Clean Eating - Cucumber Avocado Soup

During the winter months I love eating soup.  I find soups are quick and easy to make, especially when coming home from a work, on a long, cold, Canadian winter day.

I gravitate towards soups that are packed with greens and/or seasonal veggies,as these soups really warm my soul.  You know the feeling, when you are sipping away, and feeling the warmth of the soup, warm and nourish your insides? That's the feeling I get when I eat this soup.. .it's such a great feeling! 

 As a holistic nutritionist, I encourage my clients to eat soups that are packed with nutrients and are easy to make.  I also encourage them, regardless of what they are eating, that they should be mindful and connected to what they eat.  Although soup is a liquid, we should be mindful of eating it, as we would food.  Taking the time to savour the taste, and let it warm our bodies, spoonful by spoonful.   

In this soup, I've incorporated avocado instead of milk, as I am lactose intolerant. I find adding avocado to a soup or dessert instead of milk adds a delicious, dairy-free creaminess texture. On top of my love for avocado, you can eat this soup as a meal.  It's a great vegetarian and gluten-free soup, that works perfectly for a Meatless Monday meal!
  
Give this recipe a shot! Let me know your thoughts. 

Clean Eating  - Cucumber  Avocado Soup
Serves 4
*Vegetarian
*Gluten-free
*Dairy-free
*Nut-free

Ingredients
1  avocado (organic), peeled and pitted
2  cups of cucumbers (organic), peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup fresh basil
1 cup of water
4 tbsp lemon juice
¾ tsp Pink Himalayan salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon of  extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. 
2. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 1 to 4 minutes. 
3. Add lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. 
4. Add 2 cups of cucumber slices, water, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring ingredients to a simmer. 
5. Reduce heat and cook at a gentle simmer for 6 to 8 minutes. 
6. Transfer the soup to a blender. Add avocado and parsley; blend on low speed until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) 
7. Pour into a serving bowl.  
8. Garnish with chopped cucumber and parsley. (optional)
9. Serve the soup warm or refrigerate and serve it chilled.  If served cold, garnish with a slice or two of avocado

*Serves 4. 

*Recipe modified from: eatingwell.com 

*Nutritional tip: Avocados are one of my favourite super foods.  They are loaded with good fats, encourage healthy brain function, help balance hormones and improve energy. They are rich in Magnesium, fiber and Vitamin B6, and are full of mood-boosting ingredients.  I love using avocados because of their creamy texture in soups, smoothies, spreads or even desserts.

Cucumbers are also one of my favourite vegetables. Nothing beats, organic, fresh from the farm cucumbers.  Cucumbers are packed with water and are a great source for detoxification. They are anti-inflammatory and are a great source of Vitamin K.