By Nicole Chaszar, Founder and CEO The Splendid Spoon
When I started The Splendid Spoon in 2011, juicing was just becoming popular. My colleagues at Conde Nast were getting bottles of purple, orange, and green concoctions delivered to the office regularly. It was all the rage and, of course, I tried it. I wanted to like it, but the juices were too sweet for my savory-loving palate — not to mention that I was hungry all day long. By 6pm on the first day I tried juicing, I had a killer headache and decided to quit. Not wanting to give up on the first try, I gave juicing a few more attempts but to no avail. I felt like a juicing loser.
As I tend to do when feeling down, I thought, what would my mom say? Probably, “Oh for heaven’s sake Nicole, who just drinks juice all day?! Eat something!” It was after my final failed juicing attempt that a light bulb went on. Mother knows best! I set out on a mission to create my own cleanse, but with real food that was just as convenient as juice: soup. Souping is the best of both worlds: high fiber, low sugar, AND chock full of veggies. It is also a way to help some of the 75% of Americans who don’t eat enough veggies add them to our diet in an easy, satisfying way.
One of the best reasons to try souping is that many plant-based ingredients must be cooked for our bodies to absorb their nutrients properly and efficiently. Beans, tomatoes, squashes, and cruciferous vegetables like kale and collards all benefit from a little heat on the stovetop. Plus, soups use whole vegetables, so you get loads of fiber with each bowlful. Fiber is the original gangster of superfoods: insoluble fiber fills you up without a caloric impact, helps your digestive system work more efficiently, and encourages growth of the healthy flora in your gut, while soluble fiber sweeps your vascular network of plaques to keep your heart and circulatory systems working smoothly.
The Splendid Spoon soups are not just cleanse soups — they are made to be incorporated into your diet in a way that works for you. While many of our customers want to do a full-blown cleanse, some would rather have it as a snack or side dish. No matter how you soup, adding it to your diet once a day is an amazing way to get your dose of nutrient-dense plant power, and help your body reset from sugary, processed foods. To boot, each of The Splendid Spoon’s soups has at least two servings of veggies in every bowlful, is registered dietitian approved, and is made with seasonally sourced ingredients within 200 miles of our kitchen.
Not to say I don't love steak frites from time to time, I just eat indulgent foods 20 percent of the time and stick to a plant-based diet the other 80 percent.
Running a business and keeping myself, my husband, and two young boys nourished with whole unprocessed food is a big challenge, but they have all become soup lovers. I have a soup for breakfast almost every day and as a snack. And while I do follow a plant-based diet most of the time, I am not going to pretend I don't love my steak frites. It's all about moderation.
The Splendid Spoon has just introduced drinkable soups to make it even easier to get more vegetables into a person's diet. They are delicious chilled or room temperature, and can be enjoyed right out of the bottle. Soup for breakfast? Yes, please! We are also working on additional flavors for fall and winter that incorporate cold weather veggies like squashes and beets and can be enjoyed straight out of the bottle.
Whether you’re a mom on-the-run or a gal on a mission, spooning or sipping soup regularly is a great way to get your daily dose of veggies — not to mention they look pretty in the bottle or bowl. As we like to say at The Splendid Spoon, sip, sip, hooray (for soup)!
This carrot turmeric soup is a great one, and It follows my general rule for timing with soups: no more than 15 minutes to prep, 25 minutes inactive cooking time on the stovetop, 3 minutes to purée and serve. (Inactive cooking time means you can do something else: I like to stretch into a few yoga poses or catch up on Instagram!)
This bright orange soup is brimming with beta carotene which intensifies as you cook it. Fresh turmeric enhances the health quotient of this soup, and its anti-inflammatory properties are activated with freshly ground black pepper.
Chilled Carrot Turmeric Soup
1 Medium Yellow Onion - diced
1 clove garlic - diced
1 Tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
1 large bunch carrots (about 2 lbs)
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary - chopped
1 Tablespoon freshly grated turmeric
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 quart water or vegetable stock (plus another .5 reserved as needed for consistency)
Juice and zest of 2 oranges
pinch freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
Microplane or cheese grater
Immersion blender (or countertop blender)
1. Peel carrots and cut into 2 inch chunks
2. Saute onion and garlic in coconut oil over medium high heat until soft and translucent
3. Add carrots, rosemary, fresh turmeric, and fresh ginger and stir to combine
4. Add water, orange juice, and orange zest, cover and bring to a simmer
5. Cover and cook until carrots are very soft – about 15 minutes
6. Add cayenne, black pepper, and salt and puree until very smooth. An immersion blender makes this task easy, but you can puree in batches in a regular countertop blender as well.
7. Add remaining water as necessary to achieve a velvety smooth consistency
8. Pour into 4 separate bowls and leave uncovered in refrigerator to chill (about 2 hours)
9. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh ginger and enjoy as a refreshing springtime lunch.
Nicole Chaszar, founder and chef of The Splendid Spoon, launched in 2011 to give the more than 75% of Americans who don't eat enough vegetables — mostly because they take too long to prepare — a convenient and delicious way to get their daily dose. Her mission is to make it easier for people to consume healthy, plant-based foods every day.
Beginning at age four, Nicole delighted in foraging for wild carrots and berries with her mother every summer, and picking vegetables from the garden to make vegetable stew, zucchini bread, and pesto with her grandmother every winter. Honing her passion for healthy, seasonal food with every recipe, she spent countless hours in the kitchen whipping up dishes using garden-fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs that tasted as good as they were for you.
Prior to launching The Splendid Spoon, Nicole trained at the French Culinary Institute where she completed the Classic Culinary program in 2010. She has also cooked in esteemed NYC restaurants, and has taught cooking and nutrition classes at Columbia University. Nicole’s passion for fresh and simple food has garnered media attention throughout New York City and in national publications, including bon appetit and Reader's Digest. Her sunny disposition and easy style sensibility have made her a favorite with bloggers and photographers. Nicole lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with her husband and two young boys.