An organic, plant based diet with lots of colorful veggies (mostly raw) and dark, leafy greens is the ideal eating plan for treating almost every chronic illness but so many of us with arthritis haven’t figured out what that looks like. How many salads can you eat in a week, right? How many raw veggies can you eat before you become bored silly? Well if you’re doing it right, one to two meals a day.
Having a big leafy green salad with plenty of raw veggies on top is one of the most delicious and easy ways to get your daily requirements of micronutrients and enzymes. It’s anti-inflammatory too. That’s great for lunch, but what about dinner? Do you crave something warm and heavier than salad? Notice I didn’t say substantial. A big raw salad IS substantial. It’s just not as filling or comforting, nor does it stay with you as long.
I’m going to share some really delicious, arthritis busting soups today. With my way of preparing vegetarian soups, you’ll never be bored Mama.
So what’s the big secret to soup? There are actually two secrets: fat and pink salt. But how do you get fat in a vegetarian soup? Think it’s an oxymoron? Nope. Lemme’ introduce you to plant based fats.
Coconut oil is an excellent plant based fat. It takes great and it’s safe to heat. Start all your soups and chili recipes by melting a generous portion of coconut oil in a large stock pot and adding chopped onion till translucent. In some dishes, like coconut milk ice cream you can really taste the coconut oil. Not so with most soups.
Pink salt (sea salt works too) has no anti-caking chemicals and reportedly more minerals. There are conflicting reports about the difference between pink salt and table salt with iodine added. I’ve read online reports that say there is no difference yet all of the nutritionists’ books I’ve read insist pink salt is not only safe but actually has many redeeming qualities. I use a lot of pink salt in my salads. My doctor says it’s okay because my blood pressure is low.
Are you under the impression that vegetarian cuisine is boring or somehow limited? You would be mistaken. There’s a whole world of vegetables and only a handful of animals that are slaughtered for eating. Vegetarian cuisine can be hearty or light. It’s highly nutritious. It’s flavorful. And it’s a much kinder way of living. These soups are husband tested and approved but to be safe, plan for him a chicken breast on the side.
I’m including the brands I buy because they have no fillers, preservatives or dangerous chemicals like calcium chloride in them. I buy all organic ingredients. According to the experts books I’ve read, this is so important. But I realize buying organic takes a mindset shift. It’s not so much that we can’t afford organic produce. It’s that we prioritize different things like wine, beer, travel, a better car, etc. The reality is either you spend the money on healthy food or on hospital stays later. It took me about five years to go from non-organic to partially organic to fully organic. Now I will do without many other things (expensive clothes, new household items, trips) before I skimp on food.
I don’t use recipes for my soups. As long as I start with hot oil and onion, I know the rest will fall into place.
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Corn tortillas, sliced in thin strips and fried in coconut oil
(I like the organic ones by La Tortilla Factory. Food For Life corn tortillas are all natural too.)
Coconut oil for frying
Coconut oil for sautéing onion and for soup base, about 4-5 T.
Pacific brand vegetable stock, about 24 oz.
Red bell pepper, chopped, about half
Pomi chopped tomatoes with juice, about 13 oz.
Victoria chopped mild green chilis with juice, 2 small cans
Kidney beans, about 2 15 oz. cans, rinsed
Plenty of mild red chili powder, about 1 ½ T.
Cumin, about 2 t.
Jalapeno, about ¼, seeded and chopped
Small package frozen organic white corn (it’s important to buy organic because corn is a big GMO crop and you don’t want that!)
Red onion, about half, chopped
Garlic, about 4 cloves, chopped
Red or green cabbage, sliced thin
Coyo, all natural coconut milk yogurt (Delicious and healthy in place of sour cream!)
Place coconut oil in large stock pot. Sautee onion till soft. Add spices. Toss for a few minutes till absorbed. Add beans and mild chilis. Stir to coat. Add stock and tomatoes. Simmer on low about 15 minutes.
In heavy skillet, fry tortilla strips till almost brown. Watch so they don’t burn. Transfer to paper towels to blot excess oil.
Add pink salt and additional oil at the end of cooking for more flavor is desired. I use olive oil at this point but you can stick with coconut oil if you prefer.
Top with cilantro, cabbage, tortilla strips and lime. You’re gonna’ love it. It’s “Souper” flavorful!
This special recipe has been adapted by me for a vegetarian diet. It’s originally from the Ann Burch, previous owner of the Side Street Café, Los Olivos California, courtesy of my long time friend Karen Langley Stevens, Santa Ynez.
32 oz. Pacific brand vegetable stock
1 med. Yellow onion, chopped
2 T. mild chili powder
1 red bell pepper, chopped
6 to 7 cloves garlic, chopped
1 to 2 T. cumin
1 to 2 t. Mexican or Greek oregano
2 16 oz. cans Juanita’s Mexican style hominy, rinsed
3 T. cornstarch mixed with ¼ C. water
Smokey hot chipotle powder, ½ t.
Chopped radishes, pico de gallo, tortilla strips, chopped green cabbage.
In a large stock pot, sautee onion in coconut oil till soft. Add chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir till coated. Add pepper, garlic, hominy. Stir for a few minutes till pepper is softened and hominy is coated. Add stock and chipotle powder. Simmer till gently boiling. Add cornstarch and water.
Simmer gently for fifteen minutes. Top with garnishes. Posole is super delicious and filling without the meat. I like to serve mine with my homemade cornbread and honey.
You are in for a treat. Even if you’re not a minestrone fan, you’ll most likely love this one after a few bites.
28 oz. fire roasted tomatoes
4 T. coconut oil
32 oz. Pacific brand vegetable stock
½ package Penne or rotelli pasta
1 16 oz. can each black, kidney and navy beans, rinsed
1 oz. package dried porcini mushrooms, minus a little
3 stalks celery, chopped
½ large yellow onion, chopped
1 C. chopped, fresh spinach
Sautee onion and celery in coconut oil till soft. Add tomatoes, beans, stock and dried mushrooms. Add pasta and simmer pasta according to package directions. Add spinach last, and simmer five minutes or until softened. The addition of the porcini mushrooms is incredible. Super hearty vegetarian soup.
Vegan Thai Coconut Curried Carrot
Wow, super good soup! You will love this. Unless your guy is an advanced eater, he probably won’t like this one. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying this. I based it on a soup I had from the food bar at Whole Foods. Try both, and see which one you like best!
Red Thai brand red curry paste, to taste (I do about 1 ½ t.)
Mild Indian curry to taste, (I add about 1 ½ t.)
Coconut oil, 3 – 4 T.
Coconut milk, 1 14 oz. can (full fat)
2 ½ C. Pacific brand vegetable stock
½ onion, chopped
5 lg. carrots, peeled and chopped
Hot chili pepper flakes
Fresh ginger, chopped fine
Coyo all natural coconut yogurt
Sautee onion in coconut oil in large stock pot. Add carrots and stock and simmer 30 minutes.
Puree in blender. Return to pot and add coconut milk, ginger, curries and pepper flakes. Simmer a few more minutes and stir.
Garnish with lime juice and coconut yogurt. Super flavorful! Try not to get curry on your hands. The smell sticks with your hands for two days!
Well there you have it. I hope you enjoy these soup recipes as much as I (and hubby and son) do! And because I know you want to be proactive with your health, here’s a special gift for being my reader: You want stunning skin, an elevated mood and plenty of sustained energy throughout the day.
The only problem is you’re not always eating right, you don’t have a consistent routine for exercising at home, and you’re too tired (ok truth bomb, maybe even a little complacent!) to get started on a solid plan. Get some help already! I’ve got you covered with answers right here in a quick, easy to read, free download. I promise if you put the steps to work they will transform your current routines into something much more effective. Click here “The Five Pillars to Wellness“!
Bye for now,