Whether they are from your garden, the farmers’ market, or the produce section of your grocer, nothing captures the smell and look of summer like fresh vegetables. This is especially true if you simmer vegetables together, allowing their aromas to be released and the different flavors to mingle.
In this summer soup, onion and garlic provide the underlying flavor. The medley of carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes and corn provides appetizing rich colors. They compose an earthy blend of flavors and cancer protective nutritional value – low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with potassium, beta-carotene and vitamin C. Once the chickpeas are in the mix, they add subtle nutty taste. Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are rich in fiber and a good source of protein.
The basil and chives garnish imparts a pleasant Mediterranean quality to the dish. In fact, chives enhance everything from vegetables and baked potatoes to salads and soups. You might want to consider growing them in a container on a sunny windowsill – bring summer to your culinary space year round. It’s easy to do.
Simply select a chive plant from a garden or garden store. Remove a clump with the roots about the size of your fist. Use a 6 to 8 inch pot. Put an inch or two of gravel in the bottom. Then fill the pot a little over half full with a good potting soil. Next, hold the chive clump in place and finish filling the pot with potting soil, covering the roots. Gently pat the soil. Cut about a quarter off the top of the plant to stimulate new growth. Chives need good light so set them in a sunny window. Don’t overwater, but sprinkle to moisten them uniformly. Harvest chives sparingly for the first 8 months or so by removing only about half of the new growth from the plant. You also could grow chives from seeds, but replanting is the easiest method. With proper care, chives will fill out and provide a bounty for enhancing many of the dishes you prepare, especially Summer Veggie Soup.
Summer Veggie Soup
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
32 oz. reduced-sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth may be substituted)
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 medium yellow squash, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
2 medium potatoes, diced into ½-inch pieces
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 plum or Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
¼ cup of fresh chives, coarsely chopped
In soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté about 6-8 minutes. Add carrots and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in broth, chickpeas, squash, zucchini, potatoes, corn, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in asparagus and cook 2 minutes or until squash and potatoes are tender, but not mushy. Then stir in tomatoes and cook 2 minutes.
Place in bowls, garnish with basil and chives and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 210 calories, 3.5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 38 g carbohydrate, 9 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 340 mg sodium.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $96 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.
Article Posted: May 15, 2013