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Beautifying Spring Vegetable Soup

by Jolene Hart

Welcome to Beauty Is Wellness, a column about the link between nutrition, lifestyle and beauty based on my health coaching practice of the same name. I’m thrilled to share information about my favorite beauty foods, original recipes for beautiful skin, hair and nails and nutritional tips for beautifying from the inside out in the months to come. If you have specific questions about the beauty and nutrition connection that you’d like to have answered in this column, contact me at jolene@beautyiswellness.com. 

Spring is the season to eat fresh, light, detoxifying foods that refresh your body and support this annual cycle of renewal. The foods of spring are filled with naturally detoxifying compounds—nature’s way of helping you shed a few pounds and boost your energy after a long winter. Problem is, this particular spring has been slow to arrive. A bowl full of baby greens just won’t suffice when there are still flurries in the air!

If, like me, you’re still craving warmth, transition your palate with a beautifying spring soup. Keep it fresh and light (no more heavy, creamy winter soups), and throw in some fresh greens after cooking. My Spring Vegetable Soup mixes vitamin C-rich yellow bell pepper (a powerful food for boosting collagen) with protein-rich peas. Peas also contain phytochemicals that defend against DNA damage and boost immunity, in case there are any spring colds in the air. I added fresh spinach, which contains vitamin A to boost cell turnover and heal skin damage.

Who knows, maybe you’ll want to serve this warm dish with a spring salad after all. Chlorophyll-packed greens like arugula, spinach, dandelion greens, and romaine oxygenate your blood and promote a clear, gorgeous complexion—even when it’s still too chilly to put away your sweaters.

Spring Vegetable Soup

Feel free to substitute peppery arugula or bitter dandelion greens in place of spinach—go with whatever’s fresh in your area!

Serves 4 to 6:

1 tsp coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch chunks

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 organic yellow pepper

6 cups vegetable broth

2 cups water

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 1/2 cups gluten-free rotini pasta

2 handfuls fresh spinach, chopped

In a large pot, melt coconut oil and cook onion until it begins to soften. Add celery and thyme; cook for approximately 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the bottom and top off the pepper and slice the center into thin strips, about 2 inches in length. Add pepper strips, broth and water; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add peas and pasta; simmer for about 10 minutes until pasta is cooked. Remove from heat and stir in spinach.

For more beauty nutrition news and recipes, check out beautyiswellness.com.

Text, recipes and images ©2013 Jolene Hart. All rights reserved.

Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Philadelphia-based writer and founder of Beauty Is Wellness, a natural beauty and health coaching practice. She teaches women to use nutrition and lifestyle choices to look and feel their best from the inside out.

Did you add peppery arugula or bitter dandelion greens in place of spinach? Tell us about your spring soup cooking experience! Tweet us @OrganicSpaMag #springsoup.

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