Sunday, June 9, 2013

Springtime Minestrone Soup

For many here in the states the beginning of June is still the end of Spring, just inching it's way into Summer. But around here where we are already steadily over 100 degrees, it's already feeling like Summer. But so as not to rush into things, I decided to post this Springtime Vegetable Minestrone using some of the spring tender asparagus, tomatoes, peas, watercress and kale.

This is another easy recipe, as it uses the crockpot to slowly simmer the flavors all day long. People often think of the crockpot only in cold weather months but forget that it can come in just as handy for those busy warm weather days when you just don't want to be in the kitchen much.

Speaking of warm weather, I have to apologize for being a little light on the posts these last couple of weeks. It's this time of year when we first get into the hot temperatures that I always forget how it effects my health. It causes me a flare up that I knocks out my energy and makes me feel quite sick and every year I am always surprised. I guess I always think it's behind me when I improve in cooler weather. But sadly, not yet.

It's been hard for me to prepare and photograph the meals as I would like. Perhaps I may snap some more informal shots as I do for Instagram from time to time for the simple things. I'll experiment and see what you all think.

So for now, until I get my feet back under me, I will be leaning more toward easy and simple meals for a while. Lots of smoothies, salads, fruit, which is prefect for the summer months anyway but soup is still a perfect fit for highly nutritious no brainer meals.

So Super Soup Sunday is still on!

Springtime Minestrone Soup with Raw-mesean 

This recipe is adapted from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's website and member newsletter. I used the crockpot as suggested but this could easily be cooked on the stove in a soup pot for a shorter period of time.

Here is a combination of broth, water and carrot juice for the base. Kale, watercress and green peas up the nutritional quotient, while barley and cannellini beans make it a heartier more filling soup.
Tender asparagus, fresh tomatoes, carrots and onions round out the vegetables. The recipe called for thyme and oregano but I substituted an organic Herbs de Provence mix for a little more flavor with the garlic.

Raw-mesean is a nut based cheese substitute for parmesan cheese. Try it! I think you'll like it!


1 small bunch of kale, tough stems removed and chopped
3 cups diced fresh tomatoes
1 15 oz can of low salt cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained (1 1/2 cup)
3 carrots, peeled if not organic and sliced
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup hulless barley (dry)
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups of water
1 cup carrot juice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano, dried
1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 thin asparagus stocks
1 cup frozen organic peas
3 cups fresh watercress

Place everything except the peas, asparagus and watercress in the crock pot.
Cook covered on low for 6 hours.

Add the asparagus and peas and cook another 20 minutes or until asparagus is tender.

Add watercress until wilted.

Ladle soup up into bowls and dust the top with the raw-mesean or pass on the side in a bowl.

For the Raw-mesean:

1/2 cup almonds, (walnuts or even pine nuts work well too)
1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast- for that cheesy flavor

Pulse in a food processor until crumbly and resembling parmesan cheese in consistency.

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