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First Recipe - Mushroom Soup

Finally! My book Handbook to Higher Health Consciousness: How to Transition to Plant-Based Eating to Heal Yourself and the Planet was published in December 2017. But it’s taken several months to come up with a good way to store the recipes on my website and a workable procedure for sharing them on social media. At long last, the stars have aligned, the orchestra is tuned and ready, and the recipes are ready to roll off the production line.

I’ll be posting recipes from several sources. Some of them will come from the book, some from recipes that were shared at potlucks, some from recipes that Donna and I will create or modify as we go along. Many of the recipes from the book were created by Tracy Childs, certified Food For Life instructor and fellow graduate of the Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate Program from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.

The first of these recipes will be (drum roll please . . . . ) Mushroom Soup. I want to share this recipe for several reasons. First, it tastes delicious. Second, mushrooms are super healthy for you. They provide wonderful support to your immune system so that it can react quickly to disease-causing pathogens. Mushrooms are full of antioxidants and phytochemicals that actively destroy cancerous cells. Are you familiar with the acronym GBOMBS? GBOMBS was popularized by Dr. Joel Fuhrman in his book Super Immunity. It stands for Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Seeds. These are major food groups that act together to confer super immunity to you by promoting self-healing. It says a lot for the “lowly” mushroom that Fuhrman calls it out as an essential component of his super immunity formula - right up there with greens, beans, berries and seeds/nuts. So, YES on the mushrooms; I’ll have a second helping, thank you very much.

Third, this recipe came up in the natural ebb and flow of our cooking lives. Donna's lifelong friend and health educator, Jamie Davidson, had tried this recipe and recommended it. A week or two later, Donna happened to be at the farmer’s market and picked up a basket of assorted mushrooms with the recipe in mind. She tweaked the recipe a bit, and the rest is delicious gastronomic history.

The original recipe called for sautéing onions and the other veggies in oil. This has become an accepted culinary practice in may circles, but it turns out that you can sauté just as well using water or vegetable broth. You can even caramelize onions without oil; it just takes a bit longer. So, why avoid oil? That’s easy. Oil is a processed food. The oil is chemically extracted from a whole food that originally contained fiber, flavonoids, and other nutrients. The processed oil is 100% fat with very little of the original nutrients. Worse, it contains about 120 calories per tablespoon. Yikes! For comparison sake, vegetables contain about 100 calories per pound, fruits contain about 300 calories per pound, and oil contains about 4,000 calories per pound. 4,000! Those are not only empty calories, the fats in refined oil (any refined oil) are harmful to the lining of our arteries (the endothelium) [1]. Damaged endothelial cells can pave the way to cardiovascular disease. Bottom line – avoid processed oils as much as possible for your cardiovascular health. For sautéing, the solution is easy. Just use water or vegetable broth instead of oil. Your ticker will thank you for it.

We will use a multi-cooker for this recipe, using both the sauté mode and pressure cooker mode. Set the multi-cooker to Sauté mode. Heat 2 Tablespoons of vegetable broth or water, then add the chopped onion. Let it caramelize a bit, adding more broth/water as needed. Add chopped carrots and celery, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until they soften. Add minced garlic cloves, mushrooms, thyme, and ground pepper. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the broth and salt (if using).

Put the lid on the multi-cooker, close the steam vent, and set it to high pressure for 10 minutes. Once the time has expired, release the steam using the quick release valve, being careful to avoid the hot steam.

Transfer half the soup to a blender, adding coconut milk, and blend until it is nearly smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a large bowl, then repeat the process with the rest of the soup.

You can store the soup in the refrigerator. I like to freeze portions of the soup in small containers (be sure to label and date them!), then transfer one container at a time to the fridge for use.

For the complete ingredient list and a printable version of this recipe, visit www.davidakater.com/mushroom-soup

To your health,

David

Haiku by David Kater:

Plant food enters me.

I taste. My body digests.

I am well nourished.

Thought for the day: Do something today you'll be proud of tomorrow.

Reference:

[1] Rueda–Clausen, Christian F., Federico A. Silva, Manuel A. Lindarte, Cristina Villa–Roel, et al., “Olive, soybean and palm oils intake have a similar acute detrimental effect over the endothelial function in healthy young subjects,” Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases(2007); 17(1): 50–57.

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