If you’re anything like most people, you will have overindulged over the Christmas period. The festive break is laden with tempting and calorific food and drink we wouldn’t normally indulge in. It’s nice while it lasts but, come January, everyone is detoxing!
Juicing is one of the most popular ‘detox cleanses’ out there. But while it sounds very convenient and health-giving to live on nothing but freshly pressed vegetable juice for a week (or longer?), the reality is not all that pleasant. For one thing, who wants cold juice in the middle of winter? It’s not exactly satisfying, is it?
Souping could be the answer. The idea is simple: have 5 homemade hot soups a day and nourish your body with wholesome ingredients that allow your body to detox naturally. Reduce inflammation, strengthen your digestive system, lose weight, sleep better, recharge your body, reduce stress and increase your energy levels – the claimed benefits are immense.
In terms of health, souping is arguably healthier than juicing, as the soups retain fibre, which is important for cleaning out the intestines and stabilising blood sugar. What’s more, a warming soup is just what you want to soothe you on a cold winter’s day, helping you feel more full and satisfied.
If you’re curious to try it, here are a couple of delicious soup detox recipes to get you started:
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash
3 cloves garlic
1 small piece fresh ginger, diced
700ml chicken or vegetable stock
Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, then place the two halves facing up on a baking tray. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with cinnamon, then bake in a preheated (200C) oven for about 45 minutes until cooked. When cooled, spoon out the flesh and put aside. Discard the skin.
In a large saucepan, fry the garlic and ginger for 4 minutes, then add the squash and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, then let the soup cool enough to blend until smooth.
Calming Cauliflower Soup
1 head of cauliflower, cut into large chunks
3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp white miso
1 tbsp coconut oil
A pinch of sea salt
Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add onion and celery and gently fry until soft. Lower the heat and add the cauliflower and potato cubes. Pour in enough boiling water to cover the vegetables and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked. Add the miso and garlic and simmer for another 3-4 minutes, then puree until smooth. Return to the pan, add the lime juice and season to taste.