Detox Julienne Soup’n’Soba
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Some of you may already know that I have decided to dedicate this first month of 2016 to making more space, within myself and in my life. So often I have begun a new year, so uncomfortable with the huge gaping space of the unknown year ahead of me, that I charge at it like a bull in a china shop from the get go. Frantically trying to make things happen, move things forward and pretty much control the way the year is going to go for me. More often then not, I have ended up falling flat on my face at some point because one thing is for sure…. I can’t control what is meant to be!!
Now, this doesn’t mean I can’t be pro-active in my life. This doesn’t mean that I am meant to just sit around and let whatever is ‘meant to be’ just happen. Instead, what I mean and what I have decided to focus on this January, is becoming an active co-creator with life rather than trying to wilfully do all the driving! Working ‘with’ life rather than trying to boss it around. Does this make sense?
So what I have decided to do this month is make more space….. for the new to come in. Preparing the ground, the soil, the foundations for something new to grow, organically and in a flow ‘with’ life. If you want to read more about my thoughts on this subject and how I am actively doing this, please have a read of my New Years Reflections Post on Cleansing, Re-Balancing and Making Space.
This beautiful Julienne Soup is one of my favourite cleansing soups ever. It is nourishing, full of minerals and goodness, strengthening and cleansing all at the same time. The key here is to make a really delicious and nourishing broth which is the backbone of the dish and what will give it and us some real substance so that we don’t end up feeling starving or too cold… as it is still January!
The vegetables are cooked very very lightly so that they are still full of goodness but warm enough to nourish us during these winter months. On a whole this recipe is very light and will really help to give your digestion and liver a good rest.
In this recipe I have made the broth from a very simple but totally delicious Dashi which is a very basic Japanese stock of just a few ingredients – mainly shitake mushrooms and kombu seaweed. These two ingredients are absolute winners in cleansing and are both very medicinal foods. But if you don’t have either in the house, please do not fret, you can just make a very nourishing vegetable stock (see my recipe here) or even a fish stock or chicken stock if you are a meat eater.
Shitake mushrooms are particularly good for cleansing animal fats and excess oils from the insides of the body so a really amazing food to eat during a cleanse. They are also an anti-inflammatory food and amazing for alkalising the blood stream. Kombu seaweed is a real powerhouse of all the sea vegetables and is absolutely packed full of minerals such as iron and calcium. It is incredibly strengthening for the bones, teeth, hair and skin and such a great way to boost our mineral intake during a cleanse without having too much salt. You can buy both these ingredients in most health-food stores or on amazon but please try to get your shitake mushrooms in an organic form as sometimes they can be grown and produced very cheaply in China using sugar to grow them quickly. Organic ones will not be grown in this way and will be much better quality.
Once again, if you don’t have either of these ingredients do not fret, a good home-made veg, fish or chicken stock will be just as nourishing.
- 6 shitake mushrooms
- 1.5inch piece of kombu seaweed
- 1 tbls black peppercorns
- 1/2 garlic bulb (Just slice the whole garlic bulb in half, skin and all)
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 medium to large organic carrots
- 1 large white onion
- 1/2 medium sized cauliflower
- 150g frozen peas
- 450g baby spinach leaves
- 200g 100% soba noodles
- 165g cooked chickpeas or any left over beans, tofu or tempeh or fish even if you want that.
- 3-4 tbls tamari
- lemon slices (for garnish)
- organic sesame oil
– In a large soup pot throw in all the dashi ingredients and add approx. 1 litre of filtered water to cover. Bring to a boil then as soon as the water is rolling turn the heat down to medium and let it simmer for 20min
– Whilst the dashi or stock is cooking begin to prep your vegetables in julienne style – which is just a posh chef word for finely cut matchsticks and fine slices! ha ha! Slice your carrots into thin matchsticks. Finely slice your cauliflower into thin slices or steaks. Finely slice your onions
– Whilst doing your prep, boil the kettle and add boiling water to a separate pot. Once the water is rolling add your soba noodles and let them cook for 4-5min or until soft but be careful not to over cook soba noodles as they can become really soggy and horrible. As soon as they are just cooked take them out and run them under cold water immediately to stop the cooking process
– After 20min and the dashi is done scoop out all the contents of the dashi so that you just have the clear broth. It is fine and quite delicious if some of the peppercorns are still inside. If you need to top up with water do it now
– Bring to a boil again and begin to add your cauliflower and carrots and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Let the veg simmer for 2min and then add your onions, frozen peas and whatever beans or proteins you want to use. I used some left-over chickpeas I had in the fridge which worked really well. (Keep in mind that adding meat at this stage will make it less cleansing and less effective for a detox. Vegetarian protein will be the most beneficial for this intention but if you are not detoxing then add whatever you feel like here)
– Let it all simmer for another 2min then add your spinach leaves and taste the broth
– At this stage I like to add some tamari for more depth of flavour but you may be happy with a very light clean broth. If you want to add the tamari now this is the time to do it!
– Simmer for 1 more minute and turn the heat off
– Serve in a large soup bowl with a few slices of fresh lemon on the top. You can either have this with the noodles or on it’s own depending on how hungry you are