As the weather cools and trees change their colors, we tend to crave more warm and cozy feeling foods such as soups. And the best tasting and nutrient packed soups are those made from scratch, like mom used to. We’re sharing a more uncommon kind of soup today, beet soup, which is both tasty and full of health benefits.
Nutrients included: Beets contain a lot of sugar, but very few calories, making them sweet without the unhealthy impacts of usual sugary foods. This beet soup contains a healthy 2.2 grams of fiber per serving, improving dietary health. And it provides calcium and iron, two essential minerals that help the body stay strong and prevent injury.
But what beets are the best source of is antioxidants, natural substances that inhibit oxidation. Oxidation is damage done unto the cells by the environment, from things like the sun, air pollution, and chemicals we eat or drink. Antioxidants protect the body against this damage and repair any damage that’s already been done. They also aid the immune system in fighting off illnesses, including dreaded winter colds.
Prep Time: about 5 min. / Cook Time: 25 min. / Total Time: about 30 mins. / Servings: 8 (serving size: 3/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 medium beets, peeled and halved
- 1 medium potato, peeled and halved crosswise
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 8 teaspoons reduced-fat sour cream
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add onion to the oil and sauté 3 minutes, or until tender.
- Add the broth, water, salt, pepper, beets, potato, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until beets and potato are tender. Discard bay leaf when done.
- Place one-third of the broth mixture in blender or food processor. Process the broth until smooth, then place the puréed mixture in a large bowl.
- Repeat the processing procedure twice with remaining 2/3 of broth mixture.
- Return all of the pureed mixture to the pan. Warm soup over low heat for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
- Remove from heat, and stir in lemon juice.
- Combine 1/2 cup soup and the sour cream, stirring with a whisk.
- Divide soup evenly among each of 8 bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream mixture; swirl sour cream mixture using the tip of a knife.
The sour cream adds a creamy texture to the soup and makes a decorative swirled pattern in the vibrant beet colors of the soup. Like most soups, it can be served with lunch, dinner, as a snack, or as a meal in itself. Enjoy it with your family and friends, protect yourselves from the flu, and stay warm!
By Samantha Dillon, DR Vitamin Solutions