There’s nothing better than curling up with a comforting bowl of hot soup after a long, frigid, wintry day. The new year is in full swing, everyone is back to work after the holiday fun, and it’s game time.
Since the arctic like conditions have arrived in Chicago and fully made themselves known, it’s time to take care of our bodies with proper immune-boosting nourishment (unless of course you live in a warm place, then please send us some of your warm air).
This oil-free Cleansing Detox Soup is packed with all the good stuff, and by good stuff I mean immune-boosting natural remedies like fresh lemon juice, fresh zingy ginger, bright turmeric, balancing cinnamon, and a touch of spicy cayenne. Detoxifying vegetables and leafy greens like kale, broccoli, celery and carrots will cleanse, nourish and make you feel whole. I carefully chose each ingredient based on it’s healing properties and am sticking to oil free recipes all of January. You especially want to avoid cooking with oils in a cleansing and detoxifying recipe to allow the detoxification process to properly take place.
Lemon is everything. If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you may have noticed that I drink 32 ounces of warm water with the fresh juice from 1/2 of a lemon every day, before anything else. I cannot skip this step! It makes me feel normal and wakes up my digestive system. Lemon has amazing cleansing properties and provides a burst of Vitamin C while supporting the detoxification process. Adding lemon juice to your soup will help to keep your immune system strong while bringing lightness and flavor.
Fresh ginger is so essential. So healing. So digestion-friendly. With it’s natural cold fighting properties, you can battle off congestion, flu and nausea while boosting your immunity. Not only do I add ginger to all the soups I prepare, but I add a huge chunk to our daily green juice, in salad dressings and in hot tea.
This is a spice that I’ve grown to love due to its skin-loving properties (aids in a healthy glow), antiseptic, anti bacterial and anti inflammatory wonders. It comes from a root similar to ginger, is high in antioxidants and adds a beautiful bright golden color to any dish.
So wonderful in this cleansing soup! It’s important to purchase saigon cinnamon, which I easily found at our local grocery store. Not all cinnamon is the same, which I recently found out. Saigon cinnamon (vs. regular cinnamon) has a distinct flavor, boldly delicious scent and aids in balancing blood sugar levels while stimulating digestion. Add extra cinnamon to your smoothie, oatmeal, granola, baked goods and even soup.
I add the tiniest bit of cayenne to many dishes. While it’s optional, I really love the dose of flavor from cayenne because I don’t have to add as much salt when there is enough spiciness. Not a ton of spiciness, just enough for flavor. Cayenne is known to rev up your metabolism and helps with congestion. Goodbye stuffy nose!
Since this Cleansing Detox Soup doesn’t have noodles, beans or legumes of any sort, it’s easily digestible for everyone due to the soft vegetables, but if you want to add extra plant protein like tofu, lentils, chickpeas or noodles, feel free. You will adore this cure-all soup! I keep coming back to it because it makes me feel warm, wholesome and healthy.
- 1/4 cup water (or vegetable broth)
- 1/2 of a red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 1 small head of broccoli, florets
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (I used powdered)
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional)
- fine-grain sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 6 cups water (or 4 cups vegetable broth + 2 cups water)
- 2 cups kale, de-stemmed and torn in pieces
- 1 cup purple cabbage, chopped
- juice from 1/2 of a small lemon (or a whole lemon, depending how much lemon flavor you prefer)
- In a large pot, add the water and turn on the heat to medium-high. After it's hot, add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes and fresh ginger. Stir and cook for 3 minutes, adding in extra water or broth as needed (another 1/4 cup). Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper plus salt and pepper to taste.
- Add in the water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add in the kale, cabbage and lemon juice near the last 2-3 minutes of simmering.
- This cleansing recipe is oil-free because avoiding the use of oil during a cleansing meal is important for the detoxification process (and you won't miss the oil at all due to all the flavor!) but if you feel like cooking with oil, use a minimal amount - 1 tablespoon or less.
- Leftovers stay well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
For more deliciously cleansing recipes, see my 5-Day Body Balance Cleanse where I advocate nourishment rather than deprivation, with body-loving whole food ingredients to get you feeling balanced and refreshed. I do this 5-day cleanse after the holidays, before and/or after a vacation and whenever I feel like hitting the reset button on my body.