Take advantage of National Nutrition Month with this delicious spring vegetable soup recipe.
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? It's the perfect time to settle into spring and utilize the outdoors to start growing your garden. National Nutrition Month is an educational initiative by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that hopes to remind everyone - regardless of age - that understanding the basics of proper nutrition and healthy eating are extremely important to maximize overall health and wellbeing. For some, eating healthy can seem like a challenge, but doesn't have to be! According to Helpguide, simple steps like reducing sugar consumption and understanding portion control are ways to get going in in the right direction.
Start growing your own vegetables
If you want to take a different approach on maximizing your overall health, consider growing your own vegetables! Not only can it provide you with a fresher variety when it comes to nourishing your body, but it can also introduce you to a new world of flavors and even reduce the amount of money you spend at the grocery store, according to Cooking Light magazine. Growing your own foods in a garden can benefit your body, but it can also assist the environment surrounding it. Do yourself - and the earth - a favor and start growing your own veggies!
Make the most of your garden
Think of all of the dishes you could make and how much more convenient it would be to try new things! Stepping out into your backyard to grab a handful of asparagus sounds a lot more appealing than starting the car to head to the grocery store. Besides, what's more gratifying than making a meal that came directly from the ingredients found in your garden? There are a number of delicious and nutritious recipes you can try out to celebrate National Nutrition Month, but why not make one that utilizes the new vegetables you grew on your own time? Check out this Spring Vegetable Soup recipe from Simply Fresh Dinners.
Spring Vegetable Soup
This recipe brings an array of vegetables together to create the perfect, comforting soup that can benefit your overall health.
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 leek - white and light green parts, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot - diced
- 1 carrot - diced
- 1 tsp. tomato paste
- 1 handful of parsley - chopped
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- 10 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup white cannellini beans
- 2 tomatoes - sliced into small wedges
- 1 cup zucchini - diced
- 8 asparagus spears - cut into 1.5-inch pieces
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup mushrooms - sliced
- 1.5 cups pasta - ziti, fusilli and orechiette are suggested
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic gloves - minced
- 1 Tbsp. pine nuts
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Add the extra virgin olive oil to a large pot and warm over medium high heat. Once the bottom is well-coated, add the leek, shallot and carrot and stir frequently until the mixture reaches a soft consistency this should take about 7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Next, add the tomato paste and garlic. Stir until the mixture combines well with the softened vegetables this should take about 1 minute.
Add the vegetable stock and beans to mixture and bring it to a boil. Once the stock is boiling, add the pasta and turn heat down to medium high. Cook for about 10 minutes.
Once that time is up, add the tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus, peas and mushroom. Cook until these veggies reach a tender consistency this should take approximately 7 minutes. Leave on low heat to keep warm while making the pesto.
To make the basil pesto mixture, place basil leaves and pine nuts in a food processor. Pulse about five times to mix well. Then, add the garlic and cheese, and grind another five times. Drizzle in the olive oil as you pulse to form the perfect paste-like consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Remove pesto from food processor and add to soup mixture. Stir well for about 2 minutes and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Source: Sunrise Senior Living