Seasonal Veggie and Umeboshi Soup (Macrobiotic)

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I spent the past 6 months working at a Farmers’ Markets in New York. One of the best parts about it was that I always knew what was in season and had easy access to the freshest seasonal produce.

One day, I came home with these beautiful light pink heirloom radishes, some bok choy and some other veggies. I had been feeling a little under the weather and all I wanted was some soothing soup. I threw a bunch of the veggies I bought that day into a pot with some ginger and was so thoroughly satisfied with the results. After the soup was finished I added some umeboshi plum paste for some salt, acid, and healing. The next time I heated up the soup I used umeboshi vinegar. Both were delicious. Now I make a version of this soup every week with whatever is in season. I just keep the ginger, green onion and umeboshi. Feel free to substitute any of the ingredients or leave out ones you don’t like.

Umeboshi paste and vinegar are made from a Japanese pickled plum. It’s a very traditional medicinal food and is also used in a lot of macrobiotic cooking. Umeboshi plums are said to alkalize the body, stimulate digestion and remove toxins from the body. They have a really unique taste, too, which I happen to love. Just be careful to read the ingredients when you buy any product with umeboshi in it. A lot of them use sugar to offset the tartness of the plum, which defeats the purpose.

This recipe is also good for those on a low FODMAP diet.  Just use the green part of the green onion and compost (or toss) the white.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

Soup is a great way to make sure you are getting your fill of veggies especially in the colder months when salads may seem unappealing, and, have you heard? Bok choy is the new kale! It is loaded with vitamins A, C & K which can help boost your immunity and protect your eyes. Pair that with ginger to fight inflammation, headaches and even coughs and you’re ready for winter.

I’m impressed by the ease with which Samantha incorporated umeboshi plum into this recipe. She experimented with an ingredient with high medicinal benefits and added interest and nutrients to vegetable soup. I also love that you can adapt this recipe to include any combination of your favorite veggies!

By Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN
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Seasonal Veggie and Umeboshi Soup (Macrobiotic)

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Servings: 6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon sesame oil

¾ inch ginger (diced, divided)

1 bunch bok choy (whites thinly sliced, separated from the greens, chopped)

2 scallions (green parts only, chopped)

1 small sweet potato (diced)

3 ½ cups water

1 medium head of broccoli (about 1.5 cups, peeled and diced, florets separated from stalks)

4 radishes (chopped)

1 tomato (diced)

¼ cup cilantro (optional)

¼ cup basil (optional)

3 ½ cups water

umeboshi paste or vinegar (to taste)

salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Heat the sesame oil in a large pot and add half the diced ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the chopped white part of the bok choy, half the scallions and the sweet potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add about 3.5 cups of water (you want enough water to cover all the ingredients). Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add the broccoli stalks and cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. Add the radish, tomato, broccoli florets, and remaining ginger and scallions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add more water if necessary to cover all the ingredients.
  6. Add the chopped greens from the bok choy and cook an additional 3 minutes, or until the greens are soft.

 

Suggested pairings:

Serve with chopped herbs and umeboshi paste or vinegar. I like 1/2 tbs of umeboshi per bowl of soup. If you use the paste, you’ll have to mix it into the broth until it dissolves.

Heat the sesame oil in a large pot and add half the diced ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped white part of the bok choy, half the scallions and the sweet potatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add about 3.5 cups of water (you want enough water to cover all the ingredients). Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the broccoli stalks and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the radish, tomato, broccoli florets, and remaining ginger and scallions and cook for about 5 minutes. Add more water if necessary to cover all the ingredients. Add the chopped greens from the bok choy and cook an additional 3 minutes, or until the greens are soft.   Suggested pairings: Serve with chopped herbs and umeboshi paste or vinegar. I like 1/2 tbs of umeboshi per bowl of soup. If you use the paste, you’ll have to mix it into the broth until it dissolves.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving (without umeboshi or optional ingredients):  Calories: 96; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 136mg; Potassium: 801mg; Carbohydrate: 15g; Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 6g

Nutrition Bonus:  Vit C: 262%; Vit A: 204%; Calcium: 20%;  Iron: 11%

 

 

**What are your favorite veggies to add in this recipe? Share in the comment section below!**

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One thought on “Seasonal Veggie and Umeboshi Soup (Macrobiotic)

  1. Lillian Zhao

    I tested this recipe a couple of weeks back and was surprised how easy and GOOD this soup was! I literally felt healthier after eating it! This is the ultimate detox, feelgood soup this January. Highly recommended!

    Reply

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