One of the things I enjoy most with the change of seasons is the change in the kind of food I prepare for my family. When the weather begins to turn a bit crisp, I look forward to making a big pot of soup or stew. Served with a loaf of crusty bread and a tossed green salad or fruit salad, this makes a tasty and nutritious end to our day.
This meal contains no cholesterol, is low in fat, and is high in fiber. It has adequate but not excessive protein.
The broccoli contains a powerful antioxidant called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane helps the liver to rid the body of toxic chemicals and carcinogenic compounds. This antioxidant has been found to be particularly beneficial against breast and prostate cancer and research indicates that this cancer protective effect may last for days after consumption.
Researchers have identified other phytochemicals in broccoli that have demonstrated the ability to arrest the growth of cancer cells. Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables have also been shown to positively affect the hormones that influence the progression of hormone-dependent cancers.
The allium group of vegetables is another segment of the plant kingdom which appears to have anticancer effects. Researchers are investigating their ability to speed the body's elimination of carcinogens and perhaps block the start of cancer and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Garlic and onions are two allium vegetables. Cooking temperatures seem to eliminate garlic's anticancer activity unless there is about 10 minutes between the time the garlic is crushed and the time the garlic is heated in the cooking process.
Cream of Broccoli Soup
The Cancer Survivor's Guide: Food that Help You Fight Back! by Neal D. Barnard, MD and Jennifer K. Reilly, RD
4 cups water or vegetable broth (If you use all vegetable broth, it tends to dominate the taste. I would suggest using half water and half vegetable broth.)
1 large potato (preferably russet), unpeeled, scrubbed, and cut into chunks
1 onion, diced
3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon whole celery seeds (I use ground celery seed and it turns out just fine.)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
0.5 teaspoon dried marjoram
0.25 teaspoon ground turmeric
0.25 teaspoon ground black pepper (I double the pepper.)
1.5 cups cooked or canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
0.25 cup of the garbanzo bean cooking liquid or canned liquid, vegetable broth, or water
4 cups broccoli florets (I love broccoli so I double this.)
1.5 teaspoons salt, as needed
Combine the water, potato, onion, garlic, celery seed, thyme, marjoram, turmeric, and pepper in a large soup pot. Place over medium heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. I'm usually a little generous with the spices. Feel free to add more to suit your taste.
Stir in the garbanzo beans and the bean liquid. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and process in several batches, filling the blender container no more than half full for each batch. Hold the lid on tightly and start the blender on the lowest speed. Process for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the mixture is completely smooth. (I just place the mixture into a large mixing bowl and blend with my immersion blender.)
Return the blended soup to the pot and stir in the broccoli and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the broccoli is fork-tender. Taste and add the remaining 0.5 teaspoon of salt if desired.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator, leftover Cream of Broccoli Soup will keep for up to 3 days.
Serve with a loaf of fresh bread and a simple green salad or fruit salad for a hearty, quick meal.