Poor old parsley
Too often relegated to the side of the plate used as merely garnish. You may be surprised to learn that this herb perpetually left in the back seat is actually a nutritional powerhouse.
High in vitamins A, K and C, parsley has 3 times as much Vitamin C as an orange!
A recent study in the Journal of Science of Food and Agriculture found parsley to have highly potent anti-cancer properties. Noted to benefit health by destroying free radicals before damage strikes, protecting DNA from damage and inhibiting the migration of cancer cells.
Parsley is also a great source of numerous other essential vitamins and minerals. This forgotten herb added at the corner of the plate and never touched could very well be the most nutritional thing on the plate.
Vitamin A benefits eye health and skin conditions, vitamin K supports bone health and vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and vital to the immune system, it also improves heart health. Vitamin C stabilizes our immune systems which helps reduce inflammation and keeps those illnesses that thrive on inflammation at bay.
Try chewing on a sprig to freshen your breath!
In an attempt to show you how important the right food choices can affect your health, I am sharing recipes which incorporate high impact foods. Who would have thought this unobtrusive little sprig had so much to offer?
Two main varieties we find available in the U.S. are flat leaf and curly which are really interchangeable. Curly tends to have a milder flavor and due to its more fluffy nature it is the variety most often seen as a garnish. The Italian, or flat leaf, has more flavor and is most often called for when making Italian and Mediterranean dishes; however ,either may be used in any recipe. And don’t throw away the stems! Parsley stems should be included when flavoring broth and stews as there is a lot of flavor enzymes and nutrition to be had there. Just remove any long stems from your broth or stew before serving.
The aromatics herbs are so fun to play with when cooking and parsley is one of the most versatile of them all, which makes it easy for us to benefit from its nutritional properties. I always have a bunch of something in my fridge, either cilantro or parsley, and more often than not a little basil on the window sill as well. I think the reason why I have fallen in love with Asian food is because of the way those countries blend the aromatics to flavor and liven up the dishes.
For best results when using fresh parsley, it should be cut or chopped just before cooking or garnishing. We would all do well to include more parsley into our diet.
One last important item to keep in mind, if a recipe calls for Chinese parsley, it is not parsley at all but actually cilantro.
Cream of Parsley Soup
- January 26, 2020
- 40 min
- Print this
- 1 large bunch parsley(about 4 cups)
- 1T olive oil
- 1T butter
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1 large russet potato, cut into 1 inch chunks
- 4 c chicken broth
- 4 T flour (optional)
- 1 c half and half
- 1 T lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic,roughly chopped
- 1 t salt
- 1/4 t pepper
- Step 1
- Cut stems from sprigs and roughly chop all parts set aside
- Step 2
- Melt butter with oil in large pot and add onion and potato to cook for a few minutes. Add parsley and garlic and stir to coat with butter and oil and cook about 10 minutes
- Step 3
- Mix in the flour, if using, and stir well to coat the vegetables
- Step 4
- Pour the stock in the pot to cover vegetables and bring to boil then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes or until veggies are soft
- Step 5
- Let the contents cool some and then use the blender or food processor to puree. You will need to do this in 2-3 batches
- Step 6
- Pour the pureed soup into a clean medium-size saucepan
- Step 7
- Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and the half and half and reheat to desired temperature. Adjust seasonings and add more cream to thin to your taste