I think most of us start feeling pretty tired of heavy holiday foods and start craving something lighter, simpler and, dare I say, healthier! This soup has it all when it comes to light nutrition. Hmmm… I kind of like that term. I may keep it! Light meaning lower in calories and fat and without common allergens (like gluten and dairy), but high in nutrient density. This means lots of greens and other vegetables that are high in minerals and phytonutrients, with adequate protein (split peas, miso nutritional yeast) and healthy fat (coconut milk, olive oil). Something that makes you feel vibrant and full of energy, rather than full and lazy.
All the greens (spinach, chard, parsley, cilantro) and other vegetables (celery, zucchini, poblano pepper, leek, garlic) fill this soup with amazing properties. Dark, leafy greens build enzymes, protect against toxins, feed your gut and your telomeres, fight diabetes, burn fat, are anti-aging, give your body folate and help your heart! There is nothing healthier on the planet.
The split peas are not only high in protein, fiber, vitamin K, multiple minerals, folate and thiamin, but are also very filling and inexpensive.
The miso is also a good source of protein, copper, manganese, vitamin K and zinc. It is also rich in enzymes which enhances the number of beneficial bacteria (probiotics) to your intestinal flora. But the best part is it provides an instant flavor foundation, known as ‘umami’to all sorts of dishes. Just be aware it is high in sodium so use with care. The one tablespoon in this soup means you shouldn’t need to add any salt.
And finally, the nutritional yeast is a great source of complete protein, B vitamins and trace minerals.
So, as you can see, this soup really is a powerhouse of nutrition! I don’t use that term lightly. When you are feeling the need for a cleansing and nutritional fix, this is your ticket!
I know this soup may look scary green to many, but you’ll just have to trust me that it is not only healthy but tastes good too! Don’t skip the garnishes! They can make or break your final result! Here’s to your health!.
Dark Green Health Soup
- 1 cup dry split peas
- 1 small jalapeno, roughly chopped optional, de-seed if desired
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion or shallot
- 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek optional
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 2 large celery stalks chopped
- 1 poblano chili stemmed, de-seeded and chopped
- 1 leek, or 1/2 onion cut in half length-wise, wash and chop
- 1 small zucchini chopped
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach
- 2 handfuls fresh chopped Swiss chard or other green of choice
- 1 handful parsley leaves and stems ends trimmed slightly
- 1 handful cilantro leaves and stems ends trimmed slightly
- 1 tablespoon white miso organic
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast optional, but recommended
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1.5 cups water
- celery or cilantro leaves
- extra virgin olive oil
- toasted almond slivers
- crushed red pepper
- 1. Cook split peas with 2 cups water and the bay leaves, jalapeno, onion powder, and fenugreek until tender. This can take 30-45 minutes on the stove. I did it in my Instant Pot (or pressure cooker) in less than 10 mins.2. While peas are cooking, add oil to a pot and saute the celery, chili, leek and zucchini until just barely tender (2-3 minutes). Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.3. Add peas, spinach, chard, parsley, cilantro, sauteed vegetables, miso, yeast, coconut milk and water to a blender or food processor. Puree to desired consistency. Transfer back to the pot you sauteed the vegetables in and heat very gently until hot, but not simmering. If it simmers too much you will lose a lot of the vibrant color and nutrition.4. Serve with a drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil, toasted almond slivers, celery or cilantro leaves and crushed red pepper.