After the holiday revelries, many people feel like they need a “detox” once the New Year arrives…
Yet, did you know that the body detoxes every day? We encourage this natural process by consuming traditional foods that nourish the liver, kidneys, skin, and lymphatic system. These organs and systems all play their part in ridding the body of toxins. If we support them, we support our natural detoxification pathways.
One of the easiest ways to promote detoxing with traditional foods? By making a flavorful, savory, liver-nourishing soup!
Detoxing With Traditional Foods: How To Build A Nourishing Detox Soup
To build a soup that supports your body’s natural detox process, we must start with bone broth, then add nourishing vegetables, herbs, and spices. Let’s discuss each of these components, one-by-one, in more detail…
Step #1: The Bone Broth Foundation
Every nourishing soup begins with bone broth. Any bone broth can be used (even fish!), yet chicken broth is probably the most common. Whatever you choose, it will be rich in amino acids, including collagen which heals your gut and is essential for healthy skin (source).
Furthermore, your kidneys require plenty of fluids (as well as minerals — also present in bone broth) to flush toxins out of the body. Strong kidneys ease some of the burden on your liver, allowing it to work more efficiently as well.
Learn how to make bone broth here. If you’re a member of Traditional Cooking School, see Lesson 8 of the Pressure Cooking I eCourse to learn how to make bone broth in your Instant Pot (it takes only an hour!).
Step #2: Veggies That Support Detox
Now that you have your bone broth base, it’s time to choose veggies! Specifically, veggies that support your body’s natural detoxification, such as…
- garlic — rich in sulfur, which activates liver enzymes and helps flush out toxins; contains allicin and selenium which support liver cleansing (source)
- onions — also rich in sulfur, which activates liver enzymes and helps flush out toxins; packed with quercetin, an antioxidant with many benefits that may help neutralize free radical damage in the body (source and source)
- leafy greens such as kale, spinach, chard, and dandelion greens — contain plant chlorophyll which binds to and neutralizes environmental toxins such as heavy metals and chemicals, and also increases bile production (source)
- carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and other orange veggies — packed with beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant which reduces oxidative stress on your detox organs; source of glutathione, another antioxidant which whisks toxins away to bile and stool (source and source)
- cruciferous veggies such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy — contain isothiocyanates (ICTs) which help flush toxins out of the body; abundant in sulfur and glucosinulate which encourage liver to release enzymes (source)
- tomatoes — rich in glutathione and lycopene, both antioxidants that help fight free radical damage in the body (source)
- asparagus — acts as a diuretic to help kidneys flush toxins out of the body (source)
When adding vegetables to your soup, first add the hard vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes), then any delicate veggies (leafy greens) just a few minutes prior to serving.
Step #3: Herbs, Spices, & Seasonings
We mustn’t forget our spice cabinets! Many herbs contain nutrients that not only elevate the flavor of your soup, but the nutrition (and healthy detox support) as well. These include…
- sea salt — for trace minerals
- turmeric — anti-inflammatory; supports bile production (source and source)
- black pepper — should be used in conjunction with turmeric to increase bioavailability; contains piperine which helps the body absorb beta-carotene, selenium, and B vitamins (source)
- ginger — contains gingerols, powerful antioxidants; helps with proper digestion and metabolism of food (source)
- parsley — rich in Vitamin K1 and chlorophyll (source)
- thyme — contains lutein and zeaxanthin which help neutralize free radicals (source)
- rosemary — contains an impressive array of nutrients, including Vitamins C and B as well as minerals such as copper, iron, and manganese (source)
Step #4: Other Surprising Ingredients If You Want To Get Creative
If you’re crunched for time, the above three steps will produce a tasty and nutritious soup. If you’d like to think outside the box, however, try some of these ingredients!
- green tea — loaded with catechins to improve liver function (source)
- dandelion root tea — acts as a diuretic (helping to cleanse kidneys) and may improve liver function (source)
- stinging nettle (either as a tea, dried, or freshly foraged) — contains chlorophyll (source)
Ready To Begin Detoxing With Traditional Foods?
Let’s recap — to make a traditional foods detox soup, start with nutrient-rich bone broth, then choose your favorite veggies. Season with sea salt, herbs, and spices, then let it simmer.
When you can’t take the mouth-watering aroma any longer (and, of course, the veggies are cooked), it’s done! Serve up a big bowl with buttered sourdough bread and a salad. Believe me, detoxing never tasted so good!
Here’s a detox soup that I love to make, either just for fun or when there’s illness in the house.
Nourishing Soup For Gentle, Full-Body Cleansing
Need a cleanse after the holidays? Learn about detoxing with traditional foods, like a nourishing soup for gut health, liver support, and skin cleansing.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
- 1 onion diced
- 1/2 cup carrots sliced
- 1/2 cup celery sliced
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic fresh, minced or pressed
- 1 quart bone broth
- 2 cups pastured chicken cooked and diced
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
- sea salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley minced
- 1 cup kale fresh, torn into bite-sized pieces (more if desired)
- 1 cup green tea brewed (optional, or substitute a mild-flavored herbal tea if desired)
In a large saucepan or soup pot, melt the fat over medium heat.
Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté until the onions begin to turn translucent.
Add the minced garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes longer.
Add the bone broth, chicken, and spices.
Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender.
Right before serving, add parsley and kale. Cover the pot and let sit for a few minutes.
Remove the lid and stir in the green tea. Serve and enjoy!
- You'll love this easy, flavorful, savory, liver-nourishing soup!
For more information on detoxing with traditional foods, check out these posts:
- Reconsidering the “Cleanse”: 7 Easy Ways to Support Daily Detox
- Reconsidering the “Cleanse”: Why Kits, Powders, Fasts, & Pills May Not Be for You
- Detoxifying Herbal Gelatin Gummies (THM-friendly!)
How do you promote detoxing with traditional foods? Do you ever focus on supporting your body’s natural detox processes after the holidays?
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Hi! I wanted to detox my liver I’m the new year but discovered I was pregnant. Is it safe to detox while pregnant? I heard that it wasn’t when nursing because toxins release in the baby’s milk. But what about when pregnant?
Celery gives me terrible indigestion. I can eat foods that have celery cooked in them as long as I don’t eat the actual celery. I am wondering how much of the nutrition actually cooks into the liquid of the soup, ie: how much nutrition will I get, if any, if I cook then remove the pieces of celery? Thanks for the help.
Very good this article, I will share
Awesome! My dad created his own vegetable soup recipe and gave me a copy of it before he passed away…in his own hand writing. Super special!! But many of the ingredients you have listed are in his recipe. Interesting how those “good ‘ole boys” from the early 20th Century just KNEW how to do things correctly!! No science behind it to support their ideas, they just knew.
Made it today. AWE & SOME!!!
dottie m kenedy says
How often can i eat this soup,(once a day, 3 meals a day etc)? thanking you for your reply.