3 Soups To Reduce Blood Pressure

Nowadays many people in their Forties and Fifties are being told that they have high blood pressure and that unless they introduce major lifestyle changes soon, then they will have to take blood pressure tablets for the rest of their lives. The fact is, that once your body gets used to these tablets it is very difficult to get off them.

Therefore, if you have been given this word of warning, take it seriously. The doctor’s advice can take different forms, but it normally includes: lose weight; stop smoking and drinking; take more exercise and consume less salt.

In the spirit of this latter bit of advice, I have put three low sodium soup recipes from three different countries in this piece. I hope you enjoy them.

Recipe One: Germany

Two Bean Soup (Zwei Bohnensuppe)

(Serves Four)

1 1/4 cups white beans

dry 1 cup cut green beans

1 green onion

chopped 1 potato

peeled & diced

2 tbls unbleached flour

Garnish ===================

4 oz ham, chopped

1/4 cup celery, chopped

1 onion, yellow, diced

1 tbls unsalted butter (optional)

3/4 cup beef broth, unsalted

1/4 tsp pepper 1 parsley, sprig

The beans can be either fresh or frozen, but do not use canned. Boil the beans until softish; add the potato and continue to boil. Add the flour to thicken when the potato is cooked. Stir well. Serve in bowls and then sprinkle the garnish. Crispy bread is a great accompaniment.

Recipe Two: Ireland

Sorrel Soup

(Serves Eight)

1 lb Sorrel

3 oz unsalted butter (or margarine)

1 substantial onion, chopped

2 tbsp flour (heaped)

2 1/2 l stock

2 tbsp breadcrumbs

pepper

2 egg yolks

150 ml cream

Wash the sorrel well and chop it up. Heat the butter or margarine in a saucepan and only soften the sorrel and onion in it. Shake the flour over the vegetables and blend well. Let it cook for about 1 minute.

Meanwhile bring the stock to the boil, then add to the pan. Add the breadcrumbs, add pepper to taste, and bring to the boil, then simmer for around 1 hour covered. (It can be liquidized at this point, if liked).

Whisk the egg yolks with the cream and add a little of the hot soup to the mixture, stirring well; then add slowly to the soup pot, mixing well on the heat, being careful not to let it boil.

Recipe Three: Russia

Borsch

(Serves eight)

1 cup navy beans

dried 2 1/2 lb beef

lean 1/2 lb slab bacon

10 cups cold water

1 bay leaf

8 whole peppercorns

2 cloves garlic

2 tblsp parsley

dried 1 carrot

1 celery stalk

1 red onion, big, chopped

1 tsp salt (optional)

8 beetroots for soup

2 beetroots

small 2 cups green cabbage, shredded

2 leeks, large, sliced

3 potatoes, cut into eighths

1 tin (1 lb 13 oz) tomatoes

1 tbspn tomato paste

3 tbspn red wine vinegar

1 lb kielbasa (optional)

2 tbspn flour 1 tbspn butter, melted

1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

Cover beans with water and permit to soak overnight; cook until tender; drain; set aside. Place beef, bacon and water in substantial soup pot; bring to the boil. Skim fat from surface. Add bay leaf, peppercorns, garlic, parsley, carrot, celery, onion. Cover and simmer over a low heat for around 1 1/2 hours.

Scrub beetroots for soup and cook in boiling water until soft, around 45 minutes; drain and dispose of water; cool. Peel and cut every beetroot into eighths. Scrub small beetroots; grate; cover with water and soak.

Remove meat from soup; set aside. Strain soup into another pot and add cooked beetroot, cabbage, leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, beef and bacon.

Return to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Cut kielbasa into pieces and add with navy beans to soup. Simmer 20 minutes longer. Blend flour and butter together to form a paste. Stir into soup to thicken slightly. Strain raw beets, saving liquid but discarding beetroots. Add beetroot liquid to soup.

Additional sugar or vinegar can be added for a sweeter or sourer flavour. Slice meat and arrange in individual soup bowls. Pour hot soup with vegetables on to meat. Garnish every serving with a spoonful of sour cream, if preferred.