There’s nothing like a good soup to warm you up from the inside out.
Most homemade soups are actually nutrient-dense and fight infections, but can these bowls of comfort fight cancer ?
Well, these 8 classic soups put up quite a fight!
1. Apple and Onion Soup
- 2 pounds sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra-viring olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted organic butter
- 4 Granny Smith apples
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened apple cider
- 1 quart organic vegetable broth
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup cashew cream
- 3/4 tsp Himalayan salt and white pepper, to taste
- In a heavy stock pot, melt the butter and oil over medium heat.
- Add the onions and sauté until they become golden in color, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low half way through to prevent them from burning.
- While they cook, core and chop the apples.
- Once the onions are done, cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the apple cider to deglaze the pan, scraping up the pan.
- Increase the heat and to bring it to a boil.
- Cook until the cider reduces, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently 30 minutes.
- Add cream and simmer 10 minutes.
- To make it smooth, puree the soup in a blender.
- Adjust seasoning with salt & white pepper.
Both apples and onions contain quercetin, that protects against heart disease and cancer.
One study even suggests that quercetin is more effective than resveratrol in terms of inhibiting tumor growth.
The antioxidant is known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells from breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, endometrial, and lung tumors (1).
2. Beet and Carrot Soup
- 3 medium beets (about 1 pound)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 pound carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 6 cups of organic vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 3/4 teaspoon himalayan salt
- Freshly-ground black pepper to taste
- Peel the beets under running water to avoid making a mess.
- Cut the beets into large chunks.
- In a stock pot over medium heat, heat the oil.
- Next, saute the onion until they become translucent.
- Add the carrots, ginger, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add beets and stock.
- Once the soup reaches a boil, simmer the soup, covered, for 50 minutes.
- Remove form heat, add orange rind, and stir well.
- Puree the soup in batches in a glass blender.
- Taste the soup, and adjust the seasonings and serve.
Beets contain betacyanin, which is effective in suppressing the development of multi-organ tumors. It’s anticancer effects are comparable to the anticancer drug, doxorubicin (adriamycin) but is much less toxic than the drug. It’s particularly potent
in the androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells (2).
3. Grandma’s Chicken Soup
Makes 6 servings.
- 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into pieces (including back)
- 8 cups water
- 1 tablespoon Himilayan salt
- 3 medium onions, thinly sliced (4 cups)
- 2 celery stalks, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 6 medium carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- Bring chicken, water, and salt to a boil in a large stockpot.
- Add onions, celery, and garlic.
- Reduce heat and Skim foam.
- Simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes.
- Remove breast, slice into thin strips and set aside.
- Add carrots. Simmer, partially covered, for 40 minutes.
- Remove chicken and let cool slightly.
- Remove meat from bones, and cut into bite-size pieces.
- Stir in desired amount of chicken and keep the remaining pieces for future use.
- Skim fat and season with salt.
Chicken soup affects neutrophils, white blood cells that are the body’s main defense against infection.
4. Tomato-Basil Oil Soup
For the soup:
- large bunch fresh basil , leaves picked, stalks finely chopped
- Himalayan salt
- 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
For the oil:
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic , peeled and sliced
- 2 kg mixed tomatoes , very ripe
- Red wine vinegar
- To make the basil oil, place a few of the basil leaves in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
- Place the rest in a mortar with a pinch of salt.
- Add a pinch of salt and use a pestle to turn it into a dark green paste.
- Place the paste in a small bowl and mix it with the olive oil.
- To make the soup, drizzle a generous amount of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the basil stalks to the pan with the sliced garlic and fry for about a minute
- Add the tomatoes and sautee for a few minutes.
- Stir in 150ml of water and bring to the boil.
- Reduce to a medium heat and let the tomatoes cook for 5 minutes until they are slightly broken down.
- Remove the soup from the heat and splash with red wine vinegar.
- Pulse with a blender until you’ve achieved the desired consistency.
Regular garlic consumption greatly reduces risk of stomach, colon, esophagus, pancreas, and breast cancer.
One study found that women who consumed high amounts of garlic had a 50% lower risk of cancer of the distal colon compared with women who consume garlic infrequently (6).
Tomatoes are relatively rich sources of folate, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and lycopene that act against prostate, lung, and stomach cancer.
In one study, individuals who were in the top half of tomato consumption had a lower risk of all cancers combined compared with those in the bottom half (7).
5. Nettle Soup
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 leek, washed and finely sliced
- 1 large floury potato(Maris Piper or similar), thinly sliced
- 1lb vegetable stock
- 400g stinging or dead nettles, washed, leaves picked
- 50g organic butter, diced
- 50ml double or cashew cream
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add the onion, carrot, leek and potato, and cook for 10 minutess
- or until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the stock and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
- Add the nettle leaves, simmer for 1 min to wilt, then blend the soup.
- Season to taste, then stir in the butter and cream.
- To serve, drizzle with extra oil and scatter with dead nettle flowers, if you have them.
Nettle is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, zinc, and flavonoids.
Some studies suggest that stinging nettle is comparable to finasteride, a common drug, in slowing the growth of certain prostate cells.
Unlike finasteride, the herb does not decrease prostate size or affect healthy cells (8).
6. Curried Sweet Potato Soup
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large sweet potato, cubed
- 2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne) powder
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 cups coconut milk
- Coconut oil
- Add onions and let them sweat.
- Cook for a few minutes and then add garlic and stir.
- Season with salt and pepper and stir.
- Add sweet potatoes, curry powder, cayenne and stir.
- Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add coconut milk and cover.
- Simmer for 25 minutes more over low heat.
- Remove form heat and let it cool/
- Puree in a blender and serve.
Sweet potatoes have significant antiproliferative and antimetastatic effects on human colorectal cancer cells (9).
They contain Beta-carotene, which is used to treat heart disease, cataracts, and age related macular degeneration (AMD); and to treat AIDS, alcoholism, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, infertility and more.
7. Hearty Bean Soup
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup carrots, sliced
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper
- 1 tsp dried basil, oregano and garlic powder
- 1/2 pound red potatoes, quartered
- 2 yellow squash or zucchini, sliced
- 2 14.5 ounce jars of fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 15 ounce jar of pureed tomatoes
- 5 cups veggie stock
- 1 15 ounce can mixed beans, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups kale , chopped
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onion, garlic, carrot and stir.
- Season with salt, pepper and spices and stir again to coat.
- Next, add squash, potatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, tomato sauce and stock.
- Bring soup to a simmer, cover and reduce heat.
- Cook for 15 minutes and add beans, another pinch each salt and pepper, and stir.
- Lower heat to keep it at a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add kale, stir and cover for 5 more minutes.
- Adjust seasoning and serve.
On the other hand, beans contain phytochemicals that fight inflammation, prevent tumor growth and induce the apoptosis of cancer cells.
Healthy gut bacteria also feeds off fiber to produce protective chemicals that prevent colon cancer (12).
8. Broccoli and Barley Soup
- A bunch of broccoli (two stalks)
- 2 tablespoons Himalayan salt, plus more to taste
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups beef or vegetable broth
- 2/3 cup cooked barley
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley, plus more for serving
- Remove broccoli florets from the stalks, trim the tough ends (about 1/2 inch), and peel the tough outer skin. Chop coarsely into 1-inch pieces.
- Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil with the salt (2 tablespoons).
- Add the stalks and return to a boil.
- Wait two minutes, then add the broccoli florets.
- Push the broccoli back down if it begins to float.
- Once the water boils, remove the broccoli.
- Set the water aside.
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat up the olive oil and add garlic.
- Saute until the garlic is golden in color and add broccoli.
- Turn up the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes.
- Puree the stalks in a blender, adding 1/3 cup of hot water to make it smooth.
- In a clean saucepan, combine the puree, broth, and cooked barley.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Chop the broccoli florets and parsley into small pieces and stir into the soup.
- Season and serve
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are rich in nutrients, including several carotenoids, vitamins C, E, and K, folate and minerals.
They fight prostate, colorectal lung and breast cancer by preventing DNA damage, fighting inflammation and carcinogens, induce apoptosis of cancerous cells and inhibit tumor blood vessel formation and tumor migration (13).
On the other hand, barley contains lunasin, a bioavailable and bioactive chemopreventive compound which acts against skin cancer (14).