It’s cold & flu season and my house is not “immune”. That’s why I made a batch of this immune-boosting soup for my sad sounding sickie souls and I am pretty sure it’ll have them leaping off tall buildings in no time.
Did you know, my friends, that a homemade soup jam-packed with green leafy stuff will detox, immune boost and make your belly happy?
In fact…ahem… prepare to be impressed. The cruciferous vegetables of the genes Brassica, which include cabbage broccoli, cauliflower, kale and swiss chard contain more then 80 micronutrients. They also enhance antioxidant and detoxification effects in the body. If that doesn’t get you running out the door to the produce section then check this out. Those same veggies inhibit tumour growth and block cancer-causing compounds. So basically it’s the soup of superhero’s.
I little word of caution about soup stock. Be careful of those cubes trying to pass for chicken stock. They contain MSG and enough salt to leave you pms bloated year round. Organic stock is much better and if you get it on sale it’s very close in price to the crappy stuff. Also, it’s worth getting the good cheese to sprinkle on top- the cheap stuff can taste like sawdust and a little block of the real deal only costs a little “chedda”.
Mom’s, put on your cape, get out a big chopping board and favourite chopping knife. Pour yourself a glass of wine and get ready to create something magical.
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) mild pancetta or prosciutto, finely chopped
2 cups (500 mL) coarsely chopped onion
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped garlic
1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped celery
1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped carrot
3 cups (750 mL) coarsely chopped Swiss chard stalks
(the white part)
1/4 tsp (1 mL) Longo’s chili flakes (optional)
4 cups (1 L) coarsely chopped Swiss chard leaves
(the green part)
4 cups (1 L) coarsely chopped fresh cauliflower florets
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) cannellini or white kidney beans,
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) Longo’s diced tomatoes
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped Longo’s fresh thyme
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 cups (500 mL) cubed, stale bread, e.g., ciabatta
or baguette (optional)
2 tsp (10 mL) salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil for drizzling
In large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pancetta, if using, onion, garlic, celery, carrot, Swiss chard stalks
and chili flakes, if using.
Sauté ingredients for 20 minutes or
until onions are lightly browned, stirring as needed.
Add Swiss chard leaves, cauliflower, beans, tomatoes, thyme
and chicken stock. If needed, add enough water to just cover
the ingredients. Cover the pot, bring to boil and reduce heat to
simmer. Simmer for 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in cheese, and bread, if using. Allow bread to soften and
stir in salt and pepper.
Serve drizzled with olive oil and a hug
Make 8 servings.