If your sluggish system needs a warmer kind of TLC than green juice this winter (hey, it happens), it’s time to try a soup cleanse, say Angela Blatteis and Vivienne Vella. The founders of the first soup-cleanse-only shop in Los Angeles, Soupure, are at the forefront of the souping movement. In January, they went national, shipping their popular nutrient-rich soup cleanses around the country, and releasing their first book, The Soup Cleanse.
Why soup? The duo like its fiber, which recent studies show is key to gut health (and may play a role in cancer prevention), and which juicing typically removes. The fiber content in soups helps prevent the blood sugar spikes you get with juicing, say Blatteis and Vella, who partnered with chefs and nutritionists to come up with The Soup Cleanse recipes.
So you’re less likely to throw your metabolism out of whack (which can lead to weight gain) or inspire the need to binge, the founders point out, because, you’re getting massive clown-car levels of veggies in each sip.
“If you took all of the ingredients in one of our cleanses and put them on a plate in whole food form, it would be difficult to finish them all. Souping offers a way to pack in all that nutrition your body needs in a more efficient way,” say Blatteis and Vella.
In fact, The Soup Cleanse recipes are quite filling for, well, a cleanse (while being free of dairy, gluten, processed soy, and refined sugars)—think Pumpkin Miso, Creamy Carrot Ginger, and Spring Pea.
Read on as Blatteis and Vella share four healthy, cleansing soups to ladle into your bowl ASAP. —Larkin Clark
(Photo: Victor Boghossian Photography. Recipes and photos excerpted from the book The Soup Cleanse by Angela Blatteis and Vivienne Vella. Copyright © 2015 by Angela Blatteis and Vivienne Vella. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.)
“Carrots get a bad reputation because of their high sugar content,” explain Blatteis and Vella, who like them for their falcarinol (linked to lowering cancer risk). “Carrots may also help make your skin glow with high levels of beta-carotene are good for your vision.”
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper, plus more to taste
10 large organic carrots, cut into ¼- inch pieces
6 cups chicken broth or roasted vegetable broth (low-sodium, MSG-free)
1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
Salt, to taste
Heat a large sauté pan or stockpot over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil dances, add the onions, reduce the heat to low, and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the onions are lightly colored and very tender. Stir in the pepper.
Add the carrots and chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the ginger. Cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes so the carrots are very tender.
Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the juice, and blend until completely smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Return the soup to the pot if you’d like to warm it slightly before eating it right away, or pour it into a glass container and store in the refrigerator for up to three days. Makes 6 servings. Cleanse serving size: 12 ounces.
(Photo: Victor Boghossian)
“Barley’s enormous dose of fiber is amazing for the digestive tract, sweeping out any unwanted visitors and feeding the friendly bacteria in the gut,” say Blatteis and Vella, who are sharing this recipe exclusively with Well+Good readers (lucky us!). Other barley benefits include lower cholesterol and more stable blood sugar, they say. But if barley’s not your thing, you can use 1 cup of cooked brown rice in its place.
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
3 pounds beef shanks
Salt and pepper, to taste
6 cups beef bone broth (low-sodium, MSG-free)
2 bay leaves
1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with string
1 (14‑ounce) BPA-free can or Tetra Pak whole tomatoes with juice
1½ cups barley, or 1 cup cooked brown rice
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil dances, add the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and add to a bowl. Set aside.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan over medium-high heat. Season the shanks with salt and pepper and place in the pan. Brown on each side for 5 minutes. Remove the shanks to the same bowl as the vegetables.
Add 1 cup broth to the pan to loosen the browned bits on the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon or whisk. Pour in the bowl of vegetables and beef, along with the bay leaves, thyme, remaining broth, and can of tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 1½ hours.
Remove the shanks from the soup and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
If using barley, add it to the soup, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the barley is tender but not mushy.
Remove any excess fat from the beef with your fingers and pull apart in smaller bite-sized pieces. Then return the beef pieces to the pot while the barley cooks. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If using brown rice instead, add it to the pot after the soup has cooked for 2 hours and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes.
Note that the barley will absorb all the liquid if the soup isn’t consumed immediately. If making this in advance to serve later, add additional broth when reheating. Makes 8 to 10 servings.
(Photo: Victor Boghossian)
“If you like traditional pea soup, you’ll love how yummy this vegan, hambone-free version is,” Blatteis and Vella say. “[It is] rich in phytonutrients… anti-inflammatory benefits, help regulate blood sugar, and are very high in fiber, and omegas 3 and 6. You’ll need extra time to soak the peas before you prepare this soup, but the advance planning is well worth it.”
2 cups dried green split peas
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth (low-sodium, MSG-free, gluten-free)
½ pound carrots (about 2 large), roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
¾ tsp dried oregano
5 leaves fresh basil
½ tsp cumin
¾ tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives, for garnish
Cover the peas in cold water and soak for 4 hours, then drain and rinse. In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat the olive oil over low heat until it dances and add the onions. Sauté for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
Add the vegetable broth, peas, carrots, celery, oregano, basil, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 50 minutes, making sure the mixture stays at a simmer.
Pour all ingredients into a blender and puree until thoroughly blended. Add water or more broth to thin out if desired. Garnish with chives and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Cleanse serving size: 8 ounces (lunch) or 12 ounces (dinner).
(Photo: Victor Boghossian)
“Miso, kombu, and shiitake mushrooms have been used as traditional remedies for centuries thanks to their ability to [help] fight disease and infection,” explain Blatteis and Vella. “Teamed up with fiber-full kabocha pumpkin and inflammation-fighting ginger root,” it makes for serious wellness sipping.
3 cups peeled and sliced kabocha pumpkin (from 1 medium pumpkin)
1 (2‑to 4-inch) piece of kombu
½ cup shiitake mushroom caps, cut into ½-inch slices
3 tsp low-sodium tamari
1 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp miso paste, preferably white or yellow
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wrap the pumpkin in foil and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Be careful not to burn. Set aside.
Make kombu broth by adding 3½ cups water to a small saucepan and heating it over medium-low heat. When it comes to a gentle simmer, add the kombu.
Allow the broth to simmer gently for 1 hour. Remove from heat and strain out the kombu into a measuring cup. If any water has evaporated, add more so there are 3½ cups. Set aside.
Add the shiitake mushrooms to a saucepan with the tamari and ¼ cup water and cook over medium-low heat (do not boil) for 1 hour. Add more water if necessary to keep the mushrooms from burning. Set aside.
Combine the pumpkin, kombu water, ginger, coconut sugar, and miso paste in a blender and blend over high speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Fold in the cooled mushrooms. Eat immediately or pour into a glass container, cool, and refrigerate. Makes 6 servings. Cleanse serving size: 16 ounces.
If you’re already mentally getting your Thermos out of the closet and penciling in “hot soup” on your lunch planner from now til forever, try these superfood soups you can make in 30 minutes or less and this immune-boosting Smoky Broccoli Soup for cold winter days.
(Photo: Victor Boghossian)