This post is very special to me because it’s from one of my mom’s best friends Peggy Curry. And in this post ( & her new cookbook Damn Good Gluten Free ) she features my mom’s lemony broccoli soup recipe.
When I was little my mom made this all the time & use to serve it with warm sourdough bread from the oven or in a bread bowl. There was always a side of chili flakes & lemon and a big pitcher of water filled with strawberries. So the fact that Peggy put this recipe in her cookbook means a lot.
Peggy is back to tell us all about her journey & what led her to write her new cookbook Damn Good Gluten Free. Plus, she talks about her friendship with my mom, Wendi & shares her amazing broccoli soup.
Let’s welcome Peggy back to The Skinny Confidential!
The Curry Girls Kitchen New Gluten Free Cookbook & a Broccoli Soup You Gotta Try
At the age of 32 I became a mom & at the age of 38 I was the mom of 4 daughters. Once you become a mom that’s when you begin to realize just how much it takes to be one, & you realize how much you appreciate your own mom even more. It’s a fucking hard job with great rewards as well as heartaches. When my beloved mom passed away from breast cancer in 1994 I lost my greatest advocate & best friend. In her honor, I created a pasta sauce, Evy’s Garden Organic Marinara. It sold nationally in Whole Foods Markets & other grocery stores, but more than ever I wished my mom was around to enjoy her grand daughters.
Shortly after the launch of Evy’s Garden Organic Marinara, a dear teacher friend was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. She needed help feeding her husband & 2 small children. I set them up by organizing her family’s shopping, meal prep & meal planning, using the same organizational method I used for my special education classroom. The planning grid from my classroom turned into the meal planner & became the road map for their weekly meals. We also stocked her pantries with nourishing products. 25+ years later my friend beat all odds & is alive, strong & healthy! It was she who first planted the seed suggesting I teach my planning & cooking methods to parents. In 1999, Kitchen Blessings, my very first cooking school & private coaching company was born.
That year it felt like God was on a mission with me, setting me up for my “purpose work” in life.
After I started Kitchen Blessings, Manhattan Beach School District asked me to help with their school food services. “Can you help bring better food into the schools?” I did my best. But the community wasn’t fully ready. Around the same time, I was asked to join a new garden program called GrowingGreat. The universe was full on now! GrowingGreat became a non-profit & a continuation of my purpose driven work to teach food as medicine. We educated young students & their families about the importance food has on our bodies & well-being.
GG was a small garden program in one school in 1999. Today it’s a model for educating kids & parents how to make healthier food choices on a large scale across the country. I co-wrote the nutrition curriculum & trained hundreds of volunteer docents each year who taught our nutrition & garden programs in schools. Today it’s a thriving national PreK-high school program educating hundreds of thousands of students each year.
Back when I was teaching 2-3 weekly Kitchen Blessings cooking classes with 27 different specific food courses, in my heart I knew one day I’d like to find a home where all my knowledge, teachings & recipes would live. A lifestyle guide & recipe book, Damn Good Gluten Free helps people create nourishing traditions, heal from autoimmune conditions & build a healthy lifestyle. My main mission has always been to prevent disease from ever taking root & cultivating rich foundations for growing healthy families & using natural remedies & food to heal our bodies. Damn Good Gluten Free is that home.
In 2006, after Megan, daughter number 2, suffered from numerous illnesses, we all were tested & diagnosed gluten intolerant.
In 2012 after graduating from college, Megs & I co-created Curry Girls Kitchen. Meg added a hopeful perspective into our teachings. Megs, a functional medicine & holistic coach, brings a different viewpoint into Curry Girls. As a powerful resource & coach, Megs empowers young people by sharing her remarkable healing journey & life experiences.
Damn Good Gluten Free was written from my heart for people with all types of food preferences & dietary conditions. And that’s just one aspect of the book. You see I adopted the “Ohana” spirit, where no one is left behind, so people didn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed having an autoimmune disorder. Yup. It’s for real. People hide behind their diagnosis feeling afraid to speak up.
Damn Good GF was purposefully designed with adaptable recipes for everyone to easily prepare & eat one meal together.
I so remember the feeling when someone would say to me after learning I was gluten intolerant, “I don’t know how to cook for you” or they’d think it was just a fad. Most often people with autoimmune think “there’s no good tasting food I can eat now,” or it’s too much trouble to cook for themselves, let alone eat out. It’s too much trouble & overwhelming at first. At times the kids would feel like an outsider because there wasn’t a gluten free option at birthday parties or soccer gatherings.
With a happy heart I am here to share, that’s all changed. DGGF proves you can cook, eat out & share delicious recipes with friends no matter your autoimmune, dietary condition, food preference or allergens! Yup, the Ohana Spirit IS everyone is welcomed!
This book is my legacy, my heart & soul all wrapped up into one beautiful, adaptable, easy to use cookbook. Does it have all my recipes? Heck no, that’s for round two in Rituals & Celebrations! I got lots of goodness coming! Damn Good Gluten Free holds the keys for foundational methods, the first recipes I created for our family to feel “normal.” These recipes brought health & joy back into our world- & the lives of hundreds of other families. My secret… not everyone has to be gluten free to enjoy these recipes. It does not matter if you’re gluten free or not. The whole food recipes are here to serve everyone, gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, Paleo. Today, you don’t have to limit quality or taste. It’s all right here for you to sink your teeth in & savor every damn delicious bite.
My mission continues to bring luscious, beneficial, nutrient-rich food into your home, your pantries & onto your tables.
So, you will feel confident & at ease living the Ohana spirit. Where y’all eat the same dang meal! A place where everyone feels, tastes, speaks, listens & savors the delicious goodness. One table. One meal. Together.
Which always makes me think about my BFF growing up, Wendi. Wendi is Lauryn’s mom. We both shared a love affair with food from the moment we met in junior high! She & I grew up cooking & sewing together. We both, at a young age, knew we loved food. We talked about recipes, tried many restaurants as we got older, & created food rituals with our families. Wendi became a wildly successful restaurateur. Sadly, she passed away before her 50th birthday, but her spirit lives on through her dear friends & her daughters.
I have many recipes that make me think about her on the daily. One recipe in particular is a simple soup that she shared with me & has since become a staple in both our family & our cooking courses today. Her four-part broccoli soup is super easy to make on those busy nights when we all need to get dinner on the table quickly. It’s the perfect soup for a soup & sandwich meal.
Wendi was a lemon lover, just like Lauryn. She’d always add a squeeze to her food before eating. So I wanted to share Wendi’s recipe with you on Lauryn’s blog. The best thing about this recipe is how adaptable it is for so many veggie variations. I promise you & your family will love every damn variation! And of course, you can thank Lauryn’s mom Wendi as you add that squeeze of lemon! I honor her memory, as I am forever grateful for our friendship.
WENDI’S BROCCOLI SOUP
♡ 2-3 tbsp olive oil
♡ 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
♡ 1 large head broccoli, roughly chopped ( up to 4 cups with peeled stems )
♡ 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
♡ 4 cups bone or no-bone broth ( there’s a great recipe in the DGGF )
♡ Celtic sea salt & pepper, to taste
♡ lemon wedges ( 1 per serving )
♡ optional: add 1⁄2 cup of cheddar for cheesy broccoli soup!
+ Preheat a pot on medium then sauté onions in olive oil.
+ Add the broccoli, sugar snap peas, & garlic.
+ Cover vegetables with broth & bring to a boil.
+ Lower heat & simmer for 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are fork tender.
+ Using a blender or immersion blender, carefully purée the soup.
+ Sprinkle salt & pepper to taste.
+ Just before serving, squeeze a little lemon juice over the soup to brighten the flavors.
May Damn Good Gluten Free be a part of your healing journey. May you take time, sit with your family & eat regular meals together. And may you be blessed with its nourishing wisdom & delicious recipes.
With love from my heart to yours.
You can also find us:
Damn Good in the Kitchen Course – Set up your kitchen with high quality foods! Meg & I created an amazing video course called Damn Good in the Kitchen to go along with chapter 2’s KIND Method in the book. (Kitchen Improvements to Nourish Daily). It’s the small daily improvements that help one build the confidence & success in both their kitchen & cooking.
Cleansing Reset INFO – Get to know which foods work best in your body.
Make Life Delicious Podcast! – Buckle up for not so traditional mother/daughter conversations.
Functional Medicine 1-1 Coaching – Need help? Make a discovery call & see how we can help.
And I’ll be doing a book signing on Saturday February 19th at noon, at Pages bookstore in Manhattan Beach. Come say hi!
I hope you loved this post & try making my mom’s broccoli soup. It brings back such special memories for me, especially the strawberry water. Do you have a family recipe that will stay with you forever? Would love to know below.
+ check out Peg & Meg’s 10 healthy hacks.
++ scope the beauty benefits of eggs.