Hello! We are still in Vietnam. We are having a great time and we’re eating so much amazing food. We promise to share some photos soon and maybe even some vietnamese recipes, but for now we are continuing with our series of guest bloggers.
Today we present Sarah from My New Roots!
You might remember that we mentioned My New Roots in our post about the Raw Chocolate Shake. What we wrote then still applies. It is one of the most interesting and fun to read, healthy food blogs out there. If you like to eat nutritious food and you haven’t read it before, you have to head over to My New Roots. You will find great recipes, learn lots of interesting facts about food and have a laugh while reading it. Enough said from us, here is Sarah:
The snow just won’t stop. The world is quiet and soft. It’s time for a bowl of soup.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a soup recipe, and this weather is serving as divine inspiration for a piping hot bowl of creamy comfort food. It combines a few of my favorite things, roasted veggies and velvety lima beans, all blended up to create the most creamy, rich-tasting, delectable soup to cross my lips this new year. And whether your 2011 resolution was to eat more whole foods, lose weight, or cut back on meat, you’ll be checking off all three with my White Velvet Soup that tastes like anything but deprivation – it’s down-right dreamy!
White food. It’s gotten a pretty bad rap in recent years while our food focus has finally begun to shift from processed to whole foods; white bread to whole grain bread, white rice to brown rice, white potatoes to sweet potatoes. This is a very good thing so let’s move with the momentum!
However, there are some white foods that still belong to the whole foods family, boasting all kinds of nutritional benefits. This white velvet soup is an excellent combination of many white foods– cauliflower, onions, garlic, and lima beans – that are not only delicious, but super health supportive. Here’s an idea of just how powerful these white foods are…
Cauliflower – As an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), cauliflower provides us with two powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients. Cauliflower is also jam-packed with phytonutrients (those are the super-charged healthy compounds found exclusively in plants), such as the familiar beta-carotene, as well as the lesser-known beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin, and kaempferol (there will be a quiz at the end of this post ;) This broad spectrum antioxidant support helps lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells. By providing us with such a great array of antioxidant nutrients, cauliflower helps lower our cancer risk by helping us avoid chronic and unwanted oxidative stress.
Onions – Members of the Allium family (like garlic), onions of all colours are rich in sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent odors and for many of their health-promoting effects. Several servings of onion each week are sufficient to statistically lower your risk of some types of cancer.
Human studies have shown that onion can even help increase our bone density and may be of special benefit to women of menopausal age who are experiencing loss of bone density. In addition, there is evidence that women who have passed the age of menopause may be able to lower their risk of hip fracture through frequent consumption of onions. “Frequent” in this context means onion consumption on a daily basis! Pass the soup, please.
Garlic – The selenium in garlic can become an important part of our body’s antioxidant system. A cofactor of glutathione peroxidase (one of the body’s most important internally produced antioxidant enzymes), selenium also works with vitamin E in a number of vital antioxidant systems. Garlic is also rich in another trace mineral, manganese, which also functions as a team player in a number of other important antioxidant defense enzymes, for example, superoxide dismutase. Studies have found that in adults deficient in manganese, the level of HDL (the “good form” of cholesterol) is decreased.
Lima Beans – are a total super food. They are loaded with protein (much like other legumes), and when eaten in combination with whole grains and whole grain products they provide the protein comparable to that found in meat or dairy foods without the high calorie content or saturated fat. And when you eat lima beans instead of animal products, you also experience the health benefits of dietary fiber, which lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, prevents constipation, but also helps prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. Just one cup of lima beans will give you 65.8% of the daily value for fiber.
Surprised, are we? I told you some white foods deserved a little love. Whole foods always have some kind of health benefit because they are not processed, and therefore contain all of the lovin’ nutrition nature intended.
This soup is a total breeze to make – most of the work is done for you in the oven! All it takes is a quick blend up and you’re done. So simple. Who says gourmet food can’t be incredibly fast and easy?
White Velvet Soup
1 head cauliflower
2 medium onions
1 head garlic (about 6-8 cloves)
3 cups cooked lima beans (about 2 cans)
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable stock
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Cut up cauliflower into bite-sized chunks and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil or melted ghee. Sprinkle with sea salt.
3. Peel onions and slice into chunks. Peel garlic cloves. Place onions and garlic baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
4. Place all veggies in oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until everything has golden edges and is nicely caramelized.
5. Let veggies cool slightly and add to blender along with all other ingredients except olive oil and paprika (process in batches if you have a small blender). Blend on high until very smooth. If you have a Vita-Mix, I would highly recommend using it.
6. If the soup is not hot enough after blending, transfer soup to a large pot and warm until steaming. If the soup is too thick, simply add water to thin to your desired consistency.
Bonus: For each bowl of soup, combine 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil with 1/8 tsp. smoked paprika and drizzle as a garnish (this is optional, but there is something very delicious about the mellow richness of the soup, with a slightly spicy and smoky accent).
Tip: I always highly recommend using beans you cook yourself instead of canned, as the flavour of freshly cooked beans is simply better. If you choose to use beans you’ve cooked yourself, reserve the cooking liquid and use in place of the water and stock.
I hope you enjoy making this warm bowl of velvet for you and your lucky friends. Now I’m off to frolic in the snow to build up an appetite! This soup is on the stove and ready to wrap me in warmth when I return.