This warming soup features arugula, a peppery leafy green included among the cruciferous or brassicaceae family of vegetables. Brassicas have powerful sulfur compounds that protect against cancer, and free-radical-fighting antioxidants that reduce inflammation. In the area of heart health, a recent study of older women showed that higher intake of brassicas (and alliums like onions and garlic) was associated with a reduced incidence of atherosclerotic vascular disease, the most common cause of cardiovascular mortality.
The notable amount of fiber is another reason this soup is a nutritional standout. Dietary fiber slows digestion, thus improving nutrient absorption and blood sugar regulation. Using unpeeled potatoes in this recipe doubles their fiber (and nutrient) content.
Since brassicas are cool season plants, they’ll soon be plentiful at your local farmers’ market. Get a diverse range of these vegetables including leaves (arugula, kale, collard/mustard greens), buds and flowers (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, romanesco), roots (turnip, radish) and be sure to eat the stems when possible. Those individuals with underactive thyroid or who are iodine-deficient can enjoy brassicas cooked to minimize any goitrogenic effects.
Creamy Arugula and Potato Soup
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb yellow potatoes, skin on, scrubbed and chopped
4 cups chicken bone broth (or other stock)
6 cups fresh arugula, packed
½ cup full fat coconut milk (plus more for garnish)
Celtic or other mineral salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat oil in sturdy pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery and sauté until softened. Toss in garlic, red pepper flakes and sauté for about 1 minute. Add chopped potatoes, broth, and a few generous pinches of salt. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Once the potatoes are cooked, take the pot off the stove and stir in arugula for a few minutes until wilted. Transfer the soup in batches to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the soup back to the pot over low heat and stir in coconut milk until completely incorporated. Season with additional salt and black pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of coconut milk.