Being balanced has brought about a way for me to remain healthy yet sane. I’m not plagued (nearly as much) with the guilt that a standard American diet brings. That being said, there are times where I feel like I need to give my body a serious break. I’ve been feeling that exact way since being back in Los Angeles. At home, I definitely indulged, and not that I regret it, but my body was not used to eating some of the things I ingested. Jumping back into a clean lifestyle also wasn’t as easy as expected, because for most people (including me) foods that are high in sugars, and fats, and carbs, are addicting.
The first couple of days I felt hungrier than usual, sluggish, and obsessing over the foods I was trying to stay away from. So, at a time like this, where I could have very easily thrown in the towel and booked it to the nearest doughnut shop (which might I add is walkable from my LA home), I knew I had to put some extra effort and love into my meals. I had to remind myself that eating clean doesn’t mean I have to feel deprived.
Call me crazy, but one of my favorite things to make (and eat!) is soup! I feel like packing a bunch of veggies into a delicious and flavorful soup is a hell of a lot more interesting that eating a boring plate of them. Soup is also an easily digestible and light option that can still feel like a hearty and filling meal. Plus it can last in the fridge of freezer for perfect/easy leftovers! I decided to go for a nice broccoli soup because, one: it’s one of my favorite veggies, and two: i had a gigantic head of it waiting for me in my fridge. Making soup is so easy and especially fun being that you can literally throw in your favorite flavors. (HELLO GARLIC AND ONION!) This soup is completely vegan but the addition of Parmesan cheese will work perfectly for those that are not.
Vegan Broccoli Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
1 head broccoli
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cashews
1 tsp dried sage
2 tsp garlic powder
Handful of pumpkin seeds, toasted
truffle oil to drizzle (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Cut broccoli into 2-inch florets. In a steamer set over boiling water steam broccoli, covered, until bright and tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.
While broccoli is steaming, dice the onion and garlic. Once the broccoli is finished, remove from the pot and drain. In the same pot over medium heat, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion is translucent.
Add the stock and heat until boiling. At this point you can add your seasonings of choice, (including salt and pepper!) Add the steamed broccoli and cashews (which will add creaminess) and use an immersion blender to puree. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can work in batches with a regular one.
Toast your pumpkin seeds and serve with individual bowls along with a drizzle of truffle oil (and cheese if you please!) The soup lasts about four servings, and can keep in the fridge for delicious leftovers!