By: Wendy Wu, R.D., M.S.
One of the best ways to take advantage of all the vitamins and minerals from vegetables is to boil them all in one big pot to make soup. The process of deep boiling vegetables breaks nutrients down to its simplest form so your body absorbs them like a sponge. Making soup, or as the Cantonese would say it “Boh-Tong” has been around since the 3rd century BC. Recipes are passed down from generation to generation and prepared for their healing abilities. Many believe that soups can be used to treat minor ailments like acne, colds, or sore throats and major diseases like diabetes, hypertension or renal disease. Ask a Chinese herbal doctor to look at your face and mouth and he will prescribe the perfect remedy for what your body is lacking. Let’s just focus on making a simple soup loaded with nutrients to give your body some TLC (tender, loving, care).
Step 1. Gather your ingredients. Choose any mix of veggies you like. This recipe has purple radish, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, wild yam, sweet dates and corn.
Step 2. Wash, Peel, Cut your Veggies. Cut them into big chunks (since some vitamins are lost during the chopping process).
Step 3. Place your Veggies into your pot of choice. Electric soup pots and crock pots work best but you can use any regular soup pot on a stove.
Step 4. Add enough water to cover all your veggies. You may have to add more water later. The most nutritious soup needs to be simmered for at least 3 hours.
Step 5. Cover your pot and start boiling. If you’re using an electric soup pot, set the timer to deep boil 3 hours. If you’re using a crock pot, turn to high for the first hour and then low for the last 2 hours. If you’re using a regular pot on a stove, boil on high for 1 hour and then simmer for next 2 hours.
All the nutrients have seeped into the soup. If you’re looking to shed some weight, substitute your dinner with a large bowl of vegetable soup. You can even add some tofu or beans for some added protein to help keep you feeling fuller. Make a big pot so you can drink it for up to 3 days (the soup gets better with time).