Self-Care Advent, Day 7 : : Soup Cleanse

Oh, soup! Nectar of the elderly and infirm, how did I overlook you for so long?

Soup was not cool when I was a kid- especially as it usually came from a can. Now that I do my own cooking, I know that not only is soup simple to make and nutrient-dense, it's also powerful in less obvious ways.

Our bodies expend constant energy keeping us warm and processing all the food we eat- energy we don't often think about. If we are out of balance or unwell, our body will have to ration how much energy in can commit to healing so that it can also keep the crucial heating and digestion running.

What we choose to eat makes a huge difference here- cold or raw foods require more energy for the body to warm up and break down. Well-cooked, soft, warm foods on the other hand, take require minimal energy. If they're also nutrient-rich and warming (made with vegetables and ingredients considered to have a warming effect on the body), then you've hit the jackpot.

Soup is the jackpot. And in a sugar-packed season like this, it's a handy thing to keep bubbling on the stove so you know you'll have something good, whatever else the day brings you.

When you get the hang of it, soup is as simple and intuitive as a smoothie: neither requires a recipe. Here, then, is my non-recipe for smoothie-soup, ie any kind of blended veggie soup.

Smoothie Soup

~your recipe for making soup without a recipe~

  • To build flavor, it’s nice to start with a mire poix- that's French for diced onions, carrots and celery

  • Sauté this in butter or olive oil until onions are shimmery or longer

  • Add warming spices: I’m partial to cumin, coriander and/or curry blends with veggie soups. And pepper, of course! You can also add garlic at this point, if desired.

  • Now add some favorite roughly chopped vegetables (or dice them if you don't want to blend your soup): I like cauliflower, potatoes, carrots.

  • Sauté lightly, then add chicken or vegetable broth to cover by about an inch.

  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-20 minutes.

  • Use immersion blender or transfer to stand blender and blend partly or entirely.

  • Salt to taste. Often soup needs a little acid to brighten up- you could add some vinegar, the juice of one or two lemons, or swirl some yogurt in when you serve it up.

There you have it! A recipe that can be used a million different ways and will keep you hale and hearty through the coldest months and beyond!

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