Here's my third post on soup before I change topic. Last Spring I picked up a copy of "French Women Don't Get Fat" by Mireille Guiliano. It was the subtitle of the book that caught my eye: "The Secret of Eating For Pleasure". The book attempts to answer the question of the "French Paradox"; namely, Why is it that French people enjoy a diet of rich foods without the national obesity rates that plague Americans?
While I think the author's answer is a bit too simple, (for example she does not fully address the profound impact of food industry additives and agribusiness practices that have undermined the quality of American food), the book does address other lifestyle issues that give the French a healthy advantage over Americans. This is what makes the book worthwhile, making it less a diet book per se and more of a primer for living more consciously and enjoyably. From snacking, to walking, to eating fruit for dessert and indulging in chocolate, the author does an admirable job of describing the French habits which tend toward health, while avoiding the obsessions with counting calories and severe diets that are so prevalent here in the United States. And even though I am an American, I can say that my own personal habits and experience bear out the truth of this philosophy.
Now for the Mimosa soup. The ingredients pictured above illustrate that this is a vegetable soup meant to cleanse and nourish the body during a day or more of semi-fasting, as a means to getting back on track with a healthier lifestyle. I decided to try it largely because it called for several ingredients new to me: celeriac (celery root), leeks ( a new favorite), and turnips. The recipe calls for a couple of hard boiled eggs for protein. All the veggies are chopped and cooked in a big pot of water.
Then the vegetables are run through a food mill or blended into a thick broth. The author advises that you eat a cup of this broth hourly for the few days in order to avoid hunger. This is meant to help someone drop a few pounds as well as inaugurate a new lifestyle of more moderate but normal eating habits.
So what did I think of the soup? (Drum roll, please). Sadly, I was underwhelmed. I found it surprisingly bland, perhaps because I was still expecting it to taste like a "regular" soup, not a diet food. I added salt (the recipe did not mention spices) but it barely made it palatable. My conclusion is that it is the base of water instead of stock that made this a disappointment for me.
It was a bummer to use all those fresh ingredients and be unhappy with the results. I was not serious about losing weight with this, (I am not a proponent of fasting per se), but if I was desperate to lose a few pounds and begin a new lifestyle I suppose this might work. But my advice would be to stick with a much more flavorful soup, because otherwise the temptation to throw in the towel and quit would be too great. Eat real food in more frequent, smaller quantities, and excercise, is my motto. That should keep a person reasonably fit, unless their body is out of whack hormonally, (synthetic estrogen dominance)--which is another post entirely!
I still think a tasty soup is a great choice for eating light.