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St. Patty's day soup for the soul

This recipe may be a little unorthodox for most. For one thing it's green, and it also has some vegetables that a lot of people have never heard of. So I dare you to be a little adventurous and approach this recipe with an open mind (and belly). Your body will thank you.

Your strongest defense to cold and flu can be sitting down to a warm bowl of soup. Eating a varied diet is key to boosting immunity. Soup has the potential to be very nutrient dense on every level. Stock is the foundation of any good soup and loaded with antioxidants. You can prepare it in advance and freeze it in 4 cup portions or buy prepared stock from the store and water it down. Add whatever variety of fresh immune boosting ingredients you have on hand and simmer until tender.

Green Soup with Sweet Potatoes (makes 4-6 servings)

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for garnish

2 yellow onions, chopped

Sea salt

1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

3 1/2 cups water

2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves

1 bunch kale

1 bunch green chard

8 cloves garlic peeled

3 cups vegetable broth

Freshly ground black pepper

Fresh lemon juice

1) Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and stir frequently until the onions are soft and golden brown, 30-40 min.

2) Meanwhile, place the sweet potatoes in a large pot with 3 1/2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the sage. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, about 10 minutes.

3) Wash the kale and chard, trim away the tough stems, and chop. Add to sweet potatoes along with garlic and vegetable broth. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the onions to the soup and let cool slightly.

4) Puree the mixture in a blender, in batches, and return the pureed soup to the pot. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. To serve, drizzle olive oil over individual bowls of soup.

Corinna Maggy is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. She can be reached by e-mail at corinna@adkbikeranch.com. The information contained within Health Matters is not a substitute for professional medical examination, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program or beginning any nutritional regimen.

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