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Integrative health recipe corner - December 2016

With the holidays upon us, it is easy to enjoy more than the usual portions as well as more rich and calorie-laden foods. That’s why this month’s recipe corner features some lighter foods—two satisfying soups—that are filling yet nutrient-dense and low in calories and fat. Including meals consisting of one or both these soups throughout the holidays may help to keep overall calories and diet quality in check, thus helping to avoid holiday weight gain.  

Meal-in-a-bowl soup

The list of ingredients in this soup is a little intimidating. However, it is easy to prepare since the ingredients only require peeling and chopping. And, the recipe also makes enough to last for days. If you are missing some of these ingredients, you can substitute them for something you already have on hand in your cabinet or refrigerator-- it will still taste wonderful.

Serves: 10 (2-cup servings)


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch celery, leaves included, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 3 fat carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 fist-sized yellow potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 head green cabbage (about the size of two hands cupped together), shredded
  • 2 15-ounce cans white kidney beans (low sodium, if desired), rinsed and drained
  • 8 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 12 cups (3 liters) low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil


In a large Dutch oven, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, carrots and parsnips. Saute until the onions are soft. Add the garlic, potatoes, shredded cabbage and all of the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and let simmer for an hour or until the vegetables are soft.

Serve hot.

Carrot soup

There is nothing more satisfying than a hot bowl of soup on a brisk autumn or winter evening. This soup is extra comforting due to its smooth texture and warm flavors, like ginger. Pair this soup with half a sandwich made with whole grain bread or a small salad, and you have a meal.

Serves: 6 (2-cup servings)


  • 1/3 cup coconut* or olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups sweet carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, passed through a garlic press
  • 7 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Juice of 2 fresh oranges
  • 1 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • Optional: fresh chives; baked ginger**


Place the coconut butter (or olive oil) in a Dutch oven. Heat over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until soft, about five minutes. Add the carrots, sweet potato and garlic. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 15 minutes. Add the chicken or vegetable broth, pepper and salt. Continue to heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and add the orange juice and freshly grated ginger. Simmer for one hour.

Using an immersion blender***, puree the soup. Ladle into soup bowls and serve hot. Garnish with chopped fresh chives or baked ginger (if using).

*Coconut oil is especially delicious when used in this soup.

**To make baked ginger: Brush ginger with olive oil and bake at 400 degrees until crisp.

***If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can allow the soup to cool off and puree (in batches, if needed) in a regular blender.

Written by: Massey Communications Office

Posted on: November 28, 2016