From the AICR Test Kitchen
A Cancer-Fighting Soup for All Traditions
World Cancer Day is an ideal time to celebrate cancer-preventive foods. And no matter where in the world you grew up, there are bound to be some cancer-fighting foods cooked in the tradition of your home town.
Beans are one food that has international appeal, from the Americas throughout Asia and Europe. Their high fiber content can help to prevent colorectal cancer and to ward off weight gain, researchers have found. Peppers and onions are used in most world cuisines, too, bringing a wide variety of vitamins and phytochemicals to many dishes. Broccoli, that powerhouse of protective phytochemical compounds, came from Italy but now is grown in many countries.
All of these excellent foods appear in our recipe for Quick Eight-Vegetable Soup. It's a basic recipe that you can adjust to your taste, for example:
- substitute curry powder or Chinese 5-spice blend for the oregano/thyme (and omit the Parmesan cheese);
- use any variety and combination of beans that you like, keeping the amounts the same as the limas and other beans listed in the ingredients;
- if broccoli is not a favorite vegetable, substitute the same amount of cauliflower florets, Napa or bok choy types of cabbage or baby spinach leaves;
- add some cooked whole grains like brown rice, barley or quinoa (1/2 cup per serving);
- add more protein with cubes of tofu or chopped chicken or turkey breast.
Any way you mix it up, this is a soup that celebrates World Cancer Day – or any day – as one lived for good health and lower cancer risk.
Quick Eight-Vegetable Soup
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small chopped onion
- 4 cups vegetable broth or fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup frozen baby lima beans
- 1 (15-oz.) can no-salt-added black, Great Northern, or navy beans
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
- 1/2 cup frozen tri-colored bell peppers
- 2 tsp. dried oregano or thyme
- Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
- 1 cup frozen broccoli florets
- Salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth and bring liquid to boil. Add lima beans, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.
Add canned beans (including liquid), mixed vegetables, peppers, oregano and pepper flakes and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Add broccoli, over and cook for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. This soup keeps, covered in refrigerator, for 3 days. Reheat in covered pot over medium heat.
To serve, divide soup among deep bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese or pass it separately at the table.
Makes 4 servings.
Per 1⅔ cup serving: 298 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 43 g carbohydrate,
17 g protein, 13 g dietary fiber, 237 mg sodium.