I've been feeling the need to detox, as many of us do after the holidays, as much as I can while we're in book development at work. (This is a process that requires me to make semi-regular trips to the kitchen to taste a new recipe or two and weigh in on whether it's good, what it needs, etc. Yeah, it's a rough life.)
Being the Francophile I am and knowing that I'd surely become a crazy person on a juice cleanse and that I'd be unlikely to keep anything going longer than a couple days, I made a choice that was food-like and brief. Mireille Giuliano (of French Women Don't Get Fat fame) has a Leek Soup Kick-Off Weekend plan which is kind of a lead in to eating better in general and flushing your system to get you started off right. While her extremely spartan Magical Leek Soup recipe looked a bit TOO extreme for my purposes (NOTHING BUT LEEK BROTH AND BOILED LEEKS FOR TWO DAYS?! See, I got crazy just thinking about it), the Provencal-inspired Mimosa soup seemed a bit more my speed.
Here's the recipe. The following words, until indicated, are Mireille's... my notes will be in red.
Mimosa Soup Recipe
1 head of lettuce
½ lb. carrots
½ lb. celeriac
½ lb. turnips
½ lb. cauliflower
1 lb. leeks
2 hard boiled eggs chopped
½ cup chopped parsley
Water to cover in a large pot
[TRUTH TIME: I added about 2 tbsp. of miso paste to the very large pot because I just couldn't bear the idea of all that unseasoned soup. But even still...]
1. Clean and chop all ingredients in rough pieces and, except for the cauliflower and parsley, put them a pot. Cover with water, bring to boil and simmer unlidded for 40 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook for another 15 minutes.
2. Pass all the contents through a food mill. (I used an immersion blender; worked just dandy.)
3. Serve in a bowl and add more parsley and pieces of chopped boiled eggs.
Eat a cup every three hours (room temperature or reheated) or so all day Saturday and Sunday until the same Sunday dinner of fish or meat, 2 steamed vegetables with a dash of butter or olive oil and 1 piece of fruit. Somewhat less liquidy [thank god] and magical [I'll take that to mean maddening] than the leek soup it nevertheless is an effective and tasty alternative.
Both versions are so good [read: bland but tolerable], and an adventure for most palates [read: an exercise in deprivation], that you will have a very hard time seeing them as prison rations. Especially if these tastes are new to you, jot your impressions of flavor and fragrance in your journal. In time, this exercise will intensify your pleasures [read: cravings], and you may want to keep a regular diary of your experiences gastronomiques [read: psychotically maddening cravings for things like bread and cheese], including some wine notes (just as serious oenologues do).
I just had my first bowl, and I should be able to keep this up all weekend, due to the fact that I have a pretty rigid and demanding rehearsal schedule that will keep me from going out or having dinner with my boyfriend. I can be pretty sure, though, that my "Sunday dinner of fish or meat, 2 steamed vegetables with a dash of butter or olive oil and 1 piece of fruit" will stray a bit away from the prescribed meal.