Healthy Soup Offers Many Different Benefits

Food is a critical component of healthy living, helping people to reduce their risk for illnesses and even helping them to overcome colds and other ailments. The properties of soup, for example, can chase away chills and offer other benefits. Soup is hydrating, and the ingredients included in the recipe may be able to do everything from tame coughs to reduce mucus to boost the immune system.

This recipe for “Navy Bean and Collard Greens Soup” courtesy of John La Puma, M.D., ChefMD, includes collard greens. When one chops or chews collard greens, he or she gets the powerful, helpful chemicals isothiocyanates and indole-3-carbinol. They can help the liver produce enzymes that detoxify cancer-causing toxins in the body. In addition, the soup includes tofu, which will adopt the flavor of other ingredients and add a form of lean protein along with the beans.

Navy Bean and Collard Greens Soup
Serves 4

3 cups vegetable broth, such as Pacific Organic brand
4 cups coarsely chopped stemmed collard greens, preferably organic (1 bunch 10 to 12 ounces)
11⁄2 cup packaged julienned (matchstick) carrots
11⁄2 teaspoons chili garlic puree or chili paste with garlic
1 (12 ounce) package extra firm tofu, cubed in bite size pieces
1 (16 ounce) can unsalted navy beans, drained
1⁄4 cup grated Romano cheese

Combine broth, collard greens, carrots, and chili garlic puree in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until greens are nearly tender. Stir in tofu and beans; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Ladle into shallow bowls; top with cheese.

Tips: Great northern or cannellini beans may replace the navy beans and Swiss chard may replace the collard greens if desired. Also, look for chili garlic puree or chili paste with garlic in the ethnic section of the supermarket. Because the beans are unsalted, there is no need to rinse them before adding to the soup.

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