Creamy Fennel and Broccoli Soup
Right when my cabin fever has hit its max, spring has decided to creep its way in. Thank goodness! Time to start shedding some of the heavier layers of winter and step out into the fresh clean air. Spring cleaning isn’t only an annual regime that you partake in on your wardrobe and windows. Your body goes through natural “cleansing” periods with the change of season and spring is one of the best times of the year to “clean house” from your winter refuge.
Just like winter is known for its hearty stews and roasted squash soups, spring has its own seasonal palate. Slowly decreasing your intake in the more sour, oily, heavy foods such as bananas, oranges, dairy, nuts and eggs while moving into more bitter, astringent, light selections like watercress, berries, grapefruit, broccoli, celery and carrots will help your body adjust alongside nature’s gentle shift. Astringent foods help “dry” the damp, wet and sluggish disposition of spring (think mud) and help improve digestion while cleaning your lymphatic system.
Making clear broth soups is one of my favorite ways to incorporate seasonal produce and spices to help my body in its natural detoxifying process. While juicing is a popular form of cleansing, I find it makes me too cold to do on its own during the early weeks. Due to fairly damp conditions throughout the spring months, soup is one of the best ways to warm you up while cleaning you out!
Broccoli- The vegetable everyone automatically thinks of when hearing “Eat your greens”. Broccoli has unfortunately been overcooked and under appreciated over the past couple of decades. Full of anti-cancerous phytonutrients that have shown to help reduce the growth of tumor especially in breast cells, broccoli is beneficial to digestion, improves vision and promote bone health.  Pregnant women should really eat their fair share of these bushy trees as they are packed with folate, an essential B vitamin that decreases the risk of birth defects.
Fennel- You probably have passed this feathery looking creature in the produce section but I beg you to show it some love. Fennel is an extremely detoxifying and anti-inflammatory vegetable full of antioxidants and phytonutrients. Don’t let the black licorice scent scare you off either. Fennel can dramatically enhance the flavor to soups, salads and even meat dishes. Plus, it’s so pretty!
Celery- Not just for ants on a log my friends. Celery has remarkable cleansing properties that has been used for its diuretic properties for ages. High in potassium and sodium, celery helps regulate fluid balance and helps remove toxins from the body by increasing your trips to the bathroom. It is a great addition to clear broth soup, especially during the spring months due to its high astringent properties. 
 Mateljan, George. The World’s Healthiest Foods. Seattle, WA: GMF Publishing, 2007.
 Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2002.
skipping out an unexpected cancellation, I found myself making my own version out of Donna Gates’ book “Body Ecology Diet”. It was perfect, really.
1 head of broccoli
1 yellow onion
2-4 garlic cloves chopped
1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
Feathery tops of fennel bulb (select one with a lot of feathers)
3 celery stalks chopped
2 c water cress
1 tsp Sea salt
Cracked black pepper
5 c filtered water
- Remove feathery tops from fennel bulb and chop up. Save fennel bulb for vegetable broths and salads.
- Separate broccoli florets from the stems and chop up broccoli stems, removing any woody pieces.
- In a large pot, melt coconut oil and sauté chopped onion and garlic.
- Once the onion is translucent, add copped broccoli stems and celery. Saute for a few more minutes
- Add broccoli florets, fennel tops and filtered water.
- Simmer for 15-20 minutes
- Remove from stove and blend in food processor or blender until creamy.
- Return to stove on low heat, adding sea salt and black pepper.
- Serve topped with handful of water cress.
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