This soup and its variations are designed to help you recover and rejuvenate from the excesses of holiday eating. This is also great to use during Phase One of Dr. Dale’s Healthy Weight Loss Program. I wouldn’t necessarily consider these a gourmet meal, but many of my patients find it refreshing, tasty, satisfying and convenient, as this recipe will last for several meals. Additionally, it is rich in alkalinizing minerals and an excellent low carb, single bowl meal.
The quantity below is enough for a number of meals; it makes approximately 5 quarts. Once done, it is very convenient because your next several meals are ready in no time!
Ingredients for the soup base:
- 1.5 lbs. carrots, roughly chopped into ½ inch chunks
- 3 lbs. leeks, white & light green parts only, sliced into ¼” – ½” rings (you can also use onions, cut into ½” – 1” chunks, or mix leeks & onions)
- 2 lbs. green cabbage, cored and sliced into ¼” wide slices
- 3 quarts + 2 cups filtered water
- Olive oil, a drizzle
Note: when buying leeks, choose those that have the most white.
Lightly cover the bottom of a large soup pot with some olive oil. Add the carrots, leeks and/or onions to the pot and sauté lightly until the onions become translucent. Add the filtered water to the pot. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cabbage and simmer for another 20 minutes.
You can use chicken stock as part of your liquid (up to half of the liquid). This will provide more body and flavor to the soup. I would only recommend using either homemade chicken stock or “Stock Options” frozen chicken stock (available at Gelson’s). This is the commercial version that does not have a lot of added salt or lots of other added ingredients.
If you want to add some tomatoes to this soup, which also makes for a more substantial flavor, you can use a can of “No Salt Added” whole or crushed tomatoes. They are best either blended or put through a food mill. Alternatively, you could use 2 – 4 cups of a good quality jarred tomato purée. I recommend bionaturæ® Organic Strained Tomatoes. Gelson’s and Whole Foods carry this brand. It is very clean, with no salt or preservatives added.
Seasonings & Toppings:
If you feel you have to have some salt with this—and you have not already added sodium-containing stock or tomatoes—use only a good quality sea salt and use as little as possible. You should also drizzle up to a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil into each large bowl of soup. Additional toppings to add some flavor or freshen up this soup (use any or all): chopped cilantro, parsley, basil, raw onion, garlic or red pepper flakes to add some spice. Any fresh herbs added to this are fine, as well as red or green salsa.
You can choose any one of the following proteins: salmon, halibut, snapper, chicken or turkey (breast, leg or thigh). Cook these separately and then add to your soup for that meal. Cooking them separately will allow you to use the same pot of soup over several days, varying the protein source from day to day so you don’t get bored.
You can broil, roast, poach or steam your fish or poultry proteins. One option is to take some of the broth from the soup and use that to poach or steam your protein. 3 – 5 ounces of protein should be sufficient for one meal.
You can also use eggs as your protein source. Here’s how: Hard-boil some eggs, and for each meal chop up two eggs and sprinkle them on top of your soup. Another method is to beat two eggs, and while your serving of soup is simmering, slowly pour the eggs into the soup while stirring; this gives you a version of egg drop soup. The hard-boiled egg version is the French way and very convenient. You can hard-boil 6 or more eggs at one time and have them ready whenever you need them.