Meet quercetin, your new friend in the pot, and the star of the Gorgeous Soup

All we need is soup! Before I share my story, some highlights for you: my recently created recipe, the gorgeous soup, takes around 30 minutes to be prepared. It involves very basic chopping skills, and yes, you will need a hand blender. Three green vegetables and lots of onions are here to transform your once ordinary dinner into a healthy spa experience. Here is my story of sparkling inspiration:  

I was reading the news like I do every day first thing in the morning, and something caught my eye. CNN online announces that a diet rich in flavonoids, especially the one called quercetin may prevent many ailments  we want to avoid. Before I sipped my beloved dark straight black coffee for the third time, there I was, finding all the marvelous things about this nutrient. 

And, surprise surprise…the queen of quercetin in the vegetable world is ONION! We are talkng about red and yellow onions. Now to the even better news: this wonderful member of the allium family is grown everywhere, cooks easily, and can be dressed up in an elegant demeanor when mixed with other aromatics that are powerful enough to tame its pungent flavor. 


With all of this new knowledge in my hands, I then had a plan: a soup with all the plant power listed in CNN’s article. Onions, as a base, broccoli, leeks, kale, and the surprise touch of some blueberries. 

With this revelation in mind ran to the closest WF, because it was not Farmers Market Day, and bought two bags with the freshest onions I found. Lucky day: I found the ones from Gurda Family, polish descendants who kept doing what their family started in NY state. The special trait of those sweet onions is that they grow in a unique patch of soil, known as the Black Dirt, which is, according to this article, the best producer of delicious, sweet onions in the US. I read all I could about how to extract the best from onions and preserve their nutrition, keeping most of the quercetin in the pot. Another revelation was in the plot: the onion skin is where the precious flavonoid is concentrated, my beloved Farmer’s Almanac teaches, we should all be drinking onion skin tea. 


I mentally prepared the recipe before going to the stove, thinking about what my new friend B. told me: we all need recipes with clean ingredients that are fast and easy to make. Although I am a  passionate cook, I thought about time, efficiency, and how to create a method to make this soup happen naturally in someone’s life. Then I also remember what my mother-in-law once shared about her grandmother: always boil water in a pot before you start the prep for any soup. You never know when you need it until you need it. I felt like this soup was in the universe’s plan. And I will break the news to you; it’s also delicious. 


What you will need: 


Large stock pot with a lid that covers the pot completely, a wooden spoon, a sharp knife, and 30 minutes. If including the kale garnishing, one frying pan and a wooden spatula are also needed.

The ingredients are: 


For the soup 


7 cups water

4 medium onions 

1 white part of a large leek

1 broccoli crown with stem

½ tsp of sea salt 

1 dry brunch of thyme (or a teaspoon of your favorite herb)


For the garnishing

1 bunch of kale

1 tsp olive or avocado oil

1/2 cup fresh  or frozen blueberries  


1. Before anything, fill that pot with water and let it boil. 

2. Rinse the onions, peel just the first layer of each onion, if you really think you need to do it, cut half each onion with the rest of the skin, and chop the tips with the roots. Toss in the pot. 

3. Do the same with leek and broccoli, halving all to help with the process of cooking. Toss in the pot, that by now should be boiling. Add the herbs.

4. Reduce the flame to medium-low and cook with the lid closed for 25 minutes. You want a tight closing lid because all the condensation from the cooking should be “raining” back inside the pot to make sure that all nutrients are back into the soup. 


While vegetables are cooking, 

a. Turn on another burner on low flame and put your frying pan 

b. Chop the kale in the way you want it. I like its “chiffonade” style, but any way will work. 

c.Drop some water on the surface of the frying pan. When the water is forming bubbles that dance on the surface, toss the kale. Stir with your favorite wooden spatula and add the oil. Stop when the kale is bright green and a bit tender. You want some crunch to add texture to your soup bowl. 

dLeave on the side, and put on top of the soup when serving.


Now that the vegetables are cooked, turn off the flame, and wait at least 30 seconds to open. Nobody wants to have a burn from the steam coming off the happy pot.Remove the outer skins of the onions, and the hard parts of the herb (I used thyme and removed just the thicker part of the bunch. 


5. Immerse the blender and turn it on and off, first with long pulses and up and down movement, making sure that the blades are catching everything solid on their way to smoothness.

6.When all is creamy, serve in soup bowls. 

Back to the kale: 

e.Top with the kale and the blueberries come on the last step: just spread a few, frozen or fresh, and surprise yourself and those you love with an unsuspected combination of flavors. 


















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