This time of year I don’t seem to crave a Big Cold Salad as much as I do in the warmer weather. Yet this is the season when we need our Veggies the most in order to boost our immune system and avoid colds and flu. On cold Winter days browse your cookbooks and internet for the best Vegetable Soup Recipes. You can even sauté or roast Carrots, Onions, Celery, Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts ahead of time and then add them to Broth and Beans, Chicken or Fish later in the week. Fennel is my new favorite Root Vegetable.
With the added aroma of licorice, it can be substituted for celery in just about any recipe. It is most often used in Mediterranean Cooking. Fennel is considered a Winter vegetable, available from late summer till Spring.
The bulb can be sliced and sautéed for Soups or Roasted in the oven with olive oil, garlic and rosemary. The delicate ferns may be used for a garnish on fish, soups or dips. Fennel is loaded with Potassium, Fiber and Vitamin C, boasting the ability to lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and boost your immune system.
Even the process of making soup can be comforting in the Winter. Try this Portuguese White Bean Soup from Cooking For Health, the latest Moosewood Cookbook.
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes
2 Tbs olive oil 2 tsp dried thyme
2 chopped cloves of garlic 1 tsp dried tarragon
2 tsp salt 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 tsp fennel 3 cups cooked white beans
1 bulb of chopped fennel 4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup diced carrots 5 cups chopped kale
Sauté the veggies, add the stock and white beans and simmer for about an hour. Squeeze a lemon to add brightness just before serving. This hearty vegetarian soup serves ten and is a real hit with everyone. Best of all it packs a giant punch of vitamins, minerals and protein. Learn about the history of Moosewood Restaurant and see their variety of Vegetarian Cookbooks @http://www.moosewoodcooks.com
Spread Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and White Onions on a large baking sheet. Add olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs of your choice. Bake at 400 degrees for twenty minutes. Cool and store. Then enjoy these roasted Veggies in soups and stews as needed.
Here’s to a Tasty, Healthy New Year!