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What a whirlwind of a year! Dane and I got engaged, over half of graduate school is now behind me, and Dane has once again returned from his 5th season of fishing. I can’t believe the holidays have already come and gone and that in two quarters I will graduate from Bastyr with my Master’s in Nutrition. Time flies by faster than I can even comprehend what day it is.
However, towards the end of the year I am feeling pretty exhausted, not just mentally from school, but also physically from trying to juggle the holiday festivities with outdoor adventures, all the while clinking my champagne glass together more often than may be healthy for small woman like myself. Yet, the holidays do only come once a year, and with that friends and family we only see during these few weeks, therefore why hold back in celebrating the good times, right?
Yet come January, all I wish I could do is be far, far away from bountiful dinner spreads, holiday cocktails, and social conversations. Simple quiet meals are all right by me to mentally and physically digest the last month of indulgence and to restore inner peace and balance. When I think of a meal that does just this, soup is the first thing that comes to mind. With its ability to bring coziness into your home, and warm you from your toes to your nose, soup’s simplicity is calming and nutritious all at once.
In this soup you will find many ingredients that support detoxification and reduce inflammation within the body. This is exactly the support we need after a long month of eating and drinking the holiday nights away.
Cashews are a wonderful nut that contain high amounts of plant based copper, an essential mineral that plays a vital role as an enzyme cofactor in many processes including our innate antioxidant system, the production of collagen, bone, skin and hair, and iron utilization (1). Copper deficiency can be associated with a decreased immune system, ruptured blood vessels and anemia, bone abnormalities, and even altered cholesterol metabolism and cardiovascular function (1). The wonderful thing about cashews is that one ¼ cup serving offers a whopping 38% of your daily copper needs. Pretty great, huh?
Turmeric, berbere, and curry powder are all spices that contain a host of phytonutrients that reduce inflammation in our bodies. Turmeric, which is also used in curry powder, inhibits an inflammatory pathway in our body via its active component curcumin, much like over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs, without toxic side effects. In addition curcumin is a powerful antioxidant that eliminates free radicals helping to reduce cellular damage and inhibit cancer cell growth. Finally turmeric has shown to support and improve liver function in mice exposed to alcohol, increasing vital detoxification enzymes and reducing oxidative stress to liver cells (2). I try to add turmeric to my diet daily due to all of its great compents that support longevity and health. Try my Liquid Gold beverage to add more turmeric to your diet.
So lets clink together our bowls of soup in place of wine glasses and start the new years off on a healthier note! With only 234 calories per serving, 14.1 g of fiber, and 9 g of vegetarian protein, one bowl of this New Year’s Detox Soup will keep you full till the next meal with a bunch of healthy benefits to boot. I think I am going to stock this soup throughout the entire week!
New Year’s Detox Soup
Makes 5 large servings
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup low sodium chicken stock (can substitute with vegetable stock if vegetarian)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
½ large yellow onion, diced
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon berbere1 teaspoon yellow curry powder (I used madras curry)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large head cauliflower, leafs removed, and coarsely chopped
2 medium small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups low sodium chicken stock
1 cup filtered water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of ½ lemon or lime
Generous pinch of saffron threads
Fresh ground pepper and additional sea salt to taste
Garnish with a drizzle of coconut milk, a drizzle of olive oil, or even toasted nuts/seeds
Place the 1 cup raw cashews into the 1 cup chicken broth and allow to soak 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile sauté the onion in the coconut oil over medium heat in a large soup pot until translucent. Add the turmeric, berbere, and curry powder, reduce heat and stir. Allow the spices to become fragrant. Add the garlic, making sure not to let it burn.
Put the cashews and soaking broth into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour this liquid into the soup pot along with the onions, garlic, and spices. Add the cauliflower, the sweet potatoes, and the remaining broth and water and allow to simmer covered over medium low heat until the cauliflower and sweet potato chunks are tender.
Using an immersion blender, puree the ingredients until desired consistency. Add the salt, honey, lime juice and saffron threads and stir well. Add fresh ground pepper and additional salt to taste if needed.
Note: You can thin the soup with additional water to desired consistency. You just may have to add a little more seasoning.
Serving Idea: Serve with a tofu skewer and a side green salad.
1. Gropper SS, Smith JL. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism 6th Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning; 2013.
2. Rong S, Zhao Y, Bao W, et al. Curcuming prevents chronic alcohol-induced liver disease involving decreasing ROS generation and enhancing antioxidative capacity. Phytomedicine. 2012 Apr 15;19(6):545-50.
3. Cauliflower. WHFoods Web Site. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13. Accessed January 1, 2014.