Homemade Vegetable Beef Soup
Make ahead meals are a big trend on social media for good reason. It seems everyone is busy and meal planning is one thing that tends to fall to the back burner. This can be very tricky for bariatric patients. Not having an idea of what to have to dinner or lunch can easily lead to eating out. Many take out or drive through restaurants offer foods that may be high in protein, but are often high in calories as well, which can put gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients well over their daily calories, which hinders weight loss. It can take great effort to find a restaurant or menu option that easily fits into a post bariatric diet.
A better solution is to make meals ahead of time and keep them in the freezer. Soup is a great choice for storing in the freezer because you can easily store portions in separate containers in the freezer. Soup reheats quite well either in the microwave or in a pot on the stove.
Making a big batch of soup takes just a little longer than making a small batch, so even if you’re cooking for one, make a large pot of soup and store individual portions in the freezer. You can quickly pull a container out in the morning before work to have for lunch at work. And when you’ve had a rough day at work and don’t have the energy to cook yourself a low calorie, high protein meal, you can pull out a soup container, heat it up, and in under 10 minutes you can have a hot, healthy, protein and vegetable filled dinner.
While soup may not be a great choice for gastric band patients, it can be a good choice for those who have had gastric sleeve or gastric bypass. The carrots, turnips, kale, and farro provide fiber which can help you feel fuller for longer. The beef and butter beans provide protein, which is crucial for weight loss surgery patients to get enough of to prevent muscle breakdown while they experience weight loss.
It’s easy to substitute vegetables you have on hand or change those you don’t care for. Don’t like turnips? Try rutabaga or potato instead. Can’t do kale? Any sturdy, leafy green will work. You can also make it differently each time, varying the vegetables or meat to add variety and different flavors.
Make Ahead Vegetable Beef Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 8 oz button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 1/4 pounds chuck roast or stew meat, cut into ½” pieces
- 3 turnips, peeled, cut into ½” pieces
- 3 carrots, sliced thin
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups low sodium beef broth (or stock)
- 4 cups kale (chopped, tough stems removed)
- 1/2 cup uncooked farro (or barley)
- 15 oz can butter beans, rinsed and drained
- In a large soup pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add sliced mushrooms with ¼ tsp salt to pot, and saute until mushrooms begin to brown and give up their water. Scoop mushrooms out and transfer to a bowl.
- Add the other tbsp of olive oil to the pot along with the cubed beef, salt, and pepper. Stir and saute until beef browns, about 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, onions, turnips, and carrots. Stir to combine, and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Tie thyme and rosemary with kitchen string or add to a spice pouch and add to the pot along with the bay leaves, tomatoes, and beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in kale, farro, and butter beans and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
The above make ahead meal suggestion is offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a board certified surgeon specializing in advanced laparoscopic and obesity surgery. Many of Dr. Shillingford’s bariatric patients come to Boca Raton for his expertise in delivering high quality surgical services at affordable self pay prices. Patients often come from Delray Beach, Miami, Coral Springs, Parkland, Wellington, West Palm Beach, and Orlando for his services. Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and lap band patients are often looking for high protein recipes to help them meet their daily protein requirements. This make ahead meal makes a great grab and go container to bring to work, or a quick meal to pull out of the freezer for dinner when you don’t have time to cook.