For anyone that reads (and loves to hate) Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP newsletter you know she is totally obsessed with Dr. Alejandro Junger’s Clean Program detox diet. Earlier this year I saw Dr. Junger on Martha Stewart and decided to give it a try. In the most basic terms, it is a detox diet where you have two liquid meals a day (usually one smoothie and one soup) and abstain from any gluten, dairy, soy or nightshades.
I think the term nightshade is hilarious and very sinister sounding, but it is actually a family of plants that includes tomatoes, peppers and eggplant and are said to be potentially irritating to one’s system. I read Dr. Junger’s book and in it he suggests that we are constantly bogging down our system with foods that are difficult to digest and process. By giving your system a break for a few weeks, you give your body the vacation it needs so it can focus on fixing other issues. The detox is especially recommended for people with allergies and skin problems.
I am a pretty healthy eater in general and did not lose significant weight on the diet but I did feel great and realized I do feel better when I limit dairy and gluten and focus on fresh vegetables and fruits. With this in mind, I made a really delicious carrot ginger soup last night and to be totally honest, I am not a huge carrot fan. It was really easy to prepare, had a great creamy texture despite the lack of dairy and convinced me that maybe I can be a carrot lover.
Carrot Ginger Soup
- 1/2 medium butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 pound carrots – peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed or to taste
- 1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- Instead of using the oven to cook the butternut squash, I cut it in half, scooped out the seeds and microwaved for 6 minutes. Then I scooped out the flesh and set aside. You could also do this in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic, and cook, stirring until onion is translucent. Pour in the water, and add squash, carrots and ginger. Bring to a boil, and cook for at least 20 minutes, or until carrots and ginger are tender. For me this took more like 35 minutes.
- Puree the mixture in the blender. Add boiling water if necessary to thin, but bear in mind this is meant to be a thick creamy soup. Return soup to the pan, and heat through. Season with salt, pepper and cinnamon.
- Ladle into serving bowls and enjoy!
I served this with Smitten Kitchen’s Spinach Quiche recipe and a simple green salad for a dinner with a vegetarian friend and felt very pleased with my efforts.
Photo by Alaina B.