This time, we’ve gone too far…. The past few months, beginning with our jaunt in Argentina, series of weddings and parties sandwiched in between, and, most recently, our food adventure in Montreal, we’ve been over-luxuriating in the food and libation department. With each bender, the pounds on the scale creeping up ever so slowly, muscle tone softening, and the awareness that our bodies are not functioning at 100%. With that in mind, I made the decision it was time to get back to basics, give the body a reboot, per se, and pulled up an old GOOP newsletter I had set aside with a seven-day detoxification diet. I have never been a huge fan of the cleanse and detox concepts because, frankly, I love food and savor mealtime too much to swap its consumption and social virtues with some crazy all liquid or cayenne-lemon-maple water diet that I had always associated with the two. However, this particular detox program really appealed to me because it was composed of uncomplicated recipes utilizing whole foods that I could prepare in the comfort of my own kitchen without sacrificing those things that are important to me.
Joe and I ended up doing this program for four of the seven days, halting on Friday night due to previously arranged dinner plans. While I longed for some of my creature comforts and staple foods throughout, such as bread, cheese, and coffee, my commitment was steadfast and I experienced some significant results: dropped weight, elimination of bloat, consistently sensational sleep every night, and a clear head. So why didn’t we resume the seven day program in light of these successes? We both experienced dramatic enough results and transformations within that short time frame, but, more importantly, the mindshift and realization that we had been in search of the whole while was attained: Eating cleaner and eating lighter dramatically increases the functionality of the body and mind. I know that this is how I want to feel on a consistent basis and this detoxification experience – albeit short – was just the reminder I needed that too much of anything – you know who you are, wine and cheese – is no good …..
Today I’d like to share a modified version of one of the detox recipes that we couldn’t get enough of, pea and basil soup. I was overwhelmed with the natural sweetness inherent in this soup and truly impressed by how luxurious and creamy it tasted without any cream or butter. To boot, it’s super quick to whip up and requires fewer than five ingredients that you probably already have! I’ve tinkered with some of the ratios a bit and made it slightly more palatable, but the souls remains the same. This soup, combined with a light salad, is a perfectly healthy approach to satisfy any hearty appetite.
Sweet Pea & Basil Soup
Serves 8 – 10
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, chopped (approximately 3 cups)
3 large cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 40-ounce bag sweet green peas, thawed
6-8 cups of water*
2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 cup basil leaves, tightly packed
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add green peas and sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Pour in water, salt, and pepper and stir well. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth or pour soup into a blender and puree in batches. [Be very careful when pureeing hot liquids in a blender. Start slowly and work in small batches, lifting the lid between pulses and allowing the steam to escape.] Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary, and serve immediately.
*Use 6 cups of water for a thicker and more substantial soup. Use 8 cups of water for a lighter version.
A couple notes:
- This makes a large pot of soup. I like to make enough for the two of us to bring for lunch at work all week. If you need less, halve the recipe or let the extra cool and freeze for later use.
- As the soup cools, the water might separate a bit on the top; stir gently to recombine.