Soups and elixirs for all that ails you during the holiday season

Whether you’re beat from a long day of shopping, have overindulged at a holiday party, or are suffering from a seasonal bug, there’s a recipe here for you. All are made with anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense foods that help to banish bloat and gas, enhance immunity, and beat fatigue, according to Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson, authors of Honestly Healthy for Life. Here are some of the recipes from the book that are sure to help get you through the long cold winter.

Fennel and Leek Soup

Flat Tummy: Fennel and Leek Soup

Serves 2

Fennel is great for getting rid of retained water. Put your feet up and enjoy the feeling that you’re getting slimmer with every spoonful!

1 large bulb fennel (around 13 oz.)

1 large leek (around 5 oz.)

2 Tbs. sunflower oil, divided

¼ tsp. Himalayan pink salt

1 Tbs. bouillon powder

3 ½ cups boiling water

1 white onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

½ tsp. ground fenugreek

¼ tsp. ground coriander

¼ oz. cilantro

juice of ½ lemon

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Roughly chop fennel and leek, toss in 1 Tbs. sunflower oil and salt on a baking sheet, and roast in oven for 20 minutes.

Add bouillon powder to the boiling water to make a vegetable stock and stir until dissolved. Set aside.

Heat remaining sunflower oil in a pan over the lowest possible heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté together with the ground spices. Keep adding small splashes (1–2 Tbs.) of the stock to keep the pan cool. As soon as you take the fennel and leek out of the oven, transfer to the pan with the onions and then add the rest of the stock.

Turn the heat up, bringing soup to a simmer for 10 minutes. Take pan off the heat and transfer the contents to a blender. Add cilantro and the lemon juice and blend until smooth. Check the temperature of the soup—it should be hot enough, but if not transfer it back to pan and reheat. Serve piping hot and garnished with a delicate leaf from the top of the fennel.

Per serving: 212 cal; 3g pro; 14g total fat (1g sat fat); 21g carb; 0mg chol; 350mg sod; 6.3g fiber; 3.9g sugars

Carrot and Caraway Soup

Flu Fix: Carrot and Caraway Soup

Serves 4

If you’re coming down with a cold or the flu, there’s nothing more comforting than a wonderfully warming soup to nurse you back to health. This delicious soup also works as a perfect appetizer for a dinner party.

1 Tbs. bouillon powder

5 cups boiling water

2 Tbs. sunflower oil

1 large white onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 Tbs. caraway seeds

2 ¼ lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks

2 star anise

½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1 Tbs. umeboshi plum purée

Add bouillon powder to boiling water to make a vegetable stock and stir until all the powder has dissolved. Set aside.

Gently heat sunflower oil in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic. Sprinkle in cumin and stir through. Add caraway seeds to pan and add small splashes (1–2 Tbs.) of cool water
to the pan to bring the temperature down. Once onions are translucent, add the carrots.

Next, add vegetable stock and the star anise—these float on the surface of the soup and infuse it with flavor. Allow soup to simmer over gentle heat for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat, remove star anise, and transfer contents to a blender. Blend until smooth, adding the cilantro and umeboshi plum purée to season to taste before serving. Check temperature of the soup—it should be hot enough, but if not, transfer back to pan and reheat. Serve piping hot.

Per Serving: 181 cal; 3g pro; 7.7g total fat (0g sat fat); 27g carb; 0mg chol; 420mg sod; 7.9g fiber; 12.6g sugars

Watercress Smoothie

Hangover Cure: Morning After Smoothie

Serves 1

The wheatgrass or barley grass in this juice supports the liver in its detoxification process, while the cucumber offers a super-alkaline base, rebalancing the body quickly. Chia is high in fiber and essential fats to help remove toxic waste from overindulgence.

1 tsp. wheatgrass or barley grass powder

handful of watercress, rinsed thoroughly and any woody stems removed

1 apple, cored and chopped

1 chia shot or 2 tsp. chia seeds

½ cucumber

1 cup filtered or alkaline water

¼ oz. cilantro

juice of ½ lemon

Put all the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, adding more water if necessary. Serve immediately for best effect.

Per Serving: 155 cal; 3.4g pro; 2.6g total fat (0g sat fat); 23g carb; 0mg chol; 12.9mg sod; 8.5g fiber; 20g sugars

Nutritional Nugget Hangovers occur as a result of extreme dehydration. Rehydrating with nutrient-laden vitamins and minerals rather than simply water is the fastest route to rebalancing the body.

Avocado Smoothie

Fatigue: Energy Elixir

Serves 1

Avocado and cashew nuts provide protein to boost energy, and coconut water provides slow-release energy. Maca powder is known for its powers to increase endurance.

½ avocado

1 apple, deseeded and chopped

1 tsp. maca powder

1 ½ cups coconut water

6–8 raw cashew nuts

Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth and drink immediately.

Per Serving: 388 cal; 4.6g pro; 19.5g total fat (2.9g sat fat); 41g carb; 0mg chol; 32mg sod; 12g fiber; 32g sugars

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