If you have been following my recipes for a while then you may have noticed I love creating dishes that are simple, affordable, quick and of course nutritious to make.
Creating a big pot of soup is a great way to create a hearty dish whether for lunch or dinner and you get to keep all the nutrient rich water the veggies have been cooked in!
Nutrient loss is a consequence of nearly every cooking process. Exposure to light, oxygen, heat will always alter the nutrients found in food. Certain nutrients may be lost when cooking foods such as vegetables in water – a process known as leaching.
During the cooking process of vegetables, particularly when tossed into boiling water, they can lose some of their nutrients. In particular water-soluble vitamins; vitamin B complex and C, dissolve in water and leach into the cooking water you use.
The nutrient lost depends on the type of nutrient, cooking temperature, the amount of water used and how long the vegetables are cooked (i.e. the higher the temperature, the larger quantity of water and a longer cooking time can lead to more nutrients being lost).
When little water is used, leafy green vegetables can keep up to 90-95% of their minerals, 60% of their vitamin C and 65% of their folate content (which is why steaming is an incredible way to cook leafy green vegetables).
This is similar for root vegetables which retain 70% vitamin C and folate when cooked in a little water. The further water you add and the longer they sit in the hot water, the more nutrients they lose.
‘USE THE WATER FOR SOUPS’
Do not let all the nutrient-rich water go to waste. Use it for soups or sauces which will hold all the leached nutrients.
Remember to always use refrigerated vegetable stock within a couple of days as just as fresh vegetables lose their nutrient content over time, so will nutrient-rich vegetable water.
Another option is to freeze vegetable water to preserve the nutrients. I made this vegan butternut squash soup with frozen vegetable stock from a few days ago and it certainly delivered on flavour!
Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 large butternut squash
- 3 carrots
- 1 onion
- 8 cups vegetable stock
- 1/4 can coconut milk
- 2 tbsp sour cream
- Handful Asian salad mix (Planet Organic)
Preheat the oven to 180 °C
Peel and chop the butternut squash and carrots into small cubes. Add both with 1x tbsp avocado oil on baking paper and roast for 45 minutes until soft (not burnt!).
Chop the onion and garlic and add to a pan with 1x tbsp avocado oil and simmer until soft.
Bring the vegetable stock to boil and add in any seasonings.
Once soft, add in the onion, garlic and coconut milk to the stock.
Remove the stock from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Add the butternut squash to the stock and pour the soup into a food processor or blender to form a puree. Return the soup to the saucepan and season to taste.
Top with sour cream and asian salad mix.