Elina Fuhrman’s Soupelina Soup Delivery Service is Aimed at Health & Wellness
Soup to the rescue.
CategoryEat & Drink, People
Written byHeather David
Photos byPär Bengtsson and Rose Dupont
Most Sundays you’ll find Elina Fuhrman selecting organic vegetables at the colorful stands lining Ventura Place at the Studio City farmers market. She carefully chooses seasonal ingredients like lemongrass, cauliflower, yardlong beans and beech mushroom for the soups she prepares for her home delivery company, Soupelina.
“I know all the farmers and they know me; it’s where I get most of my produce,” says Elina.
Becoming a chef, cookbook author and owner of a bustling soup delivery service is a far cry from her former life. After relocating to the U.S. in 1989 from the former Soviet republic of Moldova, Elina went on to have an award-winning journalism career, writing for outlets like CNN, The New York Times and NPR.
But a breast cancer diagnosis in 2009 changed everything.
“My tumor was very aggressive. I took a walk into wellness,” Elina remembers. She spoke with experts in the fields of modern and ancient naturopathic remedies. She studied Chinese herbs and how they change the chemistry of the body. She also took an odyssey to India, learning first-hand about the ancient practices of Ayurvedic medicine.
“I had this aha moment: Medicinal herbs and plants affect your body on a cellular level. So that was my task—to change the way my cells behave. I thought, ‘How about I combine all of these great ancient medicines in one bowl and create a soup?’”
After a period spent experimenting with ingredients, Elina created vegan recipes that were not only delicious, but also aimed at health and wellness. She underwent a lumpectomy and had radiation, but she largely credits those recipes—and the overall more healthy direction of her diet—for why she is cancer-free today.
As for Soupelina, it evolved naturally. Elina started out just sharing her soups with friends and family. They ultimately encouraged her to take her healing hobby to the next level in 2012.
“My daughters bought me a ladle for New Year’s and engraved it Soupelina and made a T-shirt for me. They said, ‘You have no choice; you’re doing this!’ That’s how it started,” Elina laughs.
Soupelina offers three- to five-day cleanses with entrées like Kale-orfornia Dreamin’ and Sweet Coconut Thai, Oh My.
She works closely with her clients to meet their specific needs. “People come to me with all types of things, from celebrities wanting to debloat before a red-carpet event to cancers, psoriasis, autoimmune conditions, menopause and post-surgeries,” she says.
“It’s definitely not a conveyor line, and every soup is a magic bullet.”
To learn more, go to soupelina.com
- 4 cups water or Soupelina Lemongrass Cleansing Broth
- ¼ cup tamarind juice
- 1 ½ tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 ½ tablespoons tamari
- 1 package beech mushrooms
- ½ cup daikon rounds
- ½ cup carrot rounds
- 1 cup cauliflower, cut into florets
- 4-5 pods of yardlong bean, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ cup Chinese cabbage, cut
- sea salt to taste
Bring pot of water to boil over medium heat. If using Soupelina Broth, warm broth until hot over medium-low heat. Add tamarind juice, tamari and salt. Then add mushrooms and cook until done—approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Add daikon, carrots and cauliflower and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes until al dente. Then add yardlong beans and cabbage for another 10 minutes on heat.
Remove from heat and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes for flavors to mature.
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