Food & Drink

Spices give soup extra healing powers

#x201c;Power Spicing#x201d; by Rachel Beller. (Penguin Random House/TNS)
“Power Spicing” by Rachel Beller. (Penguin Random House/TNS)

In her new book, “Power Spicing,” nutrition expert Rachel Beller builds a convincing case that spices, herbs and blends can decrease your risk of illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

A registered dietitian nutritionist, Beller says she combed through research to create the book’s 60 recipes that are loaded with antioxidants.

The book has a chapter that details the health benefits of various spices, from allspice to turmeric. There also are recipes for her DIY spice blends, which capitalize on what she calls “spice synergy,” the idea that certain spices boost each other’s nutritional benefits.

This soup recipe is good to have on hand during flu season. Beller says she makes it any time a family member is under the weather. “With heavy doses of turmeric, ginger and garlic, it’s ridiculously healing and anti-inflammatory,” she writes in the introduction to the recipe. And, she says, adding a little cayenne pepper will also help clear sinuses.

IMMUNITY TURMERIC SOUP

Makes 12 cups

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oi

1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium carrot, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds (about 1 cup)

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 medium cauliflower head, cored and cut into florets (about 4 cups)

2 medium zucchini, diced (3 to 4 cups)

4 cups chopped kale or Swiss chard (9-10 ounces)

2 cups cooked cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Add the carrot and celery and cook for 3 minutes, allowing them to cook yet remain tender. Add the turmeric, ginger, black pepper and cayenne and stir until the vegetables are fully coated with the spices.

Increase the heat to medium-high, add the broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce the heat to low and add cauliflower and zucchini. Cover the saucepan and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is very tender.

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Stir in the kale and cannellini beans and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, until the greens are slightly wilted. Serve hot.

Source: “Power Spicing” by Rachel Beller

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