Juicing is so 2015: we’re souping
IT’S THAT time of year again. The excesses started with Chanucah and you just kept on eating. Now you want to shed that stone you lost last year — again. With clean eating and juicing being all the rage, there are all sorts of detox plans out there, but who feels like munching on a lettuce leaf or sipping cold smoothies when it’s 6 degrees and grey outside? As always, the United States are a trend ahead of us, and souping has joined juicing as a way of detoxing. A raft of souping regimes have landed on US bookshelves, including Alison Velasquez’s Souping (published here last week) and Rachel Beller’s Power Souping (out in early February). Friends Angela Blatteis and Vivienne Vella, founders of US based company Soupure and authors of The Soup Cleanse, have bought into the trend wholeheartedly.
The Californian mothers were always hot on nutrition, both for them and their six children – three apiece — all now in their teens and twenties. Blatteis says the idea for making soup was in part triggered by good old-fashioned Jewish penicillin.
“One of the first triggers for us starting our own soup-making business was when my son Hudson had the flu so I got him some chicken soup from a Jewish deli,” she says. “I realised after the soup had sat in the fridge overnight it hadn’t congealed — a telltale sign that the broth hadn’t been made with the bones. So I called a few delis, and sure enough no one was making it with the bones. But that’s what makes it Jewish penicillin! There’s no way to get the biotin, collagen and nutrients if you’re not simmering the chicken bones for at least three to four hours.”
She also recounts not being able to find soups that were free from additives and preservatives.
“My daughter Jacqlyn wanted a healthy, non-dairy tomato and basil soup. I didn’t have a great recipe so I went to the supermarket to see what options were out there. I found it almost impossible to find a version that didn’t have any additives or preservatives. Even the companies touting their products as organic usually had cream as the second or third ingredient.”
A third experience with Vella at a restaurant with an overly creamy asparagus soup and an inedible broth was the final straw. They decided to leave their careers in entertainment law (Vella) and private equities (Blatteis) to make soup. “I’ve always loved soup, and I’ve always made tons of it at home, whether it be chicken soup or vegetable purées. But leaving an extremely lucrative career in investment finance was not something I thought would happen,”says Blatteis.
They got to work in 2013, and working with a nutritionist, created 15 recipes for their launch in 2014.
She continues: “I was very hands-on with the recipe development. I love to cook and had a catering business, which helped to put me through college. I wanted to start a restaurant but realised it wasn’t the type of lifestyle I wanted down the line.”
Soupure was entirely online until they opened retail premises in LA suburb, Brentwood. They had barely launched when two publishers approached them in Autumn 2014.
“We were laughing as we were barely selling online,” explains Blatteis. “We couldn’t believe it but a friend who knew about publishing ran an auction and within one week we had a deal with Hachette.
“The book was written with a nutritionist to help with the research as we wanted to get it right and not just include our interpretation of the data.”
Soupers (if that’s what they can be called) claim that soup generally packs more protein and fewer carbs than a green juice and is less likely than juice to cause blood sugar levels to soar or plummet.
Blatteis and Vella describe their regime as a healthier way of eating, increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet as well as the fibre.
“Soup is food. It’s incredibly satiating, very nutrient and vitamin rich. Juice was not designed to be a meal — you’re flooding your body with sugar. Flooding your body instead with nutrients, minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals is the foundation for staying resilient well into your twilight years,” says Blatteis.
They do include a few cold soups and almond milk based smoothies, so it’s not all savoury, but anyone wanting to follow The Soup Cleanse (published here this month) will need to make each recipe from scratch as their ready-made soup is not available here.
Although the broths are time consuming to make, the soups themselves are mostly speedy and definitely make for a comforting meal that won’t leave you shivering and starving. All recipes taken from The Soup Cleanse Copyright © 2015 by Angela Blatteis and Vivienne Vella. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.