Recipe: Spring Cleansing Soups

Spring is just around the corner –and it’s time to start to think about a spring detox!  There are many different types of cleanses, and they range in length and intensity.  For those considering a simple mild dietary detox (basically eliminating processed foods – ie. refined carbohydrates including sugars and grains), cleansing soups are a great way to support overall health during your detox.

Start with broth

Meat or Bone Broth – Both is easy to digest, healing to the gut lining, and loaded with the nutrients and good fat our bodies need for optimal health.  With both broth types, be sure to get marrow out of the bones, as it’s extremely beneficial to your health.

Meat Broth: Simply boil (locally-produced, naturally-raised, organic) chicken, turkey or beef on the bone for a few hours.  Meat broth is very rich in amino acids.

Bone Broth: Put (locally-produced, naturally-raised, organic) chicken, turkey or beef bones in cold water; add apple cider vinegar; let sit for an hour.  Then bring to a boil; reduce to low simmer for 12 to 24 hours to remove the nutrients out of the bones.

Vegetable Broth: For those who prefer meat-free, vegetable broth is rich in alkaline minerals – sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium – which help to neutralize harmful toxic acids.

  • 2 cups carrot tops, 2 cups celery stalks/leaves
  • 2 cups beet tops, 2 cups potato peelings
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped, 2 litres water

Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil; reduce to simmer (lid on) for 30 minutes.  Strain; refrigerate for a few days, or freeze.

Revitalizing Spring Spinach Soup (Serves 2)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  •  ½ cup celery, diced
  •  ½ cup leek, diced
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach

Sauté oil and garlic in a large pot.  Add the vegetables and cook for 10 minutes.  Add water and thyme; simmer one hour; then cool for one more hour.  Puree in blender; return to pot on medium heat.  Add the spinach; cook until wilted. Serve hot.

 Raw Avocado-Cucumber Soup (Serves 2)

An alkalizing, energizing soup!

  • 1 large avocado
  • ½ cup veggie broth
  • ½ English cucumber, roughly chopped
  •  2 spring green onions
  • ½ red pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Tamari, to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • A small bunch fresh coriander or parsley

Blend avocado and broth to form a light paste; add the rest of the ingredients; blend. Serve immediately.

Mung Bean Soup/Herb Sauce (Serves 2)

A highly nutritious, traditional cleansing soup!

  • 1 cup mung beans, soaked at least 4 hours
  • 5 cups water, 1 tsp sea salt

Rinse beans two or three times while soaking to remove unwanted materials (add fresh water each time).

Place all ingredients in a large soup pot.  Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer for about an hour (until beans are soft and lose their shape).  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Serve with herb sauce.

Herb Sauce

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil, ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric , 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander , 1 tsp ginger root, grated
  • 1 pinch garam masala
  • 2 cups water, sea salt, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1 tsp raw honey

Heat oil on medium-high in a large saucepan; add the mustard seeds.  Once they pop, stir in pepper and bay leaf.  Add the cooked beans and additional water.  Bring to a boil; add all remaining spices, lemon/lime juice and honey.  Simmer for a few more minutes.

Make your own garam masala!

  • Ground cardamom (1 part, i.e. 1 tbsp)
  • Ground clove (2 parts, i.e. 2 tbsp)
  • Ground cinnamon (2 parts, i.e. 2 tbsp)
  • Black pepper (2 parts, i.e. 2 tbsp)

Stir all ingredients together; roast lightly at 300 degrees F for five to 10 minutes.  Store in an air-tight container.

Rebecca Mullins RHN is a North Bay-based Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She can be reached at rebeccamullinsrhn@live.ca