Antioxidant Stew

With rich red wine, deep cocoa powder, and jewel-toned beets, this may be the most romantic of all my soups.

August 30, 2016

I like using cocoa in savory dishes, and just a tablespoon goes a long way to add a grown-up bitter flavor and rich texture that complements the sweetness of the beets and the acidity of the red wine.

More: 10 Slimming Soup Recipes


Similar to coffee, cocoa is an excellent source of antioxidants that trap cancer-causing free radicals. Much like how we consume coffee (with high amounts of animal fat and sugar to combat the bitterness), it's what we add to cocoa in the form of chocolate that can make it a "whoa" food instead of a "go" food. However, it's all go-time with cocoa's incarnation here.

Antioxidant Stew


  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon 100% cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 large beet, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/3 cup black rice or wild rice
  • 1 cup dry red wine (see note)

1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the onion for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it is soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, or until fragrant.

2. Stir in the cocoa powder, salt, and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the beets and cook for 15 minutes, or until the beets are tender.

3. Add the water and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the rice and wine, cover, and simmer for 35 minutes, or until the rice is soft but still has some bite to it (al dente).


4. Serve warm.

Note: The alcohol from the wine will cook off in Step 3, but the heart-healthy antioxidant resveratrol will remain.

Adapted from Soup Cleanse Cookbook