It’s January, and for many of us that means detoxing, cleansing, or just plain consuming lighter and liver-friendly foods to reset after holiday indulgences. I have been craving a delicious and vibrant green soup this week, AND I needed to rid the fridge of various bunches and half bunches of leftover veggies. So the stars aligned, and I created this recipe with what I had on hand. Enter the green detox soup you can probably make with whatever is in your fridge.
Green soups and detox soups are probably a dime a dozen, but they’re mostly green things only. I threw sweet potato in this recipe because I had two half sweet potatoes lying around that needed to be used, and it gives the soup a heartier and creamier texture while adding additional nutrients like fiber and beta-carotene. Win-win.
This recipe is really just a blueprint, so you can get creative and add as many veggie varieties as you like. You could even try adding avocado to make it creamy, but I haven’t tried that yet. Or you can just keep it super minimal and only use the alliums with sweet potato, broccoli, and spinach. I used my favorite spice blend (you can get it at Trader Joe’s or Costco) and it worked beautifully with this soup. But you could also do curry powder or any other herbs/spices that appeal to you.
Examples of veggies you could use in addition to or instead of the recipe
- swiss chard
- dandelion greens
- beet greens
- arugula (the peppery flavor would work well here)
- butternut squash
- yukon golds, but sweet potato is more nutrient bang for your buck
This soup is so nutrient dense and delicious. Greens are great sources of antioxidants, iron, and minerals, and the hefty dose of garlic is great for immune and detox support. This soup is your liver’s best friend: Aside from the greens, the broccoli is also a superior sulfur-rich detoxifier, AND it helps rid the body of excess estrogens. This soup will give you energy, help get you regular if the holidays have you a bit plugged up, AND flood your body with nutrients to support detox, skin health, and fight inflammation. A true superfood recipe!
Everything but the Kitchen Sink Green Detox Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek, sliced up to tough green stalk (could also sub ½ yellow onion)
- 8-10 cloves garlic, diced (less if you're not a garlic nut like I am. It's pungent! Or more for that matter...)
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced into chunks
- 1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 small bunch kale
- 1 bunch (or bag) spinach
- 4-6 cups bone broth, vegetable broth, or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp tamari
- pinch cayenne
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional spices (to taste): curry powder, seasoning blend, squeeze of lemon, tarragon, cilantro, sage, basil, parsley
- You'll need a dutch oven and a skillet.
- First off, chop and prep all your veggies.
- Bring 4 cups of broth to boil in dutch oven or large pot.
- While you're waiting for that to boil, add olive oil to skillet over medium heat, and when it shimmers, add sliced leek. Let that soften for about 10 minutes. Add broth as necessary to prevent sticking.
- Add garlic and cook an additional 5 minutes or so until slightly caramelized and softened.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Meanwhile while you're tending to the leek mixture, keep an eye on the broth and add sweet potato chunks as soon as it's boiling.
- Boil til soft but not too soft, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add kale and broccoli to the pot and let that soften, about 3-5 additional minutes.
- Finally, add spinach and any other veggies to the mix and let it wilt.
- Add the leeks and garlic back to the big pot and give it a good stir. Add more broth if you like a thinner soup. I like mine thick.
- Add a hearty pinch of sea salt, the tamari, and any dry spices you are using.
- Give it a good stir.
- Remove from heat and use the immersion blender to puree til very smooth. Or you can work in batches and do it in the blender.
- Taste to correct seasonings. You'll probably need to add more salt and a touch of cayenne.
- Top with fresh green herbs. Greek or coconut yogurt would be great on top too.
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Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.