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Soup

Cleansing recipes for the New Year

Well hello there! I’m not really sure how a new year is on its way already, but I’ll welcome it with open arms. I’m hoping 2016 is every bit as great as 2015 was – filled with adventure, travel, photos, good people and good food. I’m sure we’re all raising our glasses to at least one of those gems. Now let’s get to that latter topic.

After one too many days of hefty holiday eats, I’m ready to start 2016 out on a light and refreshing foot. Are you with me?

I consider 99% of the recipes that go on my blog to be healthy. But I’ve rounded up a few that I particularly seek out when I’m looking for a truly nourishing cleanse for my body. These are recipes filled with whole foods. Bright ingredients. Produce. Fiber. And definitely not a lack of flavor. Let’s be clear, this is not akin or meant to be akin to a juice cleanse. This is meant to be a guide for wholesome recipes that’ll make you feel both energized and satisfied.

I’m already putting my spoon into that last one on this list. Happy New Year everyone, and cheers to a great year ahead!

Savory Japanese Oats

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Miso Tahini Soup

Miso Tahini Soup

Maybe I’m getting old. (But will forever want to draw at the kids’ table.) Maybe I had one too many Friendsgivings + Thanksgivings this year. (Forever thankful.) Maybe I just like soup best as December rolls in.

Likely it’s all of these and more – but regardless, I was ready to pass on all T-day leftovers this year. Another scoop of stuffing? No thank you.

Soup me, please.

Turnips

I was ready for a meal like this before the weekend even arrived. And whether you still need a few more days or not to reach that point, this remains one of my favorite cleansing, warming meals as the cool winter days set in.

It’s earthy. Light. Yet full of flavor that satisfies you within just one bowl.

I stumbled upon the recipe over on 101 Cookbooks after doing a quick Google search for turnips. They are still an item that leaves me clueless sometimes. (Although, lately I’ve learned a fast roast in the oven does wonders on the beauties.)

Miso Tahini Soup

This was first whipped up for a small gathering of friends, and again soon after in the week that followed. I look forward to utilizing the soup as the hefty holidays continue to roll forward.

Feel free to play around with the veggies you put into the pot. We did a steamed eggplant version the other night, which was wonderful. Just be sure to leave out anything too overpowering. There’s a delicateness to this soup that you won’t want to lose.

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Moosewood’s Gypsy Soup

Moosewood's Gypsy Soup

There are some recipes I ate as a kid that just don’t hold up as well anymore. Whether it’s that my tastebuds have changed, my learned knowledge for seasoning makes them seem bland, or that pasta isn’t always synonymous with perfection anymore, I could name a few of these meals.

This soup isn’t one of them. Since I was little, it’s been an annual autumn meal and remains a favorite to this day. Something about its combination of spices, herbs and seasonal veggies make it to be what I consider one of the best soup recipes out there. And I say this amidst prime-time season for creamy butternut squash, lentil, and the million of other options coming into abundance right now.

This “Gypsy Soup” from Moosewood simply kills it.

Moosewood's Gypsy Soup

Moosewood is a vegetarian restaurant up in Ithaca New York that’s been firing food since the 1970s. They’ve cultivated quite an abundance of cookbooks under their name, including the hand-written original where this recipe comes from.

You may wish to consider doubling the recipe. It’s an easy one to eat all week, or for freezing and pulling out on nights where you just need something warm.

Moosewood's Gypsy Soup

Serve alongside fresh-out-of-the-oven cornbread, or a warm, crusty bread. You could also pour it over a nutty grain, like millet.

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Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Does soup get any more gorgeous than this? I knew immediately after seeing this on Dishing Up the Dirt that I needed to whip up this vibrant creation for my own spoon and bowl.

Beets always yield such beauty.

Beets

Beets really do lend themselves well to easily dazzling up a dinner. Here are a few past favorites that deck out the kitchen table in red: Pickled Beets, Smoky Black Bean and Beet Burgers with Herb Yogurt Sauce, Purple Summer Tabbouleh.

I’m adding this soup to the list.

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

Beyond feeling decadent from pure looks alone, this soup has a nice earthy flavor that gets complimented by some rather stellar toppings. First, there’s the tahini. You can almost always count me in for tahini-topped anything, and it’s creamy combination with beets is no different. This particular sauce adds a slight lemony-tang to the sweet beets, and is absolutely perfect with the specks of parsley you’ll catch on most bites. Feel free to omit the allspice from the sauce – it’ll add subtle, but not mandatory, notes of flavor.

Beets

Then, there’s the za’atar, a traditional Middle Eastern herb and spice blend that is speckled with sesame seeds. Toasted in a pan with pine nuts, it takes on this woodsy flavor that’s hard to describe as anything but unique. Here, it adds an easy punch of flavor that allows this soup to remain simple to make, and to rely on the freshness of its garden ingredients.

Beet Soup with Tahini and Pine Nut Za’atar

But enough words already. Likely, if you’re going to make this soup, it was its visual representation that snagged your eye. Bring its beauty to your own bowl, might I suggest alongside a crusty, toasty slice of bread.

Beets

P.S. Stop by Andrea’s blog, Dishing Up the Dirt, if you get the chance. It’s a winner.

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Simple Veggie Lentil Soup

Simple Veggie Lentil Soup

Snow has been falling here all day. I’ve been looking at it out my window, admiring the slow, steady flakes as they blanket the ground.

Sometimes, I enjoy a day shut inside, cozying up behind my camera and simply letting the cool world around me do its thing from outside the glass. Just sometimes.

Most times, I’m dreaming of sun and palm trees and lakeside dives. But there is that seldom day, where the morning starts with a cup of hot coffee and a bright sky of snow reflecting back at me. The day where a mid-afternoon walk is followed by a lunchtime table of warm soup and bread that’s been toasted till butter can easily melt into all of its nooks. Sometimes snow can feel magical. Just sometimes.

Simple Veggie Lentil Soup

So here we go, yet another soup recipe to hit the blog. If you haven’t guessed by now, that is how me and my kitchen cope with winter. With a hot bowl of soup in our hands. And with the soft winter light casting down onto the finished product, staring back at us through a camera lens. It’s the little things that keep me excited, and that’s why I have yet to jump ship from the East Coast.

Simple Veggie Lentil Soup

There have been lots of little triumphs lately, here in cold Philadelphia. And I’m putting this beautiful soup onto the list. My new friend Jared helped me make it. It was his first attempt at soup-making. Simple and quick, it was a good recipe with which to begin.

Here, the veggies really take the spotlight, surpassing that of even the lentils. This is a lentil soup heavy on the mise en place. (I.e., the carrots, celery and onions. Tomatoes, too). Their flavors meld together with a boost of some dried herbs for light yet warming winter meal. Add some fresh scallions on top, and it almost feels like summer again. Just almost.

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