In the second installment of our Changes4Life Series brought to you by Chris4Life, we are sticking within the “food” vein, after all, “you are what you eat”, and this time, it’s summer soup!Â Yes, soup isn’t just a comfort food to slurp while snuggled by a roaring fire in the dead of winter.Â Contrary to popular belief, soup is truly an all year round meal, even during the warmest months. Lucky for you, me, us, we have Soupergirl Sara Polon to the rescue to help us decide what the most ideal choices and ingredients are.
Soupergirl Sara Polon writes to us: Contrary to popular opinion, soup is one of the healthiest food options available today!Â It justÂ takes one bowl of soup to make a meal. Eating soup is also the perfectÂ way to easily incorporate healthy eatingÂ into your life. Worried aboutÂ getting the five-to-seven-a-day vegetable recommendation? Need to addÂ more whole grains into your life? Soup! It is perfect for any season,Â any kindÂ of weather, any occasion, and any meal. Soup is the originalÂ comfort food. Unfortunately, many producers over salt their soup, removing all the amazing health potential. When making or eating soup, look for unique spice combinations, grains, beans, and fresh vegetables. Salt need not apply!
Soup is also the perfect way to incorporate all the amazing local produce available in our area into your diet. With every season comes new produce which can be turned into an amazing soup or stew. Sweet potato chili in the winter, creamy asparagus in the spring, classic tomato in the summer, and roasted pumpkin the the fall! I’m just getting started…
Six of our favorite (and souper healthy) soups:
1 – Summer Quinoa Vegetable-Basil Soup: Quinoa is the new “it” super (souper!) food – full of protein and fiber, but gluten free! Low on the glycemic index. Throw in fresh summer zucchini and bell peppers, and add a handful of fresh, fragrant basil. The perfect summer soup!
2 – Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili: Definitely a meal in a bowl. Beans are amazingly healthy. The fiber will make you feel full for hours. The protein will keep your metabolism steady. The sweet potatoes give you a full dose of vitamin C.
3. Smoky Black Eyed Pea and Kale – Like black beans, black eyed peas are super-legumes! Add in kale – one of the most powerful leafy green veggies! Spanish smoked paprika makes the soup taste almost meaty. Gobble this up and you’ll get your protein and veggie fix for the day!
4. “Cream” of Asparagus – Who needs real cream? Ladies and gentlemen, meet cashew cream! The same consistency, texture, and flavor of cream without the dairy and saturated fat! Use cashew cream to make cream of asparagus, broccoli, mushroom, potato… really whatever is in season! This type of soup can be served hot or cold.
5. Watermelon Gazpacho – Our favorite twist on gazpacho! Add watermelon for all natural sweetness and extra shots of vitamin C and vitamin A!
6. Basil Spiked Zucchini Tomato. It is the essence of summer with fresh, juicy tomatoes and fragrant green basil. The zucchini purees into a creamy broth – without any cream!
So chop, mix, puree, forget the salt, use the natural ingredients from our earth to flavor, eat up and feel good about yourself.Â Learn more (and order your own soup!) about Soupergirl.
Pamela Lynne Sorensen is the founder of Pamela’s Punch, a leading source of information for the “who, what, when, and where” of Washington, DC’s elite social, professional, and philanthropic scene, which she founded in November of 2006. In 2012 she launched Pacific Punch, based in Los Angeles. Pamela comes from an extensive background in sales and business development from a variety of industries, has been involved with charities and fundraising for a number of years and holds several Board and leadership positions. She currently resides in Arlington, Virginia and when she’s not out on the town, she’s reading or writing while sipping fine wine, or traveling the country and the world ISO adventures, beauty, fun, food, style, libations, music, and the good life. Follow her on Twitter at @pamelaspunch.