A healthy immune system is needed to cope with all kinds of external threats, such as bacteria, viruses or toxins. But a healthy immune system works even when there are no infections in place, improving, for example, the production of energy necessary for the functioning of the body's cells. And today's dish, a very special soup, is a recipe designed to support our immune system. In fact, the vegetable soup, being rich in mineral salts, vitamins and antioxidants, helps to counteract inflammation and increases our defenses. Studies have observed that the association between vegetable soup and beta glucans, a type of fiber found, for example, in barley, an ingredient in our soup, represents a synergy capable of improving the action of the immune system with a greater effect than that of the two foods taken individually (Lee et al, Food Sci Biotechnol, 2021). Finally, the peculiarity of this soup is that it is free of salt, therefore suitable for everyone, even for those who, by choice or health reasons, have decided to reduce the intake of salt. And if you think that in this way the soup loses its flavor, you are wrong. A very recent research, in fact, has been able to observe that a mixture of basil, garlic, pepper and chilli is able to replace salt, for the purposes of palatability (Montero et al, Food Quality and Preference, 2022).
150 grams of cooked lentils
150 grams of cooked chickpeas
150 grams of cooked pinto beans
100 grams of pearl barley
300 grams of tomato pulp
100 grams of fava beans already shelled
300 grams of cauliflower
1/2 green turnip
2 chard leaves
1 stalk of celery
1 clove of garlic
Bunch of aromatic herbs (rosemary, sage, laurel)
Extra virgin olive oil
Cook the barley according to the instructions reported on the package. Chop half an onion and the garlic. Chop half a carrot and half a stalk of celery. Pour the mince into a large pot together with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Brown. Add one and a half liters of water. Pour in the cleaned cauliflower cut into florets, the chard cut into pieces. Add the remaining half onion, half carrot and half celery cut into pieces. Add the fava beans, the chopped turnip and the bunch of aromatic herbs. Cook for 45 minutes. Then add the tomato pulp, legumes and barley and cook for ten minutes. Remove the bunch with the herbs. Finally, season with basil, a sprinkle of pepper and chilli.