Friday, January 13, 2012

Vegetable Soup with Sprouted Wheat

This soup is perfect for the cold winter nights!  Sometimes in the winter we eat too many comfort foods and not enough vegetables!  So here is your solution to get in more veggies in a delicious comfort food way!  I have included directions at the bottom to sprout your wheat quickly and easily!

Vegetable Soup with Sprouted Wheat

1 large onion
3-4 T. olive oil
4 c. diced Yukon gold potatoes
4 stalks of celery
3 c. chopped carrots
3 large handfuls of spinach, chopped
2 bell peppers, any color
1 14 oz. can tomato sauce
6 c. chicken or vegetable broth
3 c. sprouted wheat or any cooked grain*
(That is about 1 1/2 c. dry grain cooked to be 3 cups)
1 ½ t. salt
¾ t. pepper
1 t. chicken bouillon paste

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, to par-cook potatoes.  Dice onion and sauté in a large pot in 3 T. of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Once they get tender, add celery & carrots, stir, then cover with lid to sweat for about 5 minutes. 
Meanwhile, if water is boiling on your small pot, add diced potatoes and let cook for about 5-10 minutes until almost cooked.  Drain and put aside until soup is ready for them. 
Remove lid from your vegetable mixture and stir.  Add both chopped bell peppers, stir, and let sweat again with the lid on for another 5-10 minutes.  If the vegetables are browning a little, that is good, but if the mixture seems dry, drizzle a little more olive oil into the pan to prevent it from burning.
When vegetables seem cooked through, add chopped fresh spinach.  Cook for another minute, then add chicken broth, can of tomato sauce, potatoes, sprouted wheat, salt, pepper, and bouillon paste.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let the soup slowly boil for 10-15 minutes.

*Good cooked grains for soups include quinoa (perfect protein grain), wheat berries, millet, and pearled barley.  Just cook the grain first.  It’s usually one part grain to two cups water.  You cook them just like rice.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 10-20 minutes, depending on the grain.  Pearled barley requires a little more water.  Just look online for cooking directions for specific grains.
To sprout your wheat berries, just soak overnight in water.  After about 8-12 hours, your wheat will be sprouted.  It might not look like it, but it’s alive.  You can rinse it and let it sit on your counter for the day, then you will see it sprout.  You can then use it in soups, blender pancakes, fruit salads, etc...You are only limited by your imagination :)

"Sprouted grains are easier to digest and have an increase of vitamins and minerals.  It makes them a nutrition powerhouse.   Sprouting of grains for a limited period causes increased activities of hydrolytic enzymes, improvement in the contents of certain essential amino acids, total sugars, and B-group vitamins, and a decrease in dry matter, starch, and anti-nutrients. The digestibility of storage proteins and starches are improved due to their partial hydrolysis during sprouting.”

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