Some say exercise is the best way to beat jet lag. Eve Persak embraces that mantra. A triathlete, nutritionist and frequent flier, Persak typically clears customs and heads straight for the water — be it Hulopoe Bay when she’s in Maui or the Atlantic Ocean when she’s in Turks and Caicos — to swim. On her first trip to London, she explored the city almost entirely by jogging through the streets. “A friend suggested I take a tour bus,” she recalls, “I was like, ‘A bus?’ I like using my legs.” These days Persak travels quite a bit; since 2017, she has overseen the nutrition and wellness-related programs for the Como hotel group’s 15 destinations — the latest of which will open in Tuscany this spring. From her home base in Penestanan, in central Bali, she travels between the Como properties to advise on menus, offer nutritional counselling to guests and private clients, lead culinary-focused retreats and help shape SuperNature, Como’s gourmet organic grocery line (sold in its Dempsey Marketplace in Singapore). “Food can be therapeutic,” she says to explain the philosophy that guides each of her projects. “I really focus on ingredients that are minimally touched and respectful of the environment, and do something in the body.”
Eve Persak, photographed at The Slow in Canggu, Bali.
When cooking for herself, Persak, who grew up in Chicago, keeps it simple out of necessity. “In Bali, I have fewer cooking utensils and appliances — you need to be very resourceful,” she says. Her house is in a small village outside of Ubud, on a secluded path lined with frangipani, hibiscus and heliconia. Sometimes the electricity goes out, and, she says with a shrug, “there’s no one to call to fix it — you just have to wait for it to go back on.” Persak often rides her motorbike to the local markets, where she stocks up on fresh produce, which she likes to purée to create vibrant, vitamin-rich soups. Her current favourite is a warm evergreen soup, made from healing bone broth and fibre-packed cruciferous vegetables — such as broccoli, cauliflower and kale — garnished with grated, anti-inflammatory turmeric. Sometimes she will stir in miso paste for a dose of probiotics (“when I’m feeling I need some digestive settling”), or if her body demands more energy, she will add sliced avocado and a handful of pumpkin seeds (for “a bit of a crunch and extra zinc for immunity”).
The easy, curative recipe, which is adapted from a chilled green soup served at Como properties, takes 15 minutes to prepare and only requires a stovetop burner and blender. Persak usually whips up a batch as “a fast snack” after returning from a trip to reset and replenish her body — it’s a dish, she says, that “really anchors me.” Here, she shares her recipe.
Garnishes such as avocado, parsley and raw pumpkin seeds add extra nutrients and savoury flavour to the soup.
Eve Persak’s Evergreen Soup
1 ½ cup chicken bone broth (“I also use plain filtered water when I’m lazy or don’t have any stock on hand”)
1 cup chopped mixed vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, kale and cauliflower (the latter “gives a little bit of plant-based creaminess”)
Pinch of fresh parsley and basil (“for the cleansing, reparative benefits”)
½ tablespoon white miso paste
¼ to ½ avocado, sliced
1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds
Pinch of freshly grated raw turmeric
1. In a small pot, add stock, vegetables, parsley and basil and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are soft but still vibrant in colour (about five to seven minutes).
2. In a small bowl, combine miso with ¼ cup hot water and stir until the miso is fully dissolved.
3. Once the soup is cooked, remove from heat, stir in the dissolved miso and let cool slightly.
4. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend to a fine purée.
5. Garnish with avocado, pumpkin seeds and turmeric.
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