Let’s Cook Healthy Winter Soups

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What could be more appealing on a cold winter day than a tasty and hearty bowl of soup? That’s why soup will be the focus of the first class in my healthy cooking series, The Thrive Kitchen, at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco’s Mission Bay Medical Office Building.

The Thrive Kitchen is a new program designed for busy people who want to gain hands-on experience whipping up fresh, healthy home-cooked meals in less time than it would take to order takeout. As a doctor, trained chef, and the first-ever director of Culinary Medicine at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco, I have a passion for  introducing people to cooking food that’s simple, healthy, and easy to prepare.

I myself eat a primarily plant-based diet because this type of diet has been shown to have significant health benefits. I also enjoy the creative challenge of cooking vegetarian and vegan recipes that taste as good – or better – than traditional dishes prepared with meat, dairy, and other animal products.

You can learn more about me and my approach to cooking from my blog, Spice Box Travels; check out this recipe for “You Won’t Believe It’s Not Cheesy” potato broccoli soup to see the kinds of recipes we’ll be working with.

Each class in the Thrive Kitchen series will introduce several recipes from a variety of international cuisines, including  Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian, and more.

In our first class, to be held Tuesday, January 17th, we’ll learn to prepare at least three soups, including a lentil soup, a pureed soup, and a hearty vegetable soup. I’ll be teaching cooking techniques that can be applied to making an endless variety of different soups and we’ll learn to be creative with spices and herbs for both flavor and health properties. We’ll also be making a few creative and hearty salads to go along with the soups.  At the end of each class, we’ll enjoy our meal together, and you’ll have a chance to ask me questions about nutrition.

The Thrive Kitchen will be held one Tuesday a month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Kaiser Permanente Mission Bay Medical Office Building, 1600 Owens Street in San Francisco. The first four dates will be:

  • 1/17
  • 2/28
  • 3/21
  • 4/18

Kaiser members pay $20 per class plus a $10 fee for ingredients; non-members pay $30 plus the $10 materials fee. To register, call 415-833-3450 or email SFhealthed@kp.org.

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