Monday, April 1, 2013

Simple Soup Dish

Simple Soup Dish
OK, so Spring has sprung, and I'm set on motivating you to not just visit your local Farmers' Market, but to also buy something colorful, fresh, nutritious and organic.  The greens, oranges, and reds will stand out the most.  Now, by "greens" I don't mean your collards, kale, or mustard, and "yellow" is not just lemons or yellow bell peppers (though these are good fresh picks).  A lot of times people bypass the green zucchini squash and yellow summer squash because they've never had them or the taste is a little bland when cooked and practically tasteless eaten raw.  I've heard a lot of people say "I don't like squash," and they will only eat zucchini if it's baked in bread or muffins; - confessions, confessions ;-).  TO THE RESCUE!  Here's where I'm going to share with you three very nice green/yellow veggies and one simple soup dish to change all of that.  I think you will enjoy it and I know that you will write me back and tell me how pleased you were having spent some quality time with yourself and/or your family preparing and eating this dish.  I promise it won't last long, so don't think that you've made too much.

The Cast

Chayote Squash - seen mostly in Hispanic markets, this watery fruit-squash is excellent as a side dish or light snack.  Just steam it drizzle a little olive oil and sea salt on top and enjoy(diced raw in salads work well too).  For this soup we're going to steam and puree'-yum. Nutrition: Fiber, Folate, Vitamins A,B, & C, low sodium.


 Spinach - is one of the most recognized vegetables on the planet thanks to African Stew (Fufu) and Popeye.  Known for it's ability to strengthen muscles (that iron creates red blood cells that carries oxygen to the body systems), it's also an excellent addition to salads, soups and stews.  Best eaten uncooked. Nutrition: Beta-Carotene, Folate, Vitamins C & K.

 Yellow and Zucchini Squash - These are summer favorites for people who bake and like to make soups (like me).  As stated above, get them fresh and organic at you local Farmers' Market.  They are also excellent sliced into a salad. Nutrition: Vitamin C, Manganese, Potassium, Lutein. 

Supporting Cast

Africa PepperAKA: Cayenne, Piri-Piri, Bird or Thai Pepper (Whole)  - aides circulation and digestion. adds a nice punch to this soup. A little agave or honey on the tongue will slow down the 1000,000 Scoville Heat Units.  Nutrition: Capsaicin, Hot! (not as hot as habineros to me).  
Cumin - a spice that originated in Egypt, has been a part of African and India cuisine for thousands of years.  Cumin has antioxidant, anticancer, blood sugar-lowering, and antibacterial properties.  Cumin seed is a source of the essential mineral magnesium, which the body cannot produce and must get through diet.  Nutrition: Dietary Fiber, Iron, Potassium, Magnesium.    

Turmeric  - When added to foods, its carrot orange actually imparts a bright yellow color (see soup dish above).  The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) reports that turmeric contains curcumin, an agent that might stimulate the gallbladder to produce more bile.  This spice is widely used in Ayurveda Medicine particularly in conditions of inflammation. Nutrition: Curcumin, Fiber, Iron, Manganese.

Sea Salt -   as opposed to Idoniized Salt has less sodium and is nutritionally dense in trace minerals. Ranging in color from light pink to black, sea salt has many uses culinary as well as medicinal and therapeutic.  It's essential for certain body functions.  Nutrition: Chloride, Sodium, Trace Minerals.

Blender - used to merry all of the above into a smooth gathering.  Choose the manufacturer that you prefer; there are plenty to choose from ranging from the least expensive to very expensive.

Now preparation is simple, after rinsing, peeling and slicing into large chunks the above squashes, add them along with the African Pepper (only one unless you really,really like hot) and a dash of sea salt to boiling water (To cover), then cook 10-12 minutes until tender. Start with the chayote and cook about 5 minutes then add the yellow/zucchini in for the last 5-7 minutes.  I used exactly what I purchased which was about 3 medium chayote squash and 7-8 yellow and zucchini.  Spoon all of the yellow/zucchini squash, the pepper and some of the chayote chunks (leave a majority in to pot) into the blender then add the cumin, turmeric (about a half  tbsp of each) and sea salt (about a tsp then to taste at serving) on top.  Pour some (not all) of the water from the pot over the squash and start to "puree."  Add more water as it blends into a creamy consistency.  Pour the mixture back into the pot over the chunks of chayote squash and turn heat to low for a few (2-3) minutes then then turn off.  Take about 3-4 spinach leaves and place into the soup bowl and ladle in the soup.  Salt to taste and enjoy.  I'm a strange eater, so I sprinkle my sea salt and some Braggs Nutritional Yeast in the bottom of my bowl, then I ladle in my soup. You can also put some healthy crackers or whole grain chips on the bottom and ladle in the hot soup as well. don't forget to share.

Simple Soup Dish

This soup is light and will not satiate you to the point of over stuffed.  I like it because it  is full of water saliable cell charging nutrients (sodium, trace minerals  and vitamins) that move toxins and nourish the body.  It has a smooth taste with a little punch from the pepper (excellent for circulation), and the chunks of chayote and spinach give it a nice texture.  So, gobble it up and give me your feedback.  Enjoy!

**Soup dish and spinach photo courtesy of You-nique' Enter-Natural Photo Gallery,  All Squash, Spices and Blender photos courtesy of internet sites through Bing search (no formal permission obtained).


  1. wow, I wish I could have shared the pot I made. It was delicioso - better that Good :-) .

  2. I'm determined to try this! Thanks so much for the pictures too! I'm really visual so it helps a lot.

    1. Great! Invite a friend to join you so that you don't stuff yourself as I did :-) Grab the Chayote squash the next time you go into the market (Vermont FM Friday's @ Wilshire/Vermont, Ralph's, Food for Less, Sprouts, Hispanic Mkt) They keep pretty well so you don't feel like you need to use them ASAP, try collecting the spices so they are there whenever you need them. Also, collect a few kinds of Sea Salt they really "pop" a dish with accent & taste. Thanks for the support Dr, Shani.

  3. YYYYYYUUUUMMMMMMMERRRRRSSSS!!!!! This looks crazily good. I am going to try it with some zucchini I have around!! I love the color the turmeric ads!! I also thank you for taking the pictures - so purdy! Love the idea of salting the bottom of the bowl, and I tried nutritional yeast the other day through my friends Javier and Martha - great sub for cheese! This recipe is extremely easy which is so great. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Meg, welcome aboard!!! Yes it was YYYYYUUUUMMMMMMERRRRRSSSSS!!!!!! it's one that can be a cool afternoon "pick me up" also. That Nutritional Yeast is just amazing. When I first brought mine it just sat around for a while, I'd forgotten how great it was on popcorn cause I don't pop anymore. So when I started putting it in my recipes, I became amazed and excited all over again. Hey thanks again for getting on board, looking forward to your sharing on local fairs and what's on your menue for the week, so don't hesitate to post it here OK. Til next post, Be well.