Ugly Soup

February 01, 2010

Ugly Soup

It seems hardly blogworthy to post on something that may taste wonderful but looks unappetizing. How can I convince you of the merits of my Ugly Soup?

Let me try: cancer fighting, antioxidants, immune boosting, vitamin c, complete protein, fiber, gluten free, simple to make, consistently tasty.


A dear friend of mine makes a batch of not as-ugly soup every week, using some of the same ingredients. You see, the ugliness and variations in taste can be adjusted based on what is available in your veggie drawer. I will tell you that the greater the health benefits, the more unsightly the creation. Consider yourself warned.

Ingredients for my ugliest Ugly Soup:

  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil (heart health!)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (heart health!)
  • 1 small onion, chopped (cancer fighting!)
  • 1 1/2- 2 lbs. ground turkey (protein, cancer-protective selenium!)
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (protein!) (I actually use several heaping tablespoons of Better Than Boullion to several quarts of water)
  • 1 can tomato paste (lycopene!)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (vitamin C!)
  • 4 carrots, chopped (beta-carotene, cancer fighting!)
  • 1 cup quinoa (complete protein!)
  • 1-2 cups button mushrooms (immune boosting!)
  • 2-3 zucchini or yellow squash, chopped (vitamin C!)
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped (cancer fighting!)
  • 2 cups frozen corn, or Soycotash from Trader Joe's (fiber and folate!)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and juice (antioxidants!)
  • about 1/3 cup dry white wine (antioxidants!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano (antioxidants!)
  • salt and pepper

Get a big pot. Heat olive oil in pot over medium high heat. Add garlic and onions. Cook until onions are translucent. Add ground turkey, and cook through. Add chicken stock, scraping bits from sides and bottom of pot. Mix tomato paste into stock. Bring to gentle boil. Add celery, carrots, and quinoa. Simmer until carrots are semi-tender. Add mushrooms, squash, cabbage, and corn. Continue to cook on medium-high until all veggies are tender and quinoa has "popped." Add canned tomatoes, oregano, wine, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low for another 10 minutes or so.

It should be looking rather hideous by now.

Taste, and realize you can't judge a soup by sight.

*Update: I'm now boiling the soup for longer, until the quinoa is not only "popped" but startes thickening the soup with it's "starchiness." I also use "Organic Chicken Better Thank Bouillon" and however much water I need to make a full pot.

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