I posted a question on our Clean Cuisine Facebook page asking people to share ten things they keep in their refrigerator at all times. And of course I shared what I always have on hand in mine too. One of my refrigerator staples is always a big pot of some sort of vegetable soup…
5 Servings of Fruits & Vegetables a Day is NOT EnoughI can’t tell you how many fruits and vegetables our family eats – but trust me, it is a lot. It’s way over the recommended 5 servings a day (which in my opinion is far too little). Unfortunately, the vast majority of people don’t even come close to getting 5 a day. I think there are several reasons for this:
- 1) The decline in home cooking
- 2) the dramatic upswing in restaurant dining (for whatever reason, most restaurants serve teeny-tiny vegetable servings and rarely have fruit as a menu option)
- 3) fruits and vegetables are not thought of as exciting or fun to eat, which is a huge problem
Make Eating Fruits & Vegetables Easy!
One of the keys to eating more fruits and vegetables is to make doing so easy.
You would think eating raw fruit would be easy enough but people still seem to have a hard time getting to the store frequently enough to keep fresh fruit on hand. So buy frozen. There is absolutely nothing wrong with eating frozen fruit–and it is perfect for adding to smoothies.
When it comes to eating vegetables, what works for me is keeping a big pot of vegetable soup (such as my easy tomato soup recipe featured below) in the fridge at all times. Having a go-to and ready-made vegetable dish that tastes really good makes vegetable-eating so much easier. I also know the importance of convenience and taste when deciding what to eat and I know if you have a healthy delicious veggie-forward food readily available in your fridge you will actually eat it.
If you are trying to lose weight, vegetable soups will soon become one of your best weight loss tools as they really can actually turn off hunger. It’s the dynamic combination of high nutrients, fiber, plant-based phytonutrients plus a small amount of healthy fat in soups that keep you feeling satisfied and energized for hours on end.
I have a collection of favorite easy soup recipes on the Clean Cuisine website, but my easy tomato soup recipe below is one of my absolute favorite stand-by favorites. It is exceptionally kid-friendly. And it sure beats Campbell’s.
Easy Tomato Soup
- Yield: 4 to 6 1x
- 5 large fresh tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 Spanish onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- Unrefined sea salt, to taste (such as Real Salt)
- 4 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Pacific Natural Foods)
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons raw honey
- Juice from 1 whole lime
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add the tomatoes to the boiling water and cook 4-5 minutes, or until skins loosen. Carefully remove tomatoes from the water with a slotted spoon. Set aside until tomatoes are cool enough to handle; carefully slip off the skins and discard. Chop the tomatoes and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; add the garlic, onions and celery. Sauté for 1 -2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and carrots and sauté 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Season with salt to taste. Add the chopped tomatoes.
- Add the broth, curry powder, honey and lime juice. Simmer for 15 minutes. Use a handheld stick blender and process until smooth and creamy. Serve hot or cold.
Tomato soup is delicious hot or cold!