Celery and Zucchini Detox Soup with Tarragon and Lime (Zuppa di Sedano e Zucchina al Dragoncello e Lime)

It’s hot and humid in New York, so I wanted something light and easy to digest.  (I’ll admit, I also had some celery and leftover brown rice I wanted to use up…)  I don’t often use tarragon, but the grassy, “anisey” flavor plays nicely with the lime and celery and is very refreshing.  Avocado adds some clean protein and healthy fat to the dish as well.  (Unfortunately we ran out before we were able to get a picture with it.)

Note:  I freshly ground dried thyme, so I used just a pinch.  However, if your thyme has been sitting in the cupboard for over six months, you’ll probably need to use a bit more.  Hence, the range of measure I provided.  In general, I highly recommend swapping any old herbs or spices for fresh ones, as the flavor of fresh herbs and spices will completely transform your health-conscious cooking.

serves 4

2 teaspoons canola or grapeseed oil

1 shallot, finely chopped

1/2 small onion, medium dice

1/2 head celery (5-6 large stalks), scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/8-1/4 teaspoon ground dried thyme

4 cups water

1/3 cup cooked sweet brown rice or 1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats

1 large zucchini, quartered and cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

pinch black pepper

3 sprigs tarragon (stems removed), finely chopped

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 lime)

To Serve:

avocado, sliced or cut into chunks, to serve (optional)

tarragon leaves, for garnish


In a medium pot, warm oil over medium heat and add shallot and onion with a pinch of salt.  Cook, stirring often.  Once beginning to soften, add celery and thyme.  Cook until celery is mostly soft and then add water, rice or oats, zucchini, salt and pepper.  Cover, bring to a low boil and turn heat to low.  Simmer 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Turn off heat, stir in tarragon and transfer to a blender (preferably Vitamix or other high speed blender).  MAKE SURE THE BLENDER IS SET TO LOWEST SETTINGS.  Working in two batches, add half of the soup to the blender and turn on at low speed.  Gradually raise to a higher speed and blend until the soup is smooth and there are no major flecks of tarragon remaining.  Pour into a bowl and repeat with the other half.

Once all of the soup has been blended and consolidated, stir in lime juice.  Pour into bowls and top with whole tarragon leaves and/or avocado, to serve.  The soup should be warm, but not piping.

Celery and Zucchini Detox Soup with Tarragon and Lime - The Clean Gourmet

Zuppa di Sedano e Zucchina al Dragoncello e Lime:

4 porzioni

2 cucchiani di olio di colza

1 scalogno, tritato

1/2 cipolla picolla, tagliata a pezzi

5-6 gambi grandi di sedano, puliti bene e tagliati in pezzi a circa 1 cm

pizzico di timo essiccato macinato

1 litro d’acqua

30 grammi di riso integrale cotto oppure 23 grammi d’avena cruda

1 zucchina grande, tagliata in quarti e poi in pezzetti

1/2 cucchiaino di sale, o a piacere

pizzico di pepe nero

3 rametti di dragoncello, tritato

1 cucchiaio di succo di lime (da circa 1 lime)

foglie di dragoncello, per guarnire

avocado, per servire (facoltativo)


In una pentola media, riscaldate l’olio sul fuoco medio e aggiungete lo scalogno e la cipolla con un pizzico di sale.  Fate cuocere circa 4 minuti, agitando spesso.  Appena cominiciano ad ammorbidire, aggiungete il sedano e il timo.  Fate cuocere finché il sedano non sia abbastanza tenero, poi aggiungete l’acqua, il riso o l’avena, zucchina, sale e pepe.  Copritela, fate bollire e subito abbassate il fuoco.  Fate sobbollire 10-15 minuti, finché la verdura non sia tutta tenera.

Spegnete il fuoco e uniteci il dragoncello.  Trasferite tutto nel frullatore (idealmente uno potente, come il Vitamix).  ASSICURATE CHE IL FRULLATORE SIA SISTEMATO ALLA VELOCITA’ PIU’ BASSA.  Lavorando in due lotti, mettete la metà della zuppa nel frullatore e accendete, cominciando dalla velocità più bassa.  Pian piano, alzate la velocità e fatelo andare finché non ci siano più pezzetti noti di dragoncello.  La consistenza dovrebbe essere abbastanza liscia.  Quando finita, versatela in una zuppiera e ripetete col resto.

Dopo aver passato tutto per il frullatore e tutta sia consolidata, aggiungete mescolando il succo di lime.  Servite calda, ma non scottante, e guarnite con foglie di dragoncello e, se volete, delle fette d’avocado.

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