Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Spa Girls says take a little time to indulge in some SPA CUSINE!

I studied for one year in France and our French Chief made the most heavenly soups. My mom was also a great cook and for as long as I can remember I have loved soups, hot ones, cold ones, you name it, if soup is on the menu that is generally what’s on my plate.

More and more spas are serving home-made soups as part of their healthy living, healthy eating programs. This is especially important if you are spending the day and can’t run out for lunch while your pedicure is drying!

Spa Index is a great guide for day and stay spas and has a wonderful section on Spa Cuisine which is definitely worth checking out. http://www.SpaIndex.Com

After a bit of surfing around their site I found some delectable soups that seem fitting as we come into the colder months. So the next time you’re at the Spa Girls, check out the menu.

Spa Cucina, Del Mar, California

3 cups pumpkin, steamed and cubed
32 ounces vegetable or chicken broth
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

Dashes of nutmeg, cinnamon, marjoram, basil
Peel pumpkin's outer skin just like any hard squash, i.e., butternut; cut into chunks and steam until tender. In a soup pot, sauté onions and garlic with oil until onions are clear. In a blender, puree all ingredients together EXCEPT 1 cup reserved squash and the yogurt. Return the puree to soup pot and gently whisk in yogurt and remaining pumpkin. Serve hot with crusty bread. Services 4-6.
*Note: We love to add a dash of grated Ginger to our version of this recipe -- for an added bite.

Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa

1 med. turnip or rutabaga, peeled & diced (1/4-1/2 in. sq.)
2 carrots, peeled & diced
1 med. onion, peeled & diced
2 celery ribs, diced
2 C. vegetable stock or water
1 10oz. can red or white kidney beans (or soak ½ C. dried and cook yourself)
1 14oz. can whole plum tomatoes, diced
½ small green cabbage, finely julienned
salt & freshly cracked black pepper
6 Tbsp. pesto (recipe follows)

Small amount Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino, Romano or soy parmesan (grated)
Combine turnip, carrot, onion, celery, beans, tomatoes and stock or water in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until turnips or rutabaga are tender. Add cabbage and simmer for 5 more minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste, and divide between 6 soup bowls. Garnish each bowl with 1 Tbsp. pesto and a sprinkling of your favorite hard cheese.

2 C. packed, cleaned basil leaves
¼ C. toasted pine nuts, almonds or sunflower seeds
¼ C. extra virgin olive oil
¼ C. grated hard cheese (as above)
salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree, adding more oil or some water to thin if needed. Store in fridge until served…may be frozen.

Harvest Pumpkin Mushroom Soup
Munro House B&B and Spa (Jonesville, Missouri)
Serves: 7

1 lb Fresh Sliced Mushrooms 1/2 cup Chopped Onion
2 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoon Flour
1/2 teaspoon Curry Powder
3 cup Vegetable Broth
1 can Solid Pack Pumpkin 15oz can
1 can Evaporated Milk 12 oz can
1 tablespoon Honey
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1 Fresh Chives (Optional)

In a large saucepan, sauté mushrooms and onion in butter until tender. Stir in the flour and curry powder until blended. Gradually add the broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add the pumpkin, evaporated milk, honey, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Heat through. Garnish with chives. (Optional)

The Greenbrier's Executive chef Peter Timmins, one of only 59 chefs in the world considered a Certified Master Chef by the Culinary Institute of America, says anyone can seem like a master with this simple but elegant summer soup recipe. "Our famous peaches find their way into many dishes at The Greenbrier," notes Timmins. "This easy-to-make chilled soup is one of the most popular."

Chilled Peach Soup
1 quart frozen, sweetened peaches, thawed
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup peach juice (from thawed peaches)
Blend peaches and sour cream together in blender. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Strain and serve chilled.
Serves 8

Note: If not enough peach juice is leftover from the thawed peaches, additional peaches may be pureed or canned peach juice may be added. The Greenbrier uses its own peaches, which can be purchased by calling The Greenbrier Gourmet shop at 800-321-1168, Ext. 7291. They are frozen and shipped overnight -- and will have the juice needed for the recipe.

Canyon Ranch Sweet Potato Soup

This colorful soup makes an excellent sauce for fish and poultry. You can also whisk a little extra-virgin olive oil into leftover soup for an unusual salad dressing.

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups fresh orange juice

1. Combine the sweet potatoes and onion in a large saucepan and cook, covered, over low heat until the onion is soft and translucent, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the chicken stock and orange juice and cook until the sweet potatoes are soft.
2. Spoon the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.
3. Serve hot or cold.
Makes 6 servings
Each 1-cup serving contains approximately:
Fat: negligible
Sodium:271 mg
Carbohydrates:29 g
Protein:3 g

Did You Know? The sweet potato is a wonderful vegetable from a nutritional standpoint. A medium-sized sweet potato has about 140 calories and contains four times the daily allowance of beta carotene, twice the daily allowance of vitamin A, and one-third of the daily recommended vitamin C. Sweet potatoes also contribute vitamin B6, iron, and potassium, as well as other valuable vitamins and minerals, are low in sodium, and contain no fat or cholesterol.


2 cups dry navy beans
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 potato, skinned and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1% milk, small amount
1 tbs. low-fat cream or Neufchatel cheese
herbs 2 tsp. each (dill, thyme, no-salt veggie broth)
quality Dijon mustard to taste
curry paste to taste
freshly ground black pepper + tamari (or salt) to taste
spinach, 1 package frozen chopped or 1 bag fresh
1 tomato, diced (optional)
oil from spritzer or refillable pump

If desired soak dry beans in water for several hours and discard soak water. Simmer beans for 2 hours in 8 cups of water, (6 cups if pre-soaked). After 1 hour add potato to beans. In a separate pan use a small amount of oil to sauté onion, garlic and spices until onion is translucent; add celery and continue for 15 minutes. Add to beans. When beans and celery are tender, pull out approx. 1/2 of the soup and puree with milk until silky smooth and throw back into main soup pot. Adjust thickness by either adding milk to thin out, or simmering for a while to reduce and thicken. Add herbs, mustard and curry paste. Just before serving add chopped spinach and tomato. Serves 6.

French Canadian Pea Soup
The Hills Health Ranch

Nothing tastes more like a Spring Garden than a bowl of this soup with a vegetable sandwich and a light smoothie. It's the perfect entree for a "Ladies' Spa Lunch."

1/2 T olive oil
1 head leaf lettuce, chopped
2-1/2 cups frozen peas
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock 1 potato, peeled and diced
Sea salt & pepper to taste

Sauté peas, potato and lettuce in oil for 5 min. Add stock and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer till tender, 20 min. Puree till very smooth and season with sea salt and pepper if needed.

Serves 6: Per Serving: 100 Calories, 2 Grams fat.

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