Saturday, January 3, 2015

Beet and Carrot Soup

One thing that stays constant every January is the sudden upswing of people in the gym, health food store and diet centres. Some of them are truly looking to make a change - taking care to understand the "whys" behind the "hows" and implementing changes slowly. Others, though, are so hard-wired to look for an "instant fix" that they scour the earth for magic bullets and detoxes. You usually find out by February 1 which camp people are in.

I hate to say it as a nutritionist, but I used to be in the second group - I truly hated the gym, loved my junk food and was constantly on the look for fat-burners, cleanses and whatever else I thought would help my cause. By the third week of January, I was buying candy on the way home from school, finding excuses to skip the gym and was frustrated that all those pills did nothing to get me to a size 6. Over time, though, I wound up doing a total 180 - I'm a huge vegetable freak now (while my favourite food is still dark chocolate), hate missing the gym classes I take (but I admit I still won't go for just the machines) and prefer to get my physical and emotional nutrition from things that taste good that I can make from scratch, not pop a pill for.

Beet and Carrot Soup

While many people look at the use of beets, garlic and citrus in this light lunch as "detox foods", I argue that the whole dish is cleansing. Not only are the ingredients wholesome and fresh, but getting into the habit of cooking and eating better is a type of mental clear-out as well. The fact that a bowl of this is delicious and warming as well as good-for-you should put you on the track towards eliminating any guilt from the holidays - what's done is done. Make your next step a forwards one.
Finally, in Jewish theology, beets are known as “silka,” meaning removal. Eating beets is supposed to clear any spiritual roadblocks from last year's mistakes, ensuring a prosperous New Year ahead.

But more than anything, it's a perfect Winter-friendly lunch from the kitchen that freezes and packs well, and with a hunk of crusty bread will keep you satisfied until dinner!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Beet and Carrot Soup
Serves 6
2 tbsp olive oil (I used a garlic-infused olive oil)
1 large sweet onion, peeled and diced
10 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
1 lb carrots, shredded
1 ¼ lbs fresh beets, roasted, peeled and diced
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 ½ tbsp fresh thyme, divided
1 tsp Kosher salt (I used Cabernet salt)
½ tsp black pepper
6 cups gluten free vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 cup orange juice
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook 10 minutes, until golden.
  3. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly (don’t let it brown).
  4. Stir in carrots, beets, rosemary, 1 tbsp thyme, salt and pepper and cook until fragrant.
  5. Pour in the stock and water, stir well and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 2 hours.
  7. Add orange juice and simmer 1 hour more, until vegetables are very soft.
  8. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth, then stir in remaining thyme and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  9. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 161.9
Total Fat: 5.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 454.5 mg
Total Carbs: 27.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.4 g
Protein: 3.2 g