Soup is one of my favorite foods ever because there is never just one type of soup recipe to make. There are literally endless combinations when it comes to making soup, and you can make them cold or hot. I prefer hot soups, even in the summer sometimes. I find that anytime I’m feeling tired, suffering joint pain, allergy troubles, or just low on zest and zip, I can drink a cup of soup and feel like a new woman! Over the years I’ve collected some of my favorite ingredients to make one amazing soup recipe, so I thought I would share it with you all! These ingredients are so rich in nutrients, anti-aging properties, immune-boosting properties and more. Whatever your ailment, soup can usually fix it! Get out your slow-cookers and put a soup on while you’re at work. You’ll come home to a magical, healthy, and affordable dinner, and as a bonus, you’ll have one heck of a leftover lunch the next day! If you're not feeling it once you get home, just freeze it. Soups make the perfect freezer dinner since they are easy to thaw and store well for six months in a freezer-safe container.
A girl shouldn’t make any soup recipe without the classic, humble onion as a base ingredient. First, onions add a ton of flavor, they are cheap, and they are rich in detoxifying nutrients. They increase the taste of other ingredients in the soup and also aid in cleansing and nourishing the system. Onions are a powerful diuretic, helping to flush wastes and water weight from the body, plus they are rich in sulfur. Sulfur helps to cleanse the liver and decrease pain and inflammation. Onions are great to make veggie broth out of too. The longer you let onions cook in your soup, the better, since this increases their taste and cooks down their hard-to-digest fibers.
Carrots are one of my favorite veggies and soup ingredients for a few reasons. First, carrots are naturally sweet, so they add great flavor to a recipe. Secondly, they are cheap, even in organic form, making them highly affordable. Thirdly, they’re available all year around so you can always find them, and last, they are so nutritious! Carrots are rich in Vitamin A, magnesium, fiber, and Vitamin C. They are extremely helpful during a cold or flu session, or anytime you suffer stomach upset. They are easy to digest when cooked and are good for aiding regularity too. They make any soup taste sweet and add depth wherever they are added. You can even puree them for a richer taste, and to add a nice orange glow to your soup.
You can’t have a good soup without a little garlic, in my opinion! Garlic adds flavor wherever you put it, and soup is no exception! Garlic is so good for your immune system and an upset stomach. It is also rich in sulfur like onions, and helps to cleanse the body, while also supporting joint health. Garlic is a powerful antidote against viruses in the intestines and blood stream, and is a powerful weapon to beat yeast infections too. Garlic is also rich in Vitamin C and helps to cure a sweet tooth and balance your blood sugar. Add in one clove of whole garlic to a large soup recipe, or more if you tolerate the potency of it well. You can also use chopped garlic, and I like using about 1 tsp. of chopped garlic in place of one clove.
Celery is one of my must-have soup ingredients for a few reasons. First, it is rich in properties that reduce water weight and aid in reducing inflammation and pain. Second, it is great to eat when you’re physically or mentally stressed since it reduces blood sugar and blood pressure tremendously. I even like adding a little chopped raw celery on top of cooked soup for a crunchy, slightly salty topping too. To use celery in a soup recipe, use about 1 whole stalk chopped, and feel free to use the leaves too! They add a nice flavor to soup that you can puree with a stick blender or pop into your blender if you’re not into eating the leaves whole. Celery adds a nice, hearty flavor to soup and I find that mixed with onions, carrots and garlic, it makes a perfect veggie broth too!
This ingredient is one of my little secrets, I like to say. Salsa is great to use in soups in replacement to tomatoes for a couple of reasons. First, salsa contains more than just tomatoes, so you’re getting more flavor for your money and you have to use less of it for heightened tastes. Salsa contains tomatoes, chopped peppers, onions, garlic and sometimes other ingredients too, like salt or apple cider vinegar. I like to buy brands with lower sodium contents such as Muir Glen organic salsa , or Amy’s Organic brand. You only need to add about 2 tbsp. of salsa to get the flavor you desire and I find it adds this remarkable, wonderful taste that is far better than standard tomatoes offer.
6. Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Himalayan sea salt is a must-have in my kitchen when it comes to soups. First off, Himalayan sea salt should never be confused with standard sea salt, which is much more processed and lower in nutrients. Pink Himalayan sea salt is a raw salt, and contains all of the colors, pigments and natural properties of real salt from the seas surrounding the Himalayas. It contains more magnesium and more potassium than other salts, and you’re getting less sodium but a better taste than you do from other salts. It is extremely healing when it comes to relieving stomach pain, joint pain, nasal congestion, sinus woes and a headache. I only use one grind of this magical salt, and the flavor is incomparable. This salt actually lowers your blood pressure instead of raising it like regular salt does. You can find it online or in specialty stores like Whole Foods. It is pricey, but because you need so little, it lasts for years. I’ve had the same grinder for almost 5 years now and only used about ¼ of the entire container. The taste is still just as incredible as the day I bought it too. It makes any soup recipe seems magical, plus it is so pretty to look at too!
7. A Hearty Veggie
To give my soups a hearty feel, I always use some type of root veggie. My favorites are sweet potatoes or butternut squash, but I like parsnips and beets as well. If you’re a meat-lover, you can reduce the amount of meat you use by substituting the other half of meat with a root veggie to add heartiness to the recipe. I usually use a whole sweet potato per recipe that makes an entire slow-cooker’s worth and if I use meat, I only use one piece of meat with a root veggie. If you’re making an all veggie soup, feel free to use more root veggies to your liking. Root veggies are rich in fiber, nutrients like magnesium, Vitamins A and C, plus they curb a sweet tooth with their natural sweetness. They’re also extremely comforting, which makes them the perfect soup ingredient!
8. Salt-Free Veggie Broth
I use salt-free veggie broth in all my soup recipes if I don’t use plain water. I like using my preferred salt instead of buying high sodium broths, which can raise your blood pressure and bloat you up. I also prefer using less salt overall and using more flavorful ingredients to improve the taste and nutrition of my soups. Veggie broths are great to have on hand if you’re not into buying chicken stock, and they offer a lot of flavor for a very little amount. I only use 1 cup of veggie broth for every 3 cups water in a soup recipe.
9. Herbs and Seasonings
Last, but certainly not least, it is time to tell you my favorite magical soup ingredient! Herbs and spices are your best friends in the soup department, ladies! My favorites include oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, fennel, sage, and dill. I also love using spices like black pepper, which really kicks things up a notch, or even cayenne or ginger if I have a terrible cold. These spices help to clear the sinuses extremely well, while herbs are very healing and richer in antioxidants than most veggies. Herbs also offer a flavor that no other ingredient can. You can buy them fresh or dried and I like using both.
For my favorite Magical Healing Soup recipe, you can visit my blog at soulfulspoon.com, or visit this website for some of my favorite soup recipes: cookinglight.com. What is your favorite soup to make?