Monday, October 21, 2013

Everything Orange Soup - Vegan And Gluten Free, Perfect For Thanksgiving!

Butternut squash, carrots, oranges, and turmeric
 blend up into  this healthy autumn soup.

Perfect for Thanksgiving or even Halloween!

instinct - (definition)
1. an innate, typically fixed pattern of behavior in animals in response to certain stimuli.

In this case, the stimuli is fall, the leaves turning color, and the cooler weather. 
The fixed pattern of behavior, at least for me, is to make soup! 

This instinctive behavior was part of the driving force behind my Seasonally Raw Food Plan that I write about in my book, Health Begins in the Kitchen. Despite my love of raw food and my belief of its critical role in a healthy diet, I believe that certain seasons and climates dictate the percentage and balance of raw and cooked foods in our diet.

Phytochemical Stew
I almost named this dish Phytochemical Stew but I realized that, besides me, not many people would find that appetizing. But when I look at the beautiful orange color of squash, carrots, fresh oranges, and turmeric, I see phytochemicals such as carotenoids, flavonoids and more. And although the original purpose of these plant chemicals is to protect the plants themselves, research demonstrates that these substances can also help protect humans from all kinds of diseases. 

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Everything Orange Soup
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 6 servings]

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 cups sliced carrots
4 cups diced butternut squash or pumpkin
2 cups chopped tomatoes, or 15 oz can diced
4 cups veggie broth*
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste, plus some for garnish
2 medium oranges, peeled and seeded
pinch of fresh thyme for garnish

* or 4 cups water and a large Rapunzel vegetable bouillon cube

Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onions and celery and cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, until they soften, about 5 minutes. 

Add the garlic, ginger, and turmeric and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the carrots, squash (or pumpkin), tomatoes, broth, salt and pepper and cook, covered, until the vegetables soften, about 20 minutes.

Place the soup in a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix, together with the fresh oranges, and blend until smooth. You may have to do this in batches. 

Return to the pot, heat, and serve. Garnish with fresh thyme and additional freshly ground black pepper.

Per serving: 142 calories, 3 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 51 mg omega-3 and 376 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 6 g dietary fiber, and 589 mg sodium.

Download Health Begins in the Kitchen for lots more vegan and gluten-free Thanksgiving favorites, as well as recipes for a Raw Vegan Thanksgiving Banquet!

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