As a non-diet dietitian, I’m not a big fan of “cleanses” or “detoxes.” Juice cleanses are an easy way to spike your blood sugar, and detox diets are just unnecessary.
That being said, sometimes after a few days of eating too many rich foods and too many desserts (hello, Easter candy!), you just feel like you need to get some extra veggies in.
This soup PACKS in the green veggies with liver-loving broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, cabbage, which are high in sulforaphanes. Onions and garlic contribute other sulfur compounds to help your liver detoxify harmful substances. Even the parsley has beneficial volatile oils and antioxidants. It’s more than just a garnish, folks!
As with most good soups, this one starts by sautéing the onions in olive oil, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, veggie broth, and water.
Note: you need a REALLY large stockpot for this one.
Add in the parsley, tofu, salt, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice.
Remove from the heat, and then use a stick blender to purée the mixture (if you do this in a regular blender, be careful!) But seriously, get an immersion blender—mine is one of my favorite kitchen tools…it gets used all year round for silky smooth soups and veggie pureés. They’re pretty cheap and last forever (I’ve had this one for at least 15 years).
This makes about 16 cups of soup, or eight 2-cup servings. The recipe below includes cup measurements for the veggies for analysis purposes, but it’s not fussy…just use 1 head of bok choy, 1 head of broccoli, 1 small head of cabbage, and 1 bunch of parsley. No need to measure…it comes out great no matter which green veggies you choose to use (I’ve also used kale, spinach, cauliflower, etc.) Adding some seaweed (like kombu or wakame) is also a great addition, and a good way to get more thyroid-supporting iodine.
I added cubes of a local, organic tofu to mine to make it a one-pot meal, but feel free to leave it out, as long as you’re eating a good source of protein on the side (this soup is great with a nice broiled salmon).
I never count calories, but this soup is super low-cal, balanced in macros (fat/carbs/protein), and a decent source of calcium, potassium, and iron.
I topped it with toasted pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch.
The Spring Clean
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups cabbage (1 small)
- 6 cups bok choy (1 medium)
- 3 cups broccoli (1 medium)
- 1 cup parsley (1 bunch)
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 8 cups water
- 1 lb tofu, firm
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- pinch of cayenne
- In a very large stock pot over medium-high heat, saute the onion in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, broth, and water. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add the tofu, parsley, salt, cayenne, and lemon juice. Remove from heat and blend using an immersion blender.
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