Spring is finally showing her face here in Calgary and my thoughts are turning to my garden and a gentle Spring detox.
In the past I have flattened my energy level and impaired the function of my thyroid and adrenal glands through aggressive juice cleanses, yoyo dieting and calorie restriction. When I feel the urge to internally cleanse and streamline my body to greet the warmer weather, I do not eliminate all foods to drag myself through a week on lemon water with cayenne, but instead take a leaf out of the recipe book of our slimline European friends and choose to eat like a Frenchwoman over the next month.
There is not the market for crash diets and a myriad of diet products in France as there is in North America and French women do not routinely keep scales in their bathrooms. The advantage that french women have over their weight and diet is that they know how to shop for good local food and how to cook. Every French woman has a battery of healthy soup recipes available to her when she feels that her clothes are becoming more restrictive and into the kitchen she will go to switch some cleansing and slimming soups into her diet whilst detouring from the Boulangerie.
This recipe is heavy on leeks, a natural diuretic that will jump start weight lose by addressing water retention. Lemon juice and ginger both aid digestion by supporting the liver and stomach respectively. The whole dish is packed with the energizing properties of fresh spring greens as they provide a myriad of minerals including iron, bone building calcium and zinc for improved immunity. If you make this soup with bone broth it becomes even more healing to the digestive system , providing L-glutamine to the epithelial cells of the intestinal tract for a thick and health mucosal lining that protects against Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Soups are also warm (important in those climes where ‘Spring’ can include a lot of snow!) and nurturing and so will not stress your thyroid or adrenal glands to compensate metabolically to the stress of restriction and denial.
So jump in and get French with me for the remainder of April and switch out lunchtime or even breakfast carbs for this highly nutritious and cleansing soup. Attendez- vous ici for more sensible tips to long term weight loss as enjoyed by the French.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 large leeks chopped
- 1inch ginger grated
- 5 small parsnips diced
- 2 ribs celery chopped
- 4 cups broccoli chopped
- 1 bunch kale chopped
- 1 bunch parsley chopped
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- water or bone broth to consistency required
- 1tsp sea salt
- tabasco sauce to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat.
- Add the garlic, leeks and ginger and cook on a medium heat to flavour the oil.
- Add the parsnips, broccoli, celery and kale and cook for 3 minutes stirring.
- Once the kale is wilted add enough water or bone broth to cover all the vegetables.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, whizz the soup until smooth.
- Remove from the heat and add the chopped parsley salt and lemon juice and whizz again.
- Serve with tabasco sauce.
- Get creative with your soup adding celeriac, mache, Swiss chard or even boxed spring mix.
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