Cancer Fighting Soup (for my girl Darcie)


The perfect combo of vegetables, beans, and lentils to help fight inflammation in the body. A delicious way to eat your way to better health! #realfood #freezermeal #superhealthy

Cancer.

No one expects to hear that diagnosis from their doctor, even though one in three Americans will get cancer at some point. You especially don’t expect it when you’re a 38-year-old seemingly healthy mom of four children.

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My long-time and dear friend Darcie received that diagnosis about four weeks ago, after finding a lump in her breast. It was a shock to all of her friends, family and church family to say the least.

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Her friends and family quickly gathered like a small army around her and her family. You see Darcie is widely known as one of the most generous, thoughtful, bleeding-heart people around our area. Many lives have been touched by her and her family in some way. Everyone loves Darcie.

 

A small group of her closest friends gathered a few days after her diagnosis to pray and plan for her. I was awed as I saw each friend in our group using her own particular gifting to serve and encourage her. It’s humbling to watch Christ’s church at work as the hands and feet of Jesus during a time of crisis like this.

One friend brought Darcie a “Battle Bag” full of encouraging verses to read any time of day or night. Others were already working on coordinating house cleaning, meals for the family, rides for the kids, starting a fundraiser site. One friend in the medical field sat through the initial consult appointment with her and her husband to be another listening ear. My decorator friend announced she would embark on a quick bedroom make-over, so Darcie can feel at peace in her space while undergoing treatment. The list goes on.

(Below: Living it up 80’s style with Darcie (on right), me (center) and our friend (Kelley). Can you handle all that blue eye shadow and crimping?)

Darcie and friends

And what do you think was my first inclination when I heard the news about my friend? To cook!

My mission in the days to follow her diagnosis: How can I make my friend the most nutritious, delicious, cancer-fighting soup possible? How can I equip her with the foods and nutrition information she’ll need to give her body the best fighting chance?

My role–surprise-surprise–was quickly dubbed by my team of friends as “Darcie’s nutrition helper”…which let me just say I feel completely inadequate for! Because of my under qualified status, I’ve been desperately researching and talking to friends who actually are nutrition experts. I’ve been learning all about the BEST foods for fighting breast cancer, which I plan to do a separate post on soon.

Here’s a peek at the long Google doc I put together as Nutrition Guidelines and a reference for her. As I say often…I know, nerd alert.

Darcie nutrition guidelines

If you’re interested to learn more in the meantime about foods that prevent and/or fight cancer, a friend and I started a group pin board called Cancer Fighting Foods for Darcie and our team of “Darcie’s Cooks” (who are making healthy freezable meals in individual sizes for her to have on hand). These mostly grain-free, low-sugar recipes are packed full of healing vegetables and protein-rich beans and legumes, just like the soup I’m going to share today.

Cancer-Fighting Foods and Soup

Now, back to Cancer-Fighting Soup. I’ve made three ginormous pots of this soup now for Darcie and for our family. It’s been tested fresh, reheated from the fridge and reheated from frozen. It works! I really think it works as a nutritious, delicious, cancer-fighting soup that can be frozen.

What’s in it that fights breast cancer (and inflammation at large), you ask? Here’s a very quick run-down based on my research:

1 – Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and cauliflower (You can also throw in cabbage!)

2 – Lentils and black beans

3 – Mushrooms

4 – Garlic

5 – Spinach

6 – TONS OF OTHER VEGETABLES!

My hope is that you can make this for yourself, but also to take to anyone else who is battling cancer or any illness. This Cancer-Fighting Soup fights inflammation in the body and provides warmth and comfort when healing.

The perfect combo of vegetables, beans, and lentils to help fight inflammation in the body. A delicious way to eat your way to better health! #realfood #freezermeal #superhealthy

You may even want to add a word of encouragement to the container you deliver it in, too. I quickly scribbled out a few favorite verses in sharpie on the freezer bags.

The perfect combo of vegetables, beans, and lentils to help fight inflammation in the body. A delicious way to eat your way to better health! #realfood #freezermeal #superhealthy

Or you may want to include a set of our printable Truth for Trials verse cards.

Truths for Trials image for store

Or make your meal a little more fancy-schmancy than mine with these Printable Freezer Meal labels to go on top.

Printable freezer meal labels

I hope this recipe is a blessing to you or someone else.

P.S. Thanks to Darcie for letting me share some of her story. She said to me, “Share on, sister. hoping it make
a difference, inspiring someone to change one small thing about their lifestyle.”

P.P.S. In case you’re wondering, here is the story of Darcie’s Head-Shaving Party and more about how she’s doing a year later.

darciestrawberry

5.0 from 1 reviews
Cancer Fighting Soup
 
Author:
Serves: 12-16 servings (this soup feeds an army!)
Ingredients
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 2 cups carrots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper, to preference
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or other dried herbs like basil, oregano, and parsley)
  • 12 cups (or 3 32-ounce cartons) of chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes (look for BPA-free cans)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup lentils (any kind will work; rinse first)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped finely
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped finely
  • 2-3 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1-2 cups frozen green peas
Instructions
  1. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Saute onion, carrots, celery, and garlic for about 3-4 minutes, until tender. Season lightly with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (to your preferred heat level), and Italian seasoning.
  3. Add chicken or vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, and lentils. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer (slight bubbling), stirring occasionally. Season again lightly with salt and pepper. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Add all other vegetables except frozen peas (zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach) and simmer another 5-10 minutes.
  5. Stir in frozen peas and turn off heat (or turn to low), so they don't overcook. Remove bay leaf. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  6. If you like, serve with freshly shredded Parmesan cheese and/or whole grain crackers or crusty bread.
Notes
Freezer Meal Instructions:

To freeze:
Fully cook and cool the soup. (Do not leave soup out on counter more than 2 hours.) Divide soup into freezer bags or containers and freeze.

To thaw and reheat:
Thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Then reheat gently over low heat on the stove or in a crockpot. Another option is to put the frozen soup block over low to medium-low heat on the stove top or in a crock pot. Add about 1-2 cups of water or broth over the top. Gently warm over low to medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.


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Comments

  1. Tara says

    Love the recipes you’ve amassed on pinterest. I added a couple to my meal planning queue. I noticed the 7 layer taco dip and I wanted to share something we’ve discovered at our house. 7 layer dip and a package of tortillas is like an instant 7 layer burrito meal. When we’re traveling or camping I’ll often make a 7 layer dip and leave a package of whole grain or sprouted tortillas in the sun in the morning. Then we can make instant burritos later on without any fuss or prep. 🙂

    I also wanted to recommend another nutritional guide to fighting cancer. It’s more detailed and customized for each person’s genetic makeup. Gives lists of foods that would be most beneficial, foods that are fine in moderation and foods to completely avoid when fighting cancer. And you can get it of $.01 on Amazon these days. It’s been very helpful to me. http://www.amazon.com/Cancer-Fight-Blood-Health-Library/dp/0425200078

    Blessings to Darcy and your entire network of friends and support. It’s so wonderful to see how the body of Christ comes together in situations like these. How good and pleasant it is…

    • Rachel says

      I love your 7 Layer Taco Dip burrito idea. I often eat this for lunch or even dinner. But, I like the idea of skipping out on the chips in lieu of a whole grain tortilla instead. And, thanks for the book rec!

  2. Mia says

    Love and prayers to your friend! It is inspiring to see how your network has come up around her.

    • Rachel says

      Thank you! I know she appreciates that!

  3. D Lammy says

    Hey Rachel,

    Since you are the Nutrition Helper, I thought I would pass some information I found on to you. I don’t know if you follow Lil’ Blue Boo at all, but she had three rounds of chemo for a very different type of cancer than Darcie, BUT she (read: her mom) was incredibly focused on detoxing following her chemo treatments to help her get back to feeling well asap. Anyway, here is one of her pages where she has some of her detox suggestions: http://www.lilblueboo.com/2012/03/my-lil-list-healthy-living-and-detox.html. Somewhere in her website, and I haven’t been able to find it, is some of the juicing suggestions that she/her mom came up with as well. love you, Devin

  4. Tonya says

    Hi, I too have just had the diagnosis that every woman dreads less than four weeks ago, and just finished surgery two days ago. Thanks for the recipe, just going to make it now. What a blessing you have been to your friend, and what wonderful support she has. We have just moved and I’m all alone, but I can still be encouraged through posts like these.

  5. Katherine Sanders says

    Thank you for your blog. It has been very helpful! For 14 years now I have researched diet and its relation to disease. I would highly recommend researching and learning about The Gerson Therapy. This is a highly effective healing diet. Chemo and radiation are such poisons to our bodies, but God has given us the perfect foods for our bodies, even that heal us from very serious sickness and disease. There are a number of very informative lectures given by Charlotte Gerson concerning cancer and the healing of the body on YouTube. Thank you again for your encouraging us moms through your blog!

    • Rachel says

      Thank you for sharing this resource with readers, Katherine!

  6. Julie says

    Thanks for your post. I was very interested to read it as I am making meals for my mother who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was given a list of ingredients that she can’t have due to harmful interactions with her chemo and garlic is first on the list. It may be good to note that this may not be good for all cancer patients. Just wanted to pass that along!

    • Rachel says

      Oh good to know! I know my friend couldn’t have grapefruit b/c it interacted with her medication. That’s a great reminder to always check with the cancer patient about any foods he/she cannot have. I think different medications can have different interactions.

  7. Pat says

    My precious other half was diagnosed with a rare cancer. It is a large mass in his back that is thankfully, not attached to any organs. It is low level at this point. Doc said there won’t be any chemo or radiation, but we are waiting for the surgery date to remove it. Meantime, I am working on finding recipes to help him stay strong and to get healthy again. Love this soup recipe except it calls for Cauliflower and Broccoli. EEEUUUUU Two veggies neither of us can swallow 🙂 I wanted to add white beans in place of them, but I have also read the beans are moderately acidic which feeds cancer. We need to keep the body higher in alkaline. Alkaline kills cancer cells. I am going to make this soup for us. Thank you for the recipe and thank you to your followers and their posts. I find them very helpful.

    • Rachel says

      Hi Pat. Oh, I am so sorry to hear of trial for your loved one and you. I’m glad you found our recipe. This soup is very forgiving, so just swap whatever veggies you like in for the broccoli and cauliflower (although the cruciferous veggies are some of the best cancer-fighting ones out there). Would you consider trying cabbage (another cruciferous) in it’s place? It becomes so mellow in soup. Hugs to you!

  8. Monica says

    So glad I found the soup info. Does it work for all cancers? My brother has pancreatic 😯

    • Rachel says

      I’m not an expert on all cancers by any means. I just did research on the best cancer-fighting foods for breast cancer. Definitely talk to your doctor about what foods to avoid. We learned the some (like grapefruit) can interfere with certain medications or might taste really bad due to chemo.