If we are what we eat, London-based food blogger Ella Woodward is the best advertisement for her plant and vegetable based recipes. Woodward started a food blog after being diagnosed with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, a rare illness that left her unable to get out of bed and dependent on medication. Conventional medicine didn’t help her, so she turned to dieticians and completely overhauled her diet, cutting out meat, gluten, dairy, sugar and processed food. Woodward chronicled her meal experimentation on Instagram, which led to a best-selling cookbook as well as a café, Mae Deli.
Her newest book, Deliciously Ella Every Day, is devoted to fast, easy plant based recipes and lunchbox ideas. Recipes range from carrot cake muffins to chickpea and squash salad, as well as healthy twists on brownies. (The secret ingredient? Black beans). Here Woodward shares her recipe from her latest cookbook: a refreshing, cold summer soup that also packs a nutritional punch. “The blend of avocado, cucumber, cashew milk, lime juice and spices makes such a creamy, refreshing bowlful,” says Woodward. “I love serving this with a big handful of seeds sprinkled over, to add a great crunch.”
Cleansing Avocado and Cucumber Soup, serves 2
1 avocado (7 ounces, unpeeled weight)
1/3 cucumber (4 ounces), plus more if needed
scant 1/2 cup cashew milk (or any plant-based milk, just make sure it’s not sweetened)
juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, plus more to serve (optional)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and lots of pepper
handful of sunflower and pumpkin seeds, to serve
Scoop the avocado flesh out of the skin and into a blender.
Cut the cucumber into chunks, leaving the skin on. If the cucumber has a lot of large seeds in it, then discard these and add extra cucumber to make its weight up to 4 ounces. Add to the blender.
Add all the remaining ingredients, except the seeds, to the blender, pour in a scant 1/2 cup of water and blend until smooth and creamy, this should take a minute or so.
Pour the soup into bowls and serve straight away. I like sprinkling chili flakes and a handful of a pumpkin and sunflowers seeds over the top; they make it look beautiful and the seeds add a delicious crunch, as well as a protein boost.
Store in the fridge, so it can be served chilled.