Spring is the time of year when our bodies naturally want to "spring clean" or detox after the heaviness of winter. If you tune in, you may notice that your appetite naturally begins to wane during the months of spring. Spring boosts natural fat metabolism which, in turn, decreases cravings, hunger and appetite in order to reset fat burning, start detox and loose any extra weight carried over from winter.
This is a great time to start cutting back on your portion sizes as your body doesn't need as much food to keep you going now that we're going into the warmer months. Spring is also a good time to reduce your dairy, grain and nut intake and focus on lighter fare like salads, soups, and lightly cooked veggies. In terms of protein, think lighter animal proteins like chicken, turkey, freshwater fish, and easy to digest legumes such as lentils, mung beans and kidney beans.
Some great spring veggies are asparagus, bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, celery, garlic, dandelion greens, kale, lettuce, parsley, peas, radishes, swiss chard, and watercress....to name just a few. We're moving away from heavy and starchy root veggies like potatoes and winter squashes and towards lighter, bitter veggies that give your digestive tract a nice scrub.
A lovely spring veggie soup is a perfect dinner for this time of year. I love green soups so I took two of my favorite spring green veggies and combined them into a delicious and filling creamy-style soup! The garlic creme on top is not necessary, just a nice touch if you're serving it to guests or feel like being a bit fancy :)
Watercress and Asparagus Soup
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 1 bunch watercress, rough chopped
- 1 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter) or grassfed organic butter
- 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
How to go about it:
Set a soup pot over medium heat. Once warm, add the coconut oil, shallot and garlic to the pot. Saute for a couple minutes, stirring every so often so it doesn't burn. Add the asparagus and saute 3 - 5 minutes until tender and bright green. Reduce the heat to low, add the watercress and ghee. Stir well and cook for 2 - 3 minutes, letting the ghee melt and watercress wilt. Take off the heat and transfer the mix to a high-speed blender. Add the avocado, parsley, lemon juice, water and salt to fit (about a teaspoon).
This is where the Vitamix "soup" setting comes in handy as it will heat the soup as it blends. If you don't have a Vitamix, no worries, just puree in your blender until creamy. If it's not hot enough once it finishes blending, add the soup back into the soup pot and gently warm. Before serving, add a little squeeze of lemon and a grind of black pepper to each bowl. You can garnish with more chopped avocado, parsley, baby watercress leaves and/or the Garlic Creme below.
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, soaked for 2-3 hours
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cloves of garlic, rough chopped
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- 3/4 tsp sea salt
Drain and rinse pine nuts. Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until creamy. If you're sensitive to raw garlic, feel free to roast the garlic first. This will soften its pungent flavor and give it some sweetness! If the creme is too thick, add a bit more water to reach the desired consistency. Drizzle over watercress and asparagus soup and use the extra for dolloping on grains or steamed veggies!