The ground hog has seen his shadow and here we go plummeting into another six weeks of winter. I do understand that “winter” in Florida is laughable. Any time it is under 60 you can guarantee I am wearing my boots…and probably a light cardigan…and scarf. Got to get those cute layers in when I can! Aside from my winter wardrobe, do you know what else comes out? Germs. Staying indoors, swapping coughs, and snuggling under blankets. The perfect recipe for a cold. I feel it is my duty as a health care provider to share with you the most important thing about winter, wash your hands! Forget that noise, do it year round! Along with washing your hands you should definitely try this immune boosting, anti-inflammatory, nasal passage opening, cough suppressing, delicious soup. The ingredients are healthy and the calories are low so you won’t have to worry about wearing that bulky sweater to cover up.
As I usually say with my recipes, feel free to cook with what you have on hand. Switch up the greens for instance. Get creative and have a good time! I have used collards, kale, and spinach in this recipe! Pictured here are collard greens (so unconventional right?!) but I must admit kale is my favorite. It stands up well to the cooking process and let’s face it, kale is just the cool thing to eat right now aka it’s on sale all of the time.
Roasted Garlic, Chickpea, and Greens Soup
Cook Time: 45 min.
Serving Size: 6-8
- 2 table spoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, roughly chopped (Lord knows a fine chop is not my forte)
- 1/2 cup of chopped carrot “dip chips” or 1 carrot chopped
- 1 can of reduced sodium chickpeas, drained
- 1 large head of garlic, roasted (instructions listed below)
- 1 tsp. freshly chopped herbs – rosemary, parsley, thyme whatever you have on hand!
- 32 oz. Vegetarian No Chicken Broth – this will change your life its so good! Can’t find it at your local grocer, just use veggie broth or order it online
- 4 cups kale, chopped or other desired sturdy green. If a softer green, such as spinach, is more your style, just throw it in last minute to wilt it as opposed to letting it cook as described below.
- Good pinch of sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Dash of cayenne
- Juice and zest from one lemon
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley *optional
- 4 slices of sprouted or whole grain bread
Pre-heat the oven to 350. Trim the head of your garlic (the pointy side) and place on aluminum foil, about the size of a sheet of paper. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt. Bundle that baby up, wrapping the entire head of garlic so that it is covered. Place on a cookie sheet (learned that one the hard way) and roast for 45 minutes. This may seem like a tedious step. Do it a day or two ahead of time if you so desire. It is soooo worth it. Not only does it pump up the flavor of your soup, garlic has such great health benefits for you! I used to take organic garlic capsules to help lower my blood pressure. I know, what’s a girl like me doing with high blood pressure? #genetics When I talked to my doctor about it my pressure wasn’t high enough to prescribe me medication – thank goodness! – but she told me just to eat more garlic. Duh! Why was I spending so much money on garlic capsules when I could incorporate it into my diet. So roasted garlic, bring it on. Vampires beware. Readers also beware, this will make your house smell like an Italian bistro in the most amazing way.
In a large stock or soup pot heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and carrots. Saute until onions are translucent but not quite golden, about 10 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and dash of cayenne, rosemary, chickpeas and veggie broth. Squeeze each garlic clove into your soup. Use the back of your wooden spoon to squish some of the garlic and some of the chickpeas. Add washed and cleaned greens and cook for 20 minutes. UNLESS you are using spinach then wait to add this after you have cooked the soup for 15 minutes, then add the spinach and let it wilt in so that it is still bright green and full of awesome antioxidants and vitamins. Salt and pepper to taste. Hold off on the lemon juice and zest as well as the parsley until just before serving.
While your soup is cooking, slice the bread into dunking sticks! Drizzle with olive oil. Your oven should already be hot from the garlic roasting. Change it to high broil. Place bread on the cookie sheet and toast!
Oh, and set your timer or leave the door cracked open. Or else you will end up with bread that is extra crispy (ugh every time!) My sweet husband always tries to act like it’s okay and will eat the burnt bread. No can do.
Once you get the toast to a beautiful golden brown, and I know you can do it the first time, then place it on a plate for people to dunk, dip, and slurp their amazing soup.
Options to top your soup with a dash of hot sauce along with additional herbs, lemon, and lemon zest.
I hope you enjoy hunkering down this winter, bowl in (freshly washed) hand, snuggled under a blanket with your honey and this awesome germ fighting soup!