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Improve your health with Zucchini Soup

By Tony Polito

Like me, I’m sure that most Bostonians are much happier now, given the fact we’re having more and more days above 40 degrees. This means two things: less snow and the Red Sox season is just around the corner.

Since winter’s chill has not completely left us yet, hot soup remains on the menu in most homes. Soups are good throughout the year, but are always more popular in the winter. Many hesitate when it comes to making soup from scratch, thinking it’s too difficult or time consuming. I’m here to tell you that it’s ridiculously easy, fun and enjoyable to make your own soup at home. I’ve got a recipe for you today that will certainly amaze you. After making this soup, you’ll never want to buy one of those packaged off-the-shelf canned soups. They’re loaded with sodium, artificial ingredients and MSG (autolyzed yeast extract). Eating low-nutrient foods like those is just no fun.

Our bodies aren’t made to consume foods loaded with artificial ingredients. It’s the foods that have real nutrients and rich flavors that my 98 year old grandma can pronounce that are best for our bodies. This time of the year, people tend to eat more vegetable-based soups, but today we’ll whip up a fruit-based soup. Zucchini, also often called a summer squash, is classified as a fruit simply because it stores seeds on the inside. Zucchini are harvested in August and September, and squash are harvested in October to November. Squash have many different varieties, most notable butternut, acorn, spaghetti and some that grow very large.

Zucchini and squash are great choices as soup ingredients for a number of reasons. Both are rich in nutrients like vitamin A, C and potassium (health-protective antioxidants), and excellent for heart heath. They’re also high in fiber, which keeps things moving as well as stabilizing blood sugar levels. Fiber is also a bulking agent that can actually keep you full for a longer period of time. It tells the hormone leptin that you’re full. It turns that hunger hormone off.  That’s right, you have a hunger hormone, and it’s essential to know how foods interact with it.

If everyone had a better understanding how to manage their leptin through foods, they could become fit in as little as 90 days. We’ll start today with a delicious soup that fits the bill perfectly.

So, over all zucchini and squash can assist you in dropping pounds. Below is an incredibly simple, fun and inexpensive soup to make. As always, find the freshest ingredients available and your food will be official food rather than artificial. And that’s certifiable delicious!

Creamy Zucchini Mushroom Soup

1) 1 Gallon of water for one pot

2) 24 Ounces of water for another pot

3) 2 Lbs. of chicken pieces

4) 1 Small onion (chopped)

5) Salt ~ to taste

6) 6 Medium carrots (chopped)

7) 10 Zucchinis (chopped)

8) 2 Cups of carmine mushrooms (sliced)

9) 2 TBSP melted butter (unsalted)

10) ½ Lb. of spaghetti (broken into small pieces)

In a large pot, bring a gallon of water to a boil. Combine ingredients 2 – 4 and cook for 30 minutes, then add carrots.

In another pot, combine water (24 oz) with zucchini, cook on medium heat for 15 minutes. Remove and blend until a smooth puree. Do this in two batches, it’s much easier.

Combine zucchini puree with chicken stock and combine ingredients 7 – 9 cook for additional 15 minutes while stirring constantly.

Tony Polito is a chef and food consultant in Boston and New York. With more than 25 years of experience in the kitchen and a decade as a fitness trainer, he helps people learn that fitness begins in the kitchen, not the gym. His hit cookbook, “Fresh,” is available from his Web site: www.cookingwithtony.com.

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