Anti-Cancer Broccoli and Sweet Potato Soup
Soup is an excellent way to get a lot of antioxidant rich vegetables like sweet potato and broccoli into your family’s diet. The best thing about this extremely nutritious soup recipe is that it tastes so good anyone you make it for won’t even realize they are eating something very healthy.
You might be surprised at the amount of broccoli in this recipe but it blends in really well. I’ve served it up to people who say they don’t like broccoli before and had nothing but compliments. So here’s my sweet potato and broccoli soup, full of nutrients that lower your risk of cancer and guaranteed to warm you up on a cold night.
Ingredients for 2 Hungry People
3 medium-sized sweet potatoes, scrubbed well under hot water and chopped into half inch slices with the skin on for steaming.
Organic produce is better where possible, but sweet potatoes don’t rank as highly on the pesticide load table as potatoes or carrots. Those two should always be brought organic.
Sweet potatoes are a powerhouse of antioxidants that are known to help prevent the free radical damage to our cells that leads to cancer. They contain extremely high levels of pro-vitamin A beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, as well as anti-inflammatory anthocyanins.
They also have good levels of vitamin C, B vitamins, minerals like manganese, potassium and copper, dietary fiber to maintain normal blood sugar levels and the amino acid tryptophan that aids relaxation. Pretty powerful vegetables. The more you can replace potatoes, pasta and rice in your meals with sweet potatoes the better for your health.
A medium-sized head of broccoli. Chop off the base of the stem and break off the florets before slicing up the center for steaming.
Organic broccoli is best as they can be sprayed. If you can’t find organic, soak it in a bowl of hot water and vinegar first.
Broccoli is a rich source of unusual compounds like glucosinolate phytonutrients that aid and enhance detoxification pathways within your body, vitamin K that is necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system and strengthening your bones and kaempferol for combating allergies and enhancing your immunity.
In addition to these, broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, dietary fiber and many other trace minerals that are so lacking in a standard supermarket diet.
1 red or orange bell pepper, cut in half and deseeded.
Look for orange or red ones for the higher antioxidant content and soak non-organic bell peppers in hot water and vinegar and scrub them well for pesticide removal.
Bell peppers are another exceptional source of vitamin C and antioxidant carotenoids, particularly zeaxanthin for healthy eyes. They also have vitamin E and B vitamins. You retain the most of these nutrients by steaming them with the insides facing up as we’ll be doing ahead.
1 large or 2 small onions, preferably red.
Putting onions in the freezer for five minutes before chopping them up helps prevent them releasing the gas that causes tears. You also want to peel off as little as possible of the outer skin as this is the part with the most nutrition in it.
Onions are an amazing source of flavonoids like quercetin. This nutrient can counteract the free radical oxidization of fatty acids in our bloodstream that leads to heart disease and other inflammatory health issues.
Onions are also full of sulfur compounds like allyl sulfides that show strong anti-cancer properties and improve your immunity by increasing your natural killer immune cell count.
2 to 4 cloves of crushed garlic.
Garlic is like a super powered version of onions with similar but stronger health benefits. It is also highly antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. In most cases adding lots of fresh garlic to your meals is a much better choice for minor gastrointestinal infections than antibiotics that can leave you vulnerable to a candida overgrowth.
If you’re worried about garlic breath, eating a sprig of parsley or having a peppermint tea after eating it are both effective at minimizing this.
A teaspoon of organic virgin coconut oil for frying the onions and garlic in.
Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides like lauric and capric acid that can improve your body’s blood sugar control, helps burn abdominal fat and increase levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol.
It’s also very heat stable and very good for you and makes a much better fat to fry with than inflammatory soy, canola or corn oils.
Can you use garlic as an antibiotic? Read more about it here
A can of BPA-free organic coconut milk.
BPA is a potentially dangerous endocrine disrupting chemical found in various canned food. Many people have asked for BPA-free canned products and companies like Native Forest have responded. If you use coconut milk regularly it’s worth getting these in bulk to have a good supply.
Coconut milk adds a smooth and creamy texture to this broccoli and sweet potato soup. While it has a relatively high fat content it is, like coconut oil, a healthy fat that satisfies your hunger and has many health benefits.
A tablespoon of high curcumin organic turmeric powder.
This bright orange spice is extremely good for you and worth adding to any meal you think it might work in.
Alongside its powerful effects on cardiovascular function and cholesterol levels, it has been shown to have significant cancer preventing properties. The curcumin compound in turmeric can block cancer cells from forming and is considered one of the most likely reasons why people in India (a country that uses turmeric regularly in cooking) have much lower rates of many common cancers.
A tablespoon of organic tamari soy sauce. While many soy products are questionable, fermented tamari is considered healthy and is much better for you than mineral stripped table salt. It also adds a great finish to the taste of this soup.
How to Make Sweet Potato and Broccoli Soup[tabgroup] [tab title=”Ingredients“]
- 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes
- A medium-sized head of broccoli
- 1 red or orange bell pepper
- 1 large or 2 small onions, preferably red
- 2 to 4 cloves of crushed garlic
- A teaspoon of organic virgin coconut oil
- A can of BPA-free organic coconut milk
- A tablespoon of high curcumin organic turmeric powder
- A tablespoon of organic tamari soy sauce
Start by steaming your sweet potato slices in a large steamer saucepan with the lid on. Steaming retains much more nutrients than just about any other way of cooking your vegetables. Veggies taste much better when they’re steamed rather than boiled too.
After five minutes of steaming the sweet potato add the chopped broccoli to your steamer. Wait roughly another five minutes and add the bell pepper halves facing upwards. Steam for just two more minutes to retain the most vitamins.
To summarize, the total steaming time is around 12 minutes, starting with the sweet potato and followed by the broccoli at around five minutes in and then the bell pepper at ten minutes. While the veggies are steaming, chop up your onion and gently fry it in the coconut oil in a medium sized saucepan with the lid on for a couple of minutes. Stir it occasionally until the onion is turning clear.
Next add the turmeric and garlic to the frying onions and stir them in. Now pour in the coconut milk and a splash of tamari and let this bright orange mixture lightly simmer.
The steaming vegetables should be done by now. Check by seeing that a fork will go easily through one of the biggest sweet potato slices. If it does, spoon the steamed bell pepper, sweet potato and broccoli straight into your blender.
If you don’t have a blender you’re really missing out on so many great recipes and not just soups. Smoothies, shakes, sauces and pestos can all be made with this essential kitchen appliance. I have this highly rated Breville Hemisphere Control blender in my kitchen and have found it excellent for making up so many different recipes.
Next carefully pour the coconut milk mix straight into the blender over the steamed vegetables. You want the liquid to be about half way up to the veggies in the container for proper blending, so if it’s not high enough use a little of the water from the steamer saucepan to get it there. Finally, blend all the ingredients up on high until they are smooth and creamy.
This sweet potato and broccoli soup will still be hot and ready to eat straight from the blender. Pour it into bowls and grind a little black pepper over it to serve. So there’s my sweet potato and broccoli soup. With all of these ingredients it really is more like an anti-cancer treatment than a delicious meal. I’d really appreciate reading what you think of this recipe in the comments below if you make it for yourself.