnish it with minced fresh herbs, chopped nuts, Parmesan, a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, or whatever appeals to your diet, tastebuds, and convenience.
This recipe is improvised, so adapt it to meet your needs. What I personally would not add is legumes, grains, or potatoes because (1) they’re not included in my diet and (2) they don’t blend well in a soup. You could add other tasty veggies and herbs that you would eat cooked: spinach, kale, chard, collards, green beans, hot peppers, broccoli, okra, cilantro, parsley, dill, ginger, etc.
You could even vary ingredients and seasonings to make different ethnic versions, like Italian or Indian.
I have a cup with breakfast and then fill a quart jar that I can take with me on busy days and sip on for hours.
I kept this recipe vegan on purpose because I don’t want to encourage bacterial growth that could cause food poisoning, which is much more likely to happen with food from animal sources that is unrefrigerated.
Plus, it’s such a great reminder of the wonderful taste of veggies.