05/18/2018 Farmer’s Market Vegetable Soup

Debi Bernish, Food and Nutrition Expert

Farmer’s Market Vegetable Soup

In my previous post, I wrote about the many names of sugar. Since it is hidden in many packaged foods, how can we avoid it?  Easy! Eat foods that you know do not contain it. How can you be certain? Make the food you eat in your own kitchen.  Dr Robert Lustig, bestselling author of The Hacking of the American Mind, reminds us to “Cook real food for yourself, for your friends and for your family!” and “Real food means low sugar and high fiber.”¹

Benefits of vegetables

Since we know that every diet that works is low in sugar and high in fiber, a homemade pot of vegetable soup is a good time investment in the kitchen.  Farmer’s market season is a great time to experiment with different vegetables.  According to nutritionist Daisy Whitbread, who writes for a comprehensive nutrition website,  My Food Data, “Vegetables are arguably the healthiest of all the food groups and a great source of fiber”. ² What I call the “magic three- onions, carrots and celery, make a great base for a wide variety of soups.

Benefits of cabbage

In our delicious soup recipe below, we have added diced tomatoes, cabbage and zucchini for a colorful, healthy meal. You can feel free to experiment with your favorite vegetables, but I recommend you keep the cabbage, a great choice for a healthy diet. Cabbage is especially high in vitamins C and K. (Vitamin K is critical for blood clotting). Eating cabbage may even help lower the risk of certain diseases, improve digestion and combat inflammation.³

According to celebrity nutritionist JJ Virgin, “Cabbage does double detox duty. Its diuretic properties help rid your body of excess liquid, carrying toxins along with it. Like other cruciferous veggies, cabbage is also sulfur-rich, helping your liver break down toxins so they can be more easily expelled. Researchers found among its numerous roles, sulfur — the third most abundant mineral in your body — helps detoxify toxic compounds, free radicals and reactive oxygen species.”4

 Still not sold on making vegetable soup? Look at the all the reasons to eat vegetables! 

  • Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A and vitamin C.
  • Diets rich in potassium may help maintain healthy blood pressure. Vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils and kidney beans.
  • Dietary fiber from vegetables, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fiber-containing foods such as vegetables help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.
  • Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should consume adequate folate from foods, and in addition 400 mcg of synthetic folic acid from fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.
  • Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections.
  • Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C aids in iron absorption. 5

Check out my recipe below. Healthy eating!

Debi’s Cabbage Soup

  • Put ¼ C butter or olive oil in pan with:
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 4 carrots diced
  • 3 celery stalks diced
  • Cook for 5 minutes on low heat.
  • Add 4-5 Cups firmly packed, diced cabbage, and cook on low heat for 5 minutes
  • Add 1-28 oz BPA-Free6 can diced tomatoes and 1-7 oz BPA-Free can tomato paste.
  • Stir in 1-28 oz and 1-7 oz can of water (to rinse out cans)
  • Add 32 oz. low sodium vegetable or chicken stock.
  • Add 3 bay leaves
  • Add ¼ tsp crushed red pepper
  • Add 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Add 2 tsp dried basil and oregano 
  • Add 2 (6 inch) diced zucchini squash

Add more water or stock as needed.
Simmer an hour. Serve. This recipe yields 15 8 oz cups of soup.

Feel free to use fresh tomatoes and herbs if you have them!!


About the author:

Debi Bernish is a self-described “good carb ninja”, has a a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food science and is passionate about helping people make smarter eating choices for a healthier life. She will be a regular guest contributor to Supplementally Speaking, sharing nutrition insights and delicious recipes.


1 The Hacking of the American Mind, Robert H Lustig, MD, MSL Penguin.com
2 Whitbread, D. (2018, May 04). 33 Vegetables High in Fiber. Retrieved from myfooddata.com/articles/vegetables-high-in-fiber.php.
3 9 Impressive Health Benefits of Cabbage. (n.d.). Retrieved from healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-cabbage.
4 CHFS, J. V. (2014, April 12). 5 Fat-Loss Foods That Belong in Your Detox Plan. Retrieved from huffingtonpost.com/jj-virgin/diet-and-nutrition_b_4647208.html.
5 Nutrients and health benefits. (2016, January 12). Retrieved from choosemyplate.gov/vegetables-nutrients-health.

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