Pick Your Protein Healing Veggie Stew features nourishing vegetables, anti-inflammatory spices, and allows you to choose whatever plant-based protein you wish to use in the stew depending on your personal dietary needs and preferences!
If there’s one thing I know for sure when it comes to winter recipes, it’s that nothing satisfies the soul quite like a bowl of veggie soup or stew.
Anyone agree with me on this?
I remember how I would always look forward to a bowl of my mom’s vegetable soup at the beginning of each winter season. She made the best soup I have ever eaten, and although my recipe isn’t quite like hers is, it’s one I have made for several years now because I absolutely love it.
Soup is naturally anti-inflammatory due to the way the nutrients are released out of the vegetables during the cooking process. The broth of the soup is what is actually full of the most nutrition and the vegetables provide flavor and fiber which are also important for enjoyment and health purposes.
We’ve all heard vegetables are good for us, but it’s easy to forget just how much these affordable and simple ingredients enhance our health. I love getting as many vegetables in one dose as I can, which is one reason soup is such a great lunch or dinner idea!
My favorite herbs and spices to use in vegetable soup and stew are oregano, black pepper, garlic, thyme, and turmeric. I also like to add rubbed sage for a bit of holiday-inspired flavor, and sometimes rosemary too.
You can find all of these ingredients at any supermarket and you can use a variety of vegetables depending on which ones you enjoy the most. And the best part about this recipe is that you can pick whatever protein you enjoy the most depending on your diet and lifestyle choices/preferences.
Or, just include whatever protein source you have on hand!
For instance, you can choose between any no-salt-added beans, lentils, quinoa, or even amaranth for some plant-based goodness! If you’re Paleo or don’t do well with beans and lentils, you could also eat it plain to keep it plant-based and as a way to get more vegetables into your diet without much effort.
Plus, it’s really so easy to make thanks to the use of a slow-cooker which also makes it taste much better and allows the flavors to develop even more as it cooks.
Now, back to the spices for a minute.
You’ll see that I included turmeric in the stew recipe I’m sharing today. Why so? Because turmeric isn’t just a popular ingredient being used in everything under the sun these days; it’s also one of my favorite beauty and anti-inflammatory spices to include during winter.
Turmeric is packed with antioxidants that can improve your skin, it increase bile flow to enhance liver function, it reduces joint pain and inflammation, protects your heart, and it gives this stew a delightfully rich and savory flavor. Trust me!
I’m using my favorite brand of turmeric out there, Flavor of the Earth Organic Turmeric.
These products are sold in bulk which means that I can buy them and have enough for 6 months to a year depending on how much I use them (which is typically a lot!). I just put mine in old spice jars that I wash and rinse out which also reduce wastes.
You’ll love having the convenience of Flavor of the Earth products in your kitchen if you try them, and I know you’ll enjoy the incredible flavor they provide to whatever recipes you use them in.
Their cinnamon smells JUST like Christmas and is great for blood sugar levels, and their turmeric is the orangest, most beautiful and freshest tasting turmeric I’ve ever tried. It’s also hand-ground which means it never sits on store shelves for months or years at a time.
You can also see how I used Flavor of the Earth’s turmeric in my Beauty-Boosting Tahini Turmeric Salad Dressing recipe, another one of my favorite anti-inflammatory recipes!
But once again, let’s get back to the soup.
Friends, this recipe can not get any easier and it’s one of my favorite recipes to keep on hand during this time of year when things start to get busy with holiday tasks. Don’t sacrifice your health to a busy schedule, just keep some of this healing and nourishing soup on hand and switch out the veggies and proteins each week so you get plenty of variety.
I used a variety of traditional soup spices, including some that make this smell like Thanksgiving in your kitchen!
Celery and onions also provide a naturally salty flavor without adding sodium, and low-sodium coconut aminos adds a delicious flavor that’s healthier than adding salt or other high-sodium options.
This is optional, of course, but I highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it. It’s a wonderful addition to a variety of diets and is made only from coconuts and high-mineralized sea salt. The flavor is similar to a mix of soy and Woistershire sauce.
Feel free to make this soup your own, but be sure you don’t leave out the herbs, spices, and flavoring options if possible. They can make or break a soup recipe, and they certainly make this one so much better!
- 2 pounds ( Two 16 ounce bags) of frozen veggies of choice, or approximately 6 cups of canned or fresh vegetables of choice (I used an organic Mediterranean blend from Whole Foods and asparagus)
- 3-4 leaves of fresh cabbage, finely shredded and chopped
- 1 (15 ounce) can of no salt added tomatoes
- 1 (15 ounce) can of pure butternut squash purée (I use Farmer's Market brand, but you could also fresh butternut squash or even use baby food squash purée!)
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled and left whole
- 1 tsp. dried, rubbed (not ground) sage
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 1 tsp. rosemary
- 1 tsp. finely ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric - I use Flavor of the Earth brand
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. pure stevia extract or 2 packets of stevia (this brings out the flavor of the other ingredients, don't leave it out or substitute your choice sweetener, just a pinch!)
- 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
- 1 cup of frozen or fresh (diced) carrots (baby carrots will also work)
- 2 cups of plant-based protein of choice*
- 1 tsp. your favorite mustard (I used French's, it adds a ton of flavor)
- 4 cups of water
- optional: 1 tsp. of coconut aminos for more flavor without excessive sodium
- Other veggie ideas: chopped sweet potatoes, pumpkin, etc.
- Add the frozen (or canned/fresh) vegetables, spices, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, celery, and protein of choice into the slow cooker*. (If you use frozen asparagus like I did, break it into pieces first before adding it to the pot.)
- Cover with 4 cups of water, add the mustard, coconut aminos if using, stir, and cook on high for 4 hours. It will cook down and become thick like a stew, but if you want it more like soup, just add a cup more of water.
- Cut the heat off, remove the onion and bay leaf (they're just used for flavor), and discard.
- Serve the soup.
- You can also put this in a storage bowl/dish and keep in the fridge, but be sure to let it cool completely on the counter first.
- *Proteins of Choice: 2 cups of canned (no salt added) beans, lentils, or quinoa.
- **If you wish to add salt, you may, but celery and onion provide a naturally salty flavor without additional sodium for a healthier choice. I also use coconut aminos, which is a low-sodium alternative seasoning made only from coconuts. It's similar to soy sauce and gives this soup a great flavor. This is my preferred choice, but to each her own.
Want more variety and nutrition too?
Add in a cup of shredded spinach, kale or collards. This recipe is so versatile that you almost can’t mess it up. Be sure to let me know if you try it, and be sure to also try Flavor of the Earth products, you can find them on Amazon where I get mine.
What’s your favorite veggie stew or soup ingredients?