Thursday, October 6, 2011

Indian-Spiced Detox Soup

The other day I decided that I needed to make a big ol' pot of soup so that I could have something to take to work for the next few nights. I glanced around my kitchen and I had quite a medley of ingredients to work with: carrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, split peas... So after thinking about the kind of flavor I wanted to create, I decided that a cauliflower-based Indian soup was the direction I wanted to head.

As I started compiling my ingredients, I went ahead and threw in some millet to make it a complete protein. I also decided to include sweet potato, but leave out regular potato.

After simmering for awhile on the stove, I looked into my pot and decided it didn't look too appetizing, what with the little bits of cauliflower, green peas, and the bright yellow color from the turmeric. This soup had to be a blended soup! There was no way to get around it!

Then, as I was enjoying a soothing bowl of hot soup, I started to think about all the goodness that was in it: whole grains, organic vegetables, legumes, and anti-inflammatory spices... I also pondered what wasn't in it and I realized that this was a perfect food for those who have decided to embark on a detox diet, or for those who just wanted to ease back into a healthy diet after eating too much junk food or too little whole foods.

This soup is perfect. It is full of Indian spice (but isn't hot), is thick and satisfying, low in fat, and high in nutrition!

It's also completely free of: wheat, gluten, nightshades, dairy, eggs, and soy. Though keep in mind that some store-bought vegetable broths may contain gluten/wheat/soy. Just remember to check the labels.

If you're not on a detox, or if you're not on a very strict one you can top the soup with a little plain soy yogurt and chopped, toasted cashews. Delicious!

Also, since the water and vegetable broth are estimates based on how much I used, you may have to use more or less, depending on how large your vegetables are. 

Indian-Spiced Detox Soup:
1/2 c. green split peas, washed and picked through
1/4 c. millet, washed
1 smallish head of cauliflower, chopped up into small pieces
1 small to medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 c. vegetable broth
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 small, whole carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tb. olive oil
2-3 tsp. mild curry powder
1tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and white pepper to taste

1. Place the split peas in a medium soup pot and cover with an inch or so of water. Bring to a boil, cover, and let boil 3 minutes. Keep covered, and allow the peas to stand for an hour.

2. Once the peas are done soaking, drain and rinse them, then add the vegetable broth, 1 1/2 cups of water, millet, cauliflower, sweet potato, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer.

3. Meanwhile, sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until softened and golden, about 5-7 minutes. If they start to go a little dry, you can add about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth to finish sautéing them instead of adding more olive oil (or you can omit the oil altogether and just add broth).

4. Add the curry powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, and turmeric to the vegetables and continue to sauté another 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add the vegetables to the soup pot, return to a simmer, and allow the soup to simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until everything is nice and soft.

5. Using a blender, blend the soup in batches until completely smooth. You might have to add a little broth or water if you blender is having a tough time. Mine is just a regular old Oster blender and it was no trouble, so I'm sure your blenders will do just fine. No need for a Vitamix here! Reheat to serve if necessary. You can also use an immersion blender, but I don't have one of those yet. Lol.

This golden fall soup was just what I needed to bring me back to life. Have a great evening.


Amber Shea @Almost Vegan said...

This looks right up my alley; it's got a bunch of my favorite veggies and spices. Ironically, I AM on a detox diet right now, so thanks! :)

Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen said...

That looks lovely, and includes a lot of my favorite things...including Indian spices! I've been getting very creative this month (it's my first as a vegan...a challenge I set for myself as part of the Vegan Month of Food) and I'm definitely going to have to play around with this recipe! Thanks. :)

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

I hope you guys like it!

Teniesha @ Vegan on the Go-Go said...

What a coincidence that we both posted about detoxing within one day of each other! Vegan soups are the perfect detox foods. <3

P.S. Where do you live in the Midwest, if may I ask? I'm from Iowa and go to university in South Dakota.

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

I'm from a little town about an hour north of Kansas City called St. Joseph. I go to school at MWSU, but I'll be graduating this December and moving out of the state next summer.

My sister lives in Iowa though! She lives in a small town... just moved there... can't remember the name...

But anyway, I'm kind of surprised to be seeing vegans pop up in the Midwest. It makes me happy. :)

Savorique said...

According to an August medical article, spices also help combat fat. One more reason not to forget them in our meals. I think spices are getting ultra trendy right now. You'll find Indian spices in French macarons soon :)
What I don't understand in all the soup recipes I find online is the ubiquity of vegetable/chicken broth! I never use broth. I think it offsets the true taste of the vegetables present in the soup.
When I make a leek soup, I want it to taste leek and nothing else (besides a few spices). Same about broccoli soup, tomato soup with ginger, lentil soup with spices again...
So what is it about this broth craze?! Our Grand'mas never used broth, it didn't exist and their soups tasted great, didn't they?!

Jess of Midwest Vegan said...

Lol. My grandma always used broth, but it was homemade and then she canned it. I think that's where I get it. :)

I like it because I think it gives it a little somethin'-somethin', but you can always sub regular water if you like. That's always why I cut the broth with water - don't want too much going on.

And you are totally right! It would not surprise me one bit if we started seeing chocolate-curry macaroons!