I met Amie about a year ago at a blogger pot luck, and my immediate impression was ..... wow! this girl has such positive, infectious energy! And, that's exactly the feeling you get when you open her new cookbook. After getting to know Amie (we are actually neighbors in NYC, and enjoy catching up while strolling around the neighborhood), I can say with first hand experience, that Amie's latest book, Eat Clean, comes from the most genuine place of wanting to help others live the healthiest, most vibrant life by way of clean eating, and detoxing your home environment.
Amie experienced one of the worst, most nightmarish health scares of anyone I have met, and she was able to heal herself by completely detoxing her life, from the food she was eating to the products she was bringing into her home. She has so much knowledge on this subject (which she so generously shares throughout the book) it is so incredibly helpful for anyone, not just people who are sick and trying to get better, but also for people who want to stay away from the scary toxic stuff and live a cleaner, healthier life. She shares her knowledge in a way that it not at all judgy or preachy, she just wants you take her info, and customize it to what works for you.
You know that I am such a believer in the connection that clean food can have on your overall wellbeing, and even though I am not 100% clean 100% of the time, I know that anyone can benefit from making even the smallest change here and there in order to feel some sort of improvement. Once you catch that happy, healthy vibrant feeling, it's hard to shake it. It stays with you, and even if you get away from it, you'll always want to go back there. So it's nice to pick up a new book, like Amie's, and read it to get re-inspired to be your best and healthiest.
This golden yellow bell pepper soup I am sharing today is from Amie's book. It is so simple to throw together and so zingy and delicious. It's the perfect soup for right now (for us in NYC) where the weather has been torture, and I am in need of some brightness to cheer up these unseasonably cold, grey days. I also enjoyed this chilled the other day (which was just as delicious) and closed my eyes and imagined I was eating gazpacho on the beach in the summer ....... soon enough!
golden bell pepper soup + avocado + cilantro
This recipe is from Amie Valpone's book, Eating Clean, on pg. 182. Below, I am presenting the recipe exactly how Amie does in the book, but I made a few changes based on what I had on hand. I did not have celery, so I left that out. I also was not able to find marjoram, so I used thyme instead. I didn't have any pre-made veggie broth, so I actually just used water with a little extra salt, and it was still very flavorful. Lastly, I added about two dashes of turmeric and a squeeze of the juice of half a lemon, because I love the zing that lemon gives to soup.
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
sea salt + pepper
8 yellow (or orange or red) bell peppers, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
4 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth (preferably homemade)
1 tablespoon of fresh marjoram, finely chopped
1 avocado, sliced
a handful of chopped cilantro
croutons (gluten-free, if necessary)
*I used a handful of puffed rice that I had leftover from the previous recipe
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions, carrots, celery, a pinch of salt and some black pepper. Cook for several minutes until all of the vegetables are tender. Add in the peppers and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add the sweet potato, season with a little more salt and pepper, and add the broth. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minute until all of the vegetables are tender.
- Carefully transfer the soup to a blender, do this in batches if your blender is not large enough, and process until smooth. Taste, and adjust any seasoning necessary (this is where I added a squeeze of lemon juice, if you would like to do the same), and blend one last time. Return the soup to the pot, and keep warm until serving. To serve, ladle into bowls and finish with the toppings of your choice.