The amazing health benefits of soup
Learn about the amazing health benefits of soup with an easy slow cooker recipe that will sure to be a hit with the family!
Soup is a delicious autumn and winter comfort food. The comfort, convenience and health benefits of soup have made it a popular food in many cultures. From a gourmet meal starter to a thermos at lunch, soups are an excellent way to get more veggies into your home! Laura Ashley Johnson, Registered Dietician and recipe creator, has a delicious recipe for a healthy and delicious Slow Cooker Autumn Soup that is packed with nutrition and is a convenient dinner option for busy families.
With a chilly winter already here, sipping steaming hot soup can keep you and your family warm and toasty! Not only does soup take the bite out of a frosty winter day, it’s also an easy way to get dinner on the table in a snap – especially when you make it in the slow cooker!
Soup helps to get more veggies into your family’s diet. Laura Ashley’s soup is full of vegetables that are blended together to make it a creamy and delicious bowl of goodness. She uses Pure Flavor® Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers that are full of essential vitamins like C, A and B6.
Soups are inexpensive and easy to prepare. This soup doesn’t require a lot of time to put together. With a little planning and prep work the night before, you can let it simmer all day while you’re working and then blend it all together right before you serve it for dinner that night.
Soup freezes well. When you find a recipe the whole family loves, why not make a double batch and freeze it? That will save you even more time in the future. Or you can use it for meal prep during the week to grab for a quick lunch.
Soup keeps you hydrated. When it’s chilly outside, it’s not uncommon to drink less water than you need in a day. Soups are mostly liquid, so they are a great way to keep up with your hydration.
Soup gives your immune system a boost. Who doesn’t crave soup when they are sick? That warm, comforting liquid can sooth a sore throat and help fight the chills from the inside out. A nice hot bowl of soup can also help prevent illness. Laura Ashley’s soup is loaded with disease-fighting nutrients, plus you can play around with the flavorings, like adding ginger or turmeric for even more immune boosting properties.
To make slow cooker autumn soup, you start by coating Aurora Bites Mini Sweet Peppers in oil and roasting them at 450° F for 20 minutes. Then, remove the stems and seeds after they cool off. Roasting the peppers unlocks a sweet and smoky flavor that will enhance the taste of the soup.
Then, in a large slow cooker (at least 6 quarts), add the broth, peppers, onions, squash, apple, sage and seasonings. Put the lid on and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the squash and apples are tender. Go run your errands, go to work or just have a nap and let the slow cooker do all the work for you.
Once the squash and apples are tender, purée the soup in batches with coconut milk in a blender. Return the soup to the slow cooker and adjust the seasonings if desired.
To serve, Laura Ashley suggests garnishing with pumpkin seeds, fresh sage, coconut cream, pomegranate arils, chopped apples, cinnamon and (or) cranberry relish. Each of these garnishes has their own health benefits on top of what is in the soup, and they make it a fun way for kids to customize and decorate their own bowl.
For Laura Ashley’s full Slow Cooker Autumn Soup recipe, click here.