Now that all of my leftovers are gone, I feel the need to eat clean, simple food. Make that clean, simple, and easy food. When it comes to holidays and celebrations, I don’t hold back. It’s healthy to indulge now and then! I go back for seconds, I have the fluffy rolls, and I finish it off with a slice of pie with whip (and maybe a pumpkin-spice empanada or two). Then I happily eat up the leftovers for a couple of days, including pie! Now that it’s all over though, I have the urge to simplify and refresh. While I can’t currently go full-tilt and embark on an all-juice detox program, I’m striving to eat cleaner this week and include some naturally detoxifying foods. This soup can be thrown together quickly, and it’s full of cleansing ingredients.
The idea for this recipe came from my dear, sweet, mom. She found a soup recipe in an old cookbook of hers from the early 90’s entitled “Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone,” a compilation of recipes from various cookbooks (edited by Susie Ward). The soup was so simple, and it was just screaming from the page, “jazz me up!” So I jazzed. I left out the oil, and added an array of known cleansing ingredients like cilantro, tahini, mushrooms, and fresh ginger. As an added bonus, these toxin-busters are also super tasty, taking this soup from Plain Jane to Jazzy Jane! (Ok, I promise that’s the last time I’ll use the word “jazz” in this post 🙂 )
I came up with all kinds of different titles for this soup. Lazy Girl Detox Soup, Cleanse Your Liver Soup, I Ate Too Much at Thanksgiving and Now I’m Giving My Body a Break Soup. Call it whatever you like. In fact, this recipe is entirely versatile, and I encourage you to make it your own. I’m including some ideas for healthy, detoxifying toppings and add-ins. Honestly, what’s a dish without toppings? Am I right? I love toppings on everything! I load toppings on my oatmeal, soup, sweet potatoes… you name it. In fact, sometimes I secretly just want the toppings and base food is just an excuse to eat them all! The toppings and add-ins really make the soup, so be sure to throw some on.
In case you’re wondering what’s so special about the ingredients in this recipe, I’m about to tell ya! I’ll keep it quick and simple, just like the soup itself.
Mushrooms – They are a great source of 15 different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In addition to having detoxifying powers, studies have found mushrooms to be effective in boosting immune support, preventing cancer, and protecting against heart disease. There is also evidence that mushrooms provide some vitamin B12 and vitamin D2 (think of it as more of a boost, and not a replacement for supplements or fortified foods if you are vegan and live in a northern climate)
Bean Sprouts – Bean sprouts are an excellent source of fiber and can relieve constipation. They’re also an easily absorbable form of plant protein and amino acids. Bean sprouts of all varieties contain a slew of vitamins (especially vitamin C), as well as potassium, iron, magnesium, and zinc. They are also a good source of lecithin, which is effective in lowering cholesterol levels as well as supporting a healthy liver.
Red Bell Peppers – Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamin C, boasting over 100% of your daily needs in one cup. They are also high in carotenoids, phytonutrients, and sulfur compounds, making them an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food.
Cilantro – This super-herb was utilized in ancient cultures to ease tummy troubles and digestive disorders. Cilantro contains unique compounds making it a powerful anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and natural antibiotic. It is also effective in releasing heavy metals from tissues, making it a superb all-natural detoxifier.
Ginger – Another wonderful anti-inflammatory food, ginger has been utilized for thousands of years for its medicinal powers. Ginger helps to improve digestion and can support detoxification by improving the movement of food through the intestines.
Garlic – There are many uses and benefits to using garlic, everything from coughs and sore throats to gout and snake bites. Garlic has amazing antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. Including it in your diet may help prevent colds and infections not to mention cancer and heart disease. Garlic’s unique sulfur compounds fight yeast and bacteria in the intestines and increase production of glutathione, which is necessary for the elimination of certain toxins.
Tahini – Made from ground sesame seeds, tahini is an excellent source of copper and manganese and a good source of beautifying minerals magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, iron, and selenium. Tahini contains two unique lignans, sesamin and sesamolin, substances that are effective in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and increasing vitamin E stores. Sesamin has also been shown to be effective in preventing oxidative damage to the liver.
This simple yet delicious Asian-inspired detox soup will take you from heavy, bloated, and groggy post-holiday slump to light, fresh, hydrated and energetic! Some other ideas for a deprivation-free detox:
1. Blushing Beauty Berry-Beet Smoothie
2. Angela’s Chia Fresca
3. Shelley’s amazing Detox Salad with Orange Avocado Dressing
4. Fresh Ginger Tea from Healthy Happy Life (be sure to check out all of Kathy’s tasty variations)
5. Get a healthy dose of cleansing greens in the Gluten Free Goddess’ Green Soup
There are, of course, millions more detox recipes out there just waiting to be tried! What are some of your go-to clean-eating recipes? Be sure to let us know in the comments.
Quick and Easy Shoot, Shroom, Red Pepper, and Sesame Soup
8 oz Fresh Bean Sprouts, rinsed very well
1 cup mushrooms, any variety – cremini, straw, oyster, etc
1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp fresh grated ginger or to taste
3 cups filtered water
1-3 Tbsp tahini or to taste
1-2 Tbsp coconut aminos, reduced sodium tamari, or reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4-1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Stalk of Lemongrass, cut into several pieces
a few drops of sesame seed oil
Toppings and serving suggestions
squeeze of lime
sliced scallions or green onions
1. Heat a large wok or pot over medium heat. Add the sliced red peppers, mushrooms, and sprouts (which should still be wet from rinsing) and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add a splash more water if needed. Don’t turn the heat up too high, we want to preserve all of those powerful nutrients!
2. Add in the garlic and ginger and saute for about one more minute. Then, add the water, tahini, and soy sauce (really stir in the tahini to ensure it gets incorporated into the soup). Add optional tofu, lemongrass or sesame oil here. Bring the liquid to barely a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro or sprinkle it on top before serving.
3. Top as desired and enjoy!