Creamy Celery and Onion Soup

This soup is healthy, tasty and ridiculously easy to prepare. All you need is a large yellow onion, a couple of stalks of celery,  extra virgin olive oil (optional), water and seasoning. That’s it! 

This is a family recipe and a favorite of mine. It’s perfect for detoxing, fighting colds and transitioning between seasons. During cold months, I like adding a small-size (peeled) potato to the soup ( boiling it together with the celery and onion before blending it). When I feel under the weather, I like adding a couple of garlic cloves to the mix. You can also use a handful of cashews to achieve a thicker consistency. 

This recipe is very simple but versatile. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Celery and Onion Soup

 

Creamy Celery and Onion Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 4 stalks of celery, large dice
  2. 1 large onion, large dice
  3. 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  4. 4 cups of water
  5. salt and pepper ( seasoning to taste)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the celery and onion and sauté for 10 minutes, until the celery is bright green and the onions caramelized.
  3. Add 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Transfer to a blender or use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the pot.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve warm or chilled.
Notes
  1. You can omit the oil all together and sauté the onion and celery in a little bit of water.
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/

Some interesting facts about celery:

Relax – In traditional Oriental medicine celery was used to treat hypertension. This is because phthalide compounds in celery can act as a sedative as well as lower blood pressure.

Sweet dreams – Celery is thought to promote a good night’s sleep because of the vitamins, mineral salts and nutrients it contains. It is also thought to have a calming effect on the central nervous system.

Food of love – Celery has a formidable reputation as an aphrodisiac, going back to Roman times (they dedicated the plant to Pluto, god of sex and hell!). While Madame de Pompadour, official chief mistress of French King Louis XV, swore by celery and truffle soup washed down with hot chocolate.

Hangover cure – Another use of celery by the Roman’s was to use it as an antidote against the intoxicating effects of wine and the ensuing headache by wearing wreaths of celery leaves.

Bottoms up! – The Bloody Mary cocktail was invented in the 1920’s at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris. However it wasn’t until the 1960’s that celery was associated with the drink, when a guest at a Chicago hotel was given a Bloody Mary but nothing to stir it with. He improvised with a stick of celery from the buffet!

Greek’s Gold – Winners of athletic events in Ancient Greece were presented with bunches of celery, much as flowers are given today.

Food for thought – Celery was first used as a food in Italy during the 16th century, later spreading across Europe as a flavoring for soups, meats and stews.

Some interesting facts about onions:

– The country that eats the most onions per capita is Libya, where each person eats about 66.8 pounds of onion every year.

-According to Guinness Book of World Records, the largest onion ever grown, weighted 10 pounds 14 ounces.

-The official state vegetable of Georgia is the Vidalia onion.

-The official state vegetable of Texas is the Texas Sweet Onion.

For more fun facts, check out LOVE CELERY

{Vegan} Creamy Cauliflower Soup

I came across this delicious soup while completing Dr. Mark Hyman’s “10-Day Detox Diet” last fall. You can read more about this “challenge” by clicking on the image / link below.

My experience with the 10-Day Detox Diet by Dr. Mark Hyman

Since then, I have prepared this recipe at least six times. It is creamy, thick and delectable. You will never guess that it’s dairy-free and gluten-free. It almost tastes like a vichyssoise. It can be eaten hot in winter and cold in summer.

Cauliflower Soup Mise

{Vegan} Creamy Cauliflower
Serves 4
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Prep Time
25 min
Prep Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  2. ½ medium onion, diced
  3. 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  4. 4 cups of water
  5. 1 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets
  6. ¼ cup raw cashews
  7. 2 tablespoons sesame seeds or 1 tablespoon tahini (preferable)
  8. 1/4 avocado (optional) **
  9. 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley or chives, chopped
  10. salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add 4 cups of water, the cauliflower, cashews, and sesame seeds or tahini.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a blender or use a hand-held immersion blender to puree the soup directly in the pot.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Garnish with parsley or chives
Notes
  1. Serve warm or chilled with your favorite salad and protein of your choice.
  2. ** Dr. Hyman recipe suggests blending 1/4 of avocado with the cauliflower. Since avocados are not in season, I omitted this ingredient. It still tastes delicious.
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/
Enjoy it!

 

Thai Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

It’s getting a little cold in Souther California lately. This means Mr. Naranjito LeCreuset is out and busy. Yes, I named my bright orange pot after the 1982 World Cup Soccer Championship mascot. What can I say? I am a fan! 🙂

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With temperatures reaching 60 degrees Fahrenheit, who wants to eat a cold salad, right? It’s time for delicious, nutritious and warm soups!

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I’ve made countless variations of carrot soups over the last year, but this is the winner. This recipe was adapted from Joy The Baker. I replaced the  extra virgin olive oil with coconut oil. I also added coconut milk, shredded coconut and orange zest for garnishing. You could also use lime zest instead and some peanuts for a Thai-infused flavor.

Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup

I hope you enjoy it!

Thai Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  2. 1 large yellow onion, diced
  3. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 2 tablespoons of fresh grated ginger (3-inch piece)
  5. 1 large red apple, chopped, no need to peel if organic
  6. 1.5 pounds carrots, chopped (~6 cups) - no need to peel if organic
  7. 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  8. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  9. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  10. Optional
  11. 1 tablespoon of shredded coconut, for garnishing
  12. 1 tablespoon of orange zest, for garnishing.
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another couple minutes.
  3. Add chopped apple and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable broth, stir, and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the carrots are fully cooked, 10-15 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a blender ( or use an immersion blender). Blend on high speed for 1 1/2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and blend for another 30 seconds.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Serve with shredded coconut and orange zest
Notes
  1. It makes 5 delicious cups!
Sunshine & Kale http://sunshineandkale.com/

Some interesting facts that I learned today about carrots:

  • Before the 17th century, almost all cultivated carrots were purple. The modern day orange carrot wasn’t cultivated until Dutch growers in the late 16th century took mutant strains of the purple carrot and gradually developed them into the sweet, plump, orange variety we have today. Before this, pretty much all carrots were purple with mutated versions occasionally popping up including yellow and white carrots. These were rarely cultivated and lacked the purple pigment anthocyanin.
  • In ancient times, the root part of the carrot plant that we eat today was not typically used. The carrot plant however was highly valued due to the medicinal value of its seeds and leaves. For instance, Mithridates VI, King of Pontius (around 100BC) had a recipe for counteracting certain poisons with the principle ingredient being carrot seeds. It has since been proven that this concoction actually works.
  • The Romans believed carrots and their seeds were aphrodisiacs. As such, carrots were a common plant found in Roman gardens. After the fall of Rome however, carrot cultivation in Europe more or less stopped until around the 10th century when Arabs reintroduced them to Europe.
  • The largest carrot ever grown was 19 pounds; grown by John Evans in 1998 in Palmer, Alaska.
  • Although the orange carrot was not cultivated before the 16th and 17th centuries, there is a reference in a Byzantine manuscript around 512AD which depicts an orange rooted carrot, suggesting that at least this mutant variety of carrot could be found at this time.
  • Mel Blanc, the voice of cartoon character Bugs Bunny, reportedly did not like carrots.
  • A medium-size carrot has 25 calories, 6 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber. The veggie is an excellent source of vitamin A, providing more than 200% of your daily requirement in just one carrot

For more information about carrots, check here and here and here