Personally, I find it very difficult to stay 100% raw or even close to that during the cold northeastern winters. I want hot soups and drinks, not somewhat warmed.
So to this end, I believe one can still have the advantage of nourishing the body with living foods in their raw state AND eat hot, satiating foods during the winter. Vegetable soups are a nice compromise and still contain many nourishing nutrients for the body.
Make sure when you make any vegetable soups that you use the water the vegetables are cooked in for the base of the soup. Do not throw any of it out - that would be wasting the vital nutrients you need. Also, when cooking the soup, try to cook them only until slightly tender. This won't take long - under 30 minutes.
I find that using green spices, garlic and one small potato is enough to enliven the taste and provide some thickness to the base. I usually take out about a cup and blend it in the Vita-mix then add it back in to the soup so the base is thicker.
Using cornstarch to thicken the base is OK but please know that unless it is labeled non-GMO and organic, you are eating a genetically modified corn product. There have been no long term studies done that show these products are safe in humans in the long term. Corn products are in almost everything.
It is good to make your own soups so you know what is in it!
For those suffering from IC I want to say my soups are never made with a tomato base. Garden fresh tomatoes I could eat but I felt I was not digesting them properly. Any cooked tomatoes are VERY acidic and adding cooked or cooking tomatoes into a soup base is also acidic. Bad organisms thrive in an acidic body - but they don't thrive in an alkaline body.
We want alkalizing soups and broths, so to do that we need to leave the cooked tomatoes out.
One more item of note; please try to buy these vegetables ORGANIC: sweet bell peppers, celery, kale, lettuce, carrots, spinach, kale, and potatoes.
The reason is this; these vegetables carry in their cells a high pesticide load if not organic. It has been a long battle in the scientific community to show that pesticides do indeed affect people in a negative way - affect our hormones, our glands, our organs, OUR HEALTH.
Google "vegetables high pesticide load" to find out more. I know as well as many others that times are tight. I do buy some of my produce non-organic, but only the low pesticide load varieties.
Directions: For 1-2 people
Place 2-3 cups of water in a soup pot
Add bite-sized cut up vegetables
Add green seasonings towards end of cooking
(oregano, basil, thyme, tarragon, chives, parsley, cilantro.....)
Take out 1 cup of the soup and blend together, add back into the soup pot
Cooking stops when you take a fork and test the softness of the vegetables in the soup.
If the fork slides into the pieces easily, it is done. Plan on about 20 minutes or less.
Garnish with a sprig of parsley or cilantro
Eat with crispy rice crackers for those who are still gluten-intolerant. (I "inadvertently" healed my gluten intolerance by going 100% raw for 3 months when I was healing my IC)
Raw, homemade flax seed crackers are also fabulous with the soup. These can be made mild, sweet, or spicy to your liking.
Enjoy an alkalizing soup DAILY during the winter. There is no end to the variety of soups out there to try. My Russian friend, Lena, told me her mother had soup on the stove all the time and it is a staple in their culture to eat it every day. I say this because unless you are eating a salad with every meal, you are probably eating acidifying food at every meal. These alkalizing soups make the difference in your health and the way your body functions. It will help fend off sickness this winter and will help you have the stamina you need to stay warm and shovel the walk-way :)