Most people feel completely satisfied eating simple fruits, smoothies, or mostly mono-meals, for breakfast and lunch, but when it comes to dinner they want something substantial.
Something with that salty, fatty, nourishing flavour that only a cooked meal can supply.
And until I found the perfect raw substitute I was destined to keep slipping back to cooked foods time and time again.
To me most raw soups or blended salads tasted like pond scum. Far from appetizing!
Then I finally felt completely satisfied on raw foods… even during winter.
I want to teach you how you too can make a totally DIVINE raw soup using whatever ingredients you have to hand in your kitchen… or laundry… or car-boot… or wherever else it is that you keep your fruits and veggies 🙂
So let’s get started…
All the best raw soups have 4 key building blocks that are necessary for the perfect combination, and if all the elements are present the flavour and texture of your soup will be lip-smacking perfection.
The 4 key elements are:
- Soup base
- Flavour – salty, sweet, sour, pungent and spicy
Let’s look at each element in a bit more detail…
#1 – Soup Base
I don’t know about you but I really hate raw soup that is really thick but not very creamy. I like my soup to have a thin, but creamy, consistency, reminiscent of my cooked soup experiences.
Getting the right soup base is of paramount important in creating a totally delicious raw soup. You’ll need a few cups of something with a watery consistency. This could be any of the following – water, fresh juice (carrot, celery, OJ, apple juice), nut mylk (almond or cashew) or coconut water from fresh young coconuts. If you choose water, then obviously you’re going to have to add in some other ingredient for sweetness later.
Once you’ve decided on your soup base then put it in the blender ready to add the other ingredients…
For that lip-smacking creamy texture, most great soup recipes have an element of fat added, but don’t worry, you can still keep your fat content low if you’re sticking to an 80/10/10 style raw vegan approach.
Keeping your fats until the end of the day is always a good idea, so as to make sure that fat doesn’t create indigestion or slow down your absorption of fruit sugars.
Some excellent choices for fat in your soup are whole foods like avocado, nuts, seeds or coconut.
(Oil is to be avoided at all cost as it is a highly refined product, which is low in nutrients and often rancid, making it little more than toxic sludge for the body.)
Measure out just the right amount of fat, say ½ -1 avocado or an ounce or two of nuts/seeds, or the flesh of one young coconut, and pop it in the blender with the soup base.
#3 – Flavour – salty, sweet, sour, pungent, spicy
Do you have a hankering for a warming, Indian or Thai style spicy soup? Or are you after a fresher Mediterranean style soup?
Having a vision in mind of what kind of soup you want to create will help in the final choice of spices you use to flavour your dish. However, there are certain flavours you need every time to make a really kick-ass raw soup.
Salty, sweet, sour, pungent and spicy – If you have a little bit of each of these flavours in your soup then you will have a winning combination.
Salty – Every soup needs to have a salty element to it, but you don’t need to add sodium chloride (aka table salt). Here you can use any of the following: celery or celery salt, sundried tomatoes, miso, seaweed like dulse or nori.
Dark leafy greens will also add an element of saltiness but you may need to also add a saltier food as well. I prefer not to use tamari or nama shoyu since they are highly processed and very salty.
Bear in mind that if you are using sweet fruits like dates, bananas, mangos etc it is best NOT to use fat in the recipe as well. This is because sweet fruits and fats are a terrible combination and will cause lots of problems with digestion, leading to poor health outcomes.
Sour – A little bit of lime or lemon juice will add the perfect kick to your recipe. Just remember to add a little at a time until you get just the right flavour combination. You could also add some chopped sauerkraut as a topping to your soup to give it a nice zing!
Pungent – This is where 80/10/10ers often struggle to find choices if they’re strictly adhering to a diet where they don’t eat anything they can’t make a whole meal out of. Pungent foods like onions and garlic will make your dish taste like a cooked soup, but be aware that there can be consequences. Some people don’t digest these foods well, as they are high in organic sulphur, and they are also known to be neurotoxic. Yogis and meditators will want to avoid them as they disturb the equilibrium of left and right brain hemispheres.
Personally, I’m okay with having a little on special occasions to add variety to my diet. For an every day dish I’m more inclined to use the milder green ends of shallots to add a pungent flavour to a soup.
Some people find that if they chop the onion and leave it to ‘air’ for a while, or dehydrate it, that it turns it into a much milder ingredient.
Spicy – So many choices here, but first think about the style of soup you are going for. Then select from any of the following – coriander, dill, basil, oregano, cumin, tumeric, ginger, chili (jalapeno is a favourite of mine), cinnamon, mixed spice, curry powder, paprika, cardamom or mint.
Go for fresh, if you have it, but dried spices are perfectly fine if you don’t.
(Spices are also eschewed by strict followers of natural hygiene, but if you’re struggling to go raw, then spices can be a great stepping stone to help you across the raw/cooked divide)
#4 – Texture –
The French really know how to please a palate when they add croutons to a creamy soup. They know that people crave a variety of textures in a really great meal.
But you don’t have to resort to adding fatty fried bread to make your soup exciting.
Think about adding a variety of textures like spiralised zucchini, shredded carrots, sauerkraut, bean sprouts, alfalfa, chia seeds, finely chopped herbs to add pizzazz to your soup.
Here’s a seriously yummy no-fat fruit soup recipe for you to try:
This is seriously good…
2 cups mango
¼ cup lime juice
3 Tablespoons of fresh mint, chopped.
1 Tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated
1/8 tsp of ground cardamom
- Blend 3.5 cups of watermelon with 1 cup of mango, then put in a bowl.
- Finely dice the remaining watermelon and mango
- Combine line juice, mint, ginger and cardamom in a separate bowl, then add all three parts together.
- Chill and serve.
Conclusion – Learn how to master a fabulous raw soup and you are well on the way to becoming a full-time raw fooder. Soups and blended salad can be the perfect, easily digestible way to get in your veggies in the large quantities that we need to meet our mineral requirements.
Do you have a favourite raw soup or blended salad recipe? Share your tips for a sublime soup in the comments section below…
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Anthea Frances is an author, raw food health coach and host of the Raw Life Summit series. Grab a copy of her free Balanced Raw Vegan Nutrition Checklist and start improving your health today!