Uncle. We give in. With so many late nights, beer and beef, we feel like we have one foot in the grave. Here are two tried and true vegetarian soups packed with vitamins. You remember those, don’t you?
ELIXIR CLEANSE SOUP
Cathy Lewis: This elixir—a liquid I believe cures all ills—is something I give to Wynonna Judd after she has been on the road. The cleansing properties of the ginger, garlic and habanero have a great effect on the liver, the main filter in our bodies. It’s very important to detox your system if you have had a period of stress, poor eating habits or too much sugar. It is a very pleasing and flavorful broth that should be consumed at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The broth and healing properties of the ingredients will better assimilate into your system. This is also a good broth to curb your appetite.
1 piece (thumb-sized) fresh ginger root , peeled
2 large cloves garlic
1/4 habanero pepper
Juice of 2 limes, in a separate bowl
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 seedless cucumber, diced
1/2 carrot diced
1/2 cup jicama, diced
1 bunch cilantro , leaves picked and minced
1/4 red pepper, diced
1/4 yellow pepper, diced
1/4 orange pepper, diced
Put the garlic, ginger and habanero in a food processor, or blender, and grind to a fine puree, adding a few drops of the lime juice to loosen it up a bit.
Place this in a 1 1/2- or two-quart sauce/soup pan, over medium high heat. Sauté for 10 seconds and removed from heat.
Pour in the broth, return pan to heat, let it come to a slow simmer. Cook for 15 minutes to incorporate all the flavors.
Divide the garnish vegetables between four soup bowls and pour the broth over.
Kelly Ripa’s kids call this Tiger Soup because of the shredded cabbage “stripes.” She uses Jamie Oliver’s recipe, but substitutes chick peas for pasta. This low-fat soup tastes wonderful, and is perfect for snacking on throughout the day to keep you full.
10 large ripe plum tomatoes (or two 14 oz cans of tomatoes, drained)
3 medium carrots
2 medium leeks
5 ribs of celery
2 red onions
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 heaped Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
3 cups ham, chicken, or vegetable stock
3 good handfuls of fresh basil, torn
6 oz spaghetti
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Parmesan cheese, grated
Score the tomatoes and place briefly in boiling water. Then skin, seed and roughly dice. Peel or scrape the carrots, quarter lengthwise and chop. Remove the outer leaves of the leeks, quarter lengthwise, wash well and chop. Peel the celery with peeler to remove the stringy bits, then cut in half lengthwise and chop. Peel and chop the onions. When you are chopping all these vegetables, try to make them more or less the same size (around inch dice. Wash and roughly chop the cabbage.
Put the olive oil into a warmed thick-bottomed pan and cook the carrots, leeks, celery, onion, garlic and rosemary over medium heat until just tender (about 15 minutes). Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, skimming if necessary. Add the cabbage, cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the basil and the pasta, which will absorb the flavors of the soup. Simmer for a further 5 minutes or more. Taste and season. The soup should be quite thick, full in flavor, and the cabbage shouldn’t be overcooked–you want to retain its deep color.