Cookbook author and Food Network star Ayesha Curry might agree with me when I say souping is quickly becoming the next juicing, as evidenced by many popup soup delivery companies like Züpa Noma. A few months back, my colleagues and I tried and fell for these organic, pureed soups, bottled and intended to be sipped on the go, no heating required. We struggled to choose a favorite — Yellow Pepper Habanero, Tomatillo Jalapeño, and Tomato Gazpacho being a few of our top picks. When I learned Ayesha Curry has parnered with Züpa Noma, I couldn't wait to hear her souping strategies, feelings on cleanses, what she's doing to stay warm with Winter (hint: not juice).
Truth is, before the partnership formed, Ayesha felt skeptical about the concept, "When I was approached, I've never heard of souping before, I was like, what is that? I'm gonna drink soup out of a bottle? I was like, OK, I'll try it . . . and I loved it. It's so much healthier and more fulfilling than drinking even a green juice or one of those pressed juices." Being a busy, working mom, Ayesha's no stranger to skipping meals (even food editors can relate!). "Often times I honestly forget to eat, as crazy as it sounds. Just being able to have [a Züpa] in the refrigerator, just to grab it and go, throw it in my purse, whatever I need to do, was life-changing for me." Even though that's her go-to, Ayesha also suggests a few ways to touch up the soup for parties. The easiest? As a bloody Mary mix! You can also divvy the soup up into little shot glasses and serve it with a grilled shrimp hanging over the side of the glass for a last-minute appetizer.
Despite the season, you won't find Ayesha cleansing. Instead with the New Year, she's committed to "trying to make healthier choices." Her why makes so much sense. "I feel like in January, everybody jumps into something so quickly that you almost get shocked and then 9 times out of 10, you fail because it's so much all at once. And so I've been trying to make small changes," Ayesha explained. Most recently, that involved brownies. "Last night, I wanted brownies so bad. Like I just wanted a decadent, unhealthy brownie. I've been working out almost everyday since the New Year, and so I was like, OK, I can't ruin this. What am I gonna do? So I went ahead and made the healthier alternative to the brownies." She baked up "this awesome coconut brownies" from The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook by Amanda Haas (who is the culinary director at Williams-Sonoma). They're gluten-free and made with coconut oil instead of butter. Craving satisfied; crisis averted!
This time of year, not even the Bay Area is exempt from Winter. "I woke up this morning and there was ice on the grass like, we're not in California," Ayesha joked. For a dinner recipe that'll really warm you up during Winter, Ayesha recommends "a good pot of chili" along with cornbread. "You can't go wrong," she says. According to Ayesha, her game day chili and cornbread from her cookbook, The Seasoned Life is "always a hit" and because it's "such a big batch, there's almost always some leftovers for the next day."