Winter Wellness Soup
Who has arrived in the kitchen without a clue as to what to make for dinner? Oh, please tell me I'm not the only one!
Mostly, I try to plan ahead and be prepared. But, there have been many times, I've stood staring blankly into the pantry or fridge foraging for some semblance of a healthy, well-rounded meal. My heart's pounding a little faster just thinking about the anxiety I experience in those moments of wondering whether I can come up with something appealing yet nourishing for my young girls. Of course, I admit I tend to be a bit more particular on this topic than most....but that's partly why I blog about this stuff!? So that hopefully my experiments and discoveries can benefit YOU, too!
Well anyways, this wintry soup is one recipe I tossed together that worked out JUST RIGHT! The girls were playing nicely in the living room allowing me a moment of sanity to savor in my favorite room of the house...the kitchen! Next thing I knew, I was pulling produce from the fridge, deciding what needed to be used up before it went bad and considering what flavors might blend well together. And what better to blend on a cold, blustery Friday evening during January than SOUP!?
Once the counters were filled with the ingredients I expected to use, I grabbed my pen and paper to take notes on (a habit I have JUST IN CASE a new concoction turns out well and I'll need to recreate it or, better yet, blog about it). I turned on the tunes, Rend Collective seemed inspiring for that particular evening (if you have not ever heard them, oh my, you must give them a try!). And I started chopping, sautéing and stirring away.
Within about 45 minutes to an hour, I'd pulled together this soup recipe and a couple of crispy grilled cheese sandwiches. And, the proof is in the pictures....this dinner was a HIT!
So, there you have it. A surprisingly successful evening of a wellness blogger resulting in a new recipe for YOU!
I had to call this one Winter Wellnes Soup because it's perfect to warm cold bodies and nourish needy cells. With fresh herbs, a variety of veggies and comforting whole grains, this soup is just what you need to a cold, wintery day.
- 2 tablespoons ghee* see note* (or regular real butter, grass-fed preferred)
- 3 generous garlic cloves, chopped or minced
- ½ mild onion chopped (I like to use a sweet or yellow variety in this recipe)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (scrubbed clean with skins left on)
- 1 package baby portabella mushrooms (rubbed/washed clean, stems removed and cut into medium sized pieces)
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1 10 ounce package frozen kale or spinach (or about 3 cups fresh, washed and chopped)
- 8 cups organic vegetable broth (or 8 cups water plus 4 broth cubes*)
- Pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ¾ cup quinoa (rinsed)
- ¾ cup barley (or substitute for another grain or you can use another ¾ cup quinoa)
- In a large soup kettle, melt the ghee (see notes for reference) or real butter. Sauté the garlic and onoin in the melted ghee/butter for just a minute to slightly soften. Add potatoes to pan. Sauté another couple minutes until everything is mildly softened. Stir frequently.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan and continue sautéing with cover on until everything is soft but NOT mushy.
- Add the fresh herbs (rosemary and parsley) and the fresh or frozen greens and stir into vegetable mixture. If using frozen, don't worry if it is not all the way thawed.
- Add the vegetable broth to the pan and stir. If you are using the water + broth cubes (see notes for reference), be sure to crumble the cubes up with your fingers and, as they dissolve, stir so they get evenly mixed in.
- Add the quinoa and barley (or all quinoa). Stir. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Taste and make sure all the grains are softened. Add salt and pepper to taste. I added about a teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of fresh crushed pepper.
- Enjoy! We make this a complete meal just by adding a delicious grilled cheese on the side. I love making my grilled cheese with sprouted grain bread, raw cheddar and grass-fed butter. Delish!
- You can store this soup in the fridge up to about a week or freeze portions for later use.
Ghee is a form of butter and can be used to cook or bake with. It is also known as clarified butter, meaning that the milk solids have all been removed from the original butter making it more easily digestible and, some would argue, healthier. I love using it to saute with or anytime I cook something on the stovetop.
I don't always keep boxes or cans of broth on hand. In fact, I often prefer using these organic Rapunzel cubes. They have a great flavor and no weird ingredients, GMOs or damaging preservatives.
Here are a couple other ingredients I use for thir recipe for easy reference. You can even buy them here on Amazon.