I am definitely a cool weather person and I’m convinced one of the reasons why is because I love soup. And while it of course depends on what’s in the soup, a warming bowl of vegetable-based goodness can provide a whole host of beneficial nutrients. In fact, studies show that people who eat a bowl of vegetable-based soup before a meal tend to eat about 20% fewer calories during the rest of the meal, as compared to those who didn’t start their meal with soup. Just think… if you start your meal with a bowl of soup frequently, this adds up to a lot of calories not consumed pretty quickly.
One reason that people may eat less if they start their meal with a small bowl of soup is because soup is mostly comprised of water and soup is filling. And, soups that are vegetable-based tend to contain high-nutrient density with low-energy density… nutrition speak for high in nutrients, low in calories.
Thanks to the vegetables, quinoa and beans in my Quinoa-Vegetable Soup, it is rich in vitamins A, B, C and K plus dietary fiber, antioxidants and protein. These nutrients are good for healthy skin and immune system, lowered blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, as well as a healthy gut and digestive system. It’s a cinch to whip up on a busy weeknight or on the weekend for a few days’ worth of warm lunches.
2cupsfavorite chopped frozen or fresh vegetables (like sweet potato, zucchini, broccoli or cauliflower)
0.75cupquinoa, rinsed and drained
4cupsvegetable or chicken broth
15ozcan white beans, rinsed and drained
1cupfavorite dark leafy greens, tough stems removed (like collard greens or kale)
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired
Heat large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery; cook and stir until veggies have softened, about 6-8 minutes. Add tomatoes and thyme; cook and stir for another 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining chopped vegetables, quinoa, broth, water and bay leaves. Season to taste. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Add beans and greens to pot; simmer for another 5-10 minutes, until greens have softened. Remove from heat and remove bay leaves. Top with freshly grated Parmesan, if desired. Makes 6 servings.
*This recipe first appeared on SmartMouthNutrition.com on January 16, 2019.*