Time to Get Your Detox On!
And, warm your soul and your tummy at the same time.
It was a particularly cold day in Denver yesterday and I just couldn’t think of a better way to warm up than a nice big bowl of soup. Now, my usual go-to soup is something similar to a minestrone, but I felt like I just wanted something different this time.
A quick glance in my fridge helped me produce a soup full of vegetables that would be great any day of the week with the added bonus of being a great detoxifier at the same time. BONUS!
So let’s talk for a minute about the stars of this amazing bowl of deliciousness.
I started with mirepoix, a fancy French word for celery, onions, and carrots. I diced all three and sautéed/ sweated them in a pot for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
Carrots are a great source of beta-carotene, a phytonutrient (plant chemical) that converts to Vitamin A, is anti-cancer, helps keep your eyes healthy and especially helps with night vision.
Celery is anti-inflammatory, especially for the digestive tract due to it being rich in pectins, it’s high in Vitamin C, phenolic compounds that act as antioxidants to protect all parts of our bodies from oxidative damage, and it’s a great source of Vitamin K which helps Vitamin D and Calcium to form strong bones.
Onions, leeks, and garlic are full of sulfur compounds (Allium) that are essential for good detoxification. This property also makes these foods anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and a great antioxidant! According to the World’s Healthiest Foods, the outer layers of an onion are where flavonoids are the most concentrated, so you definitely don’t want to overpeel your onions. You can take off the skin but try to leave as much of the fleshy outer layer on as possible. Flavonoids are a type of phytonutrient that gives food its color and protects us against inflammation and disease.
Broccoli is full of flavonoids responsible for its dark green color, sulfur compounds that assist in detoxification, Vitamin C (and pretty much every other vitamin too) which makes it anti-inflammatory.
Parsley is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A (health benefits explained above). It’s concentrated volatile oils make it a powerful antioxidant and chemoprotectant meaning it neutralizes chemicals that cause cancer (carcinogens) and has been shown to stop tumor formation.
Red cabbage, like broccoli, is another member of the cruciferous family. Much like broccoli, it is also full of vitamins, minerals, sulfur compounds, and phytonutrients! It’s chemoprotective (anticancer), anti-inflammatory, aids detoxification, helps in weight loss, is a digestive aid, prevents diabetes, and slows Alzheimer’s. Need more reasons to eat this vegetable? It also helps guard against osteoporosis and is one of the best foods to balance the zinc/ copper ratio in foods (important for anticancer).
Zucchini is high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and potassium. That makes it anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, it helps with symptoms of asthma, cardiovascular disease, and helps with weight loss. Need I say more?
Bay leaf is an herb added to foods to enhance flavor. It’s healthy benefits are numerous including: anticancer, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, digestive aid, it helps with anxiety and diabetes.
Did I mention all of these foods are high in fiber? That thing that keeps you regular, totes away excess cholesterol, and reduces blood pressure.
It’s a symphony!
So here’s the recipe…
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2-3 stalks celery, chopped
- 3-4 carrots, chopped
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 inch nub of ginger, peeled and sliced or diced
- 1 leek, sliced
- 2 small zucchini, diced
- 2-3 oz red cabbage, sliced
- 1 ½ cups broccoli florets
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cups (32 oz) vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- parsley sprigs (optional) as garnish
- Heat olive oil in soup pot for one minute then sauté onion, celery, and carrots until soft (about 3-5 minutes).
- Add the garlic, ginger, and leek and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add zucchini, cabbage, broccoli, parsley, and vegetable broth and give it a good stir. Then add bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Allow to cook for 30 minutes.
- Enjoy whole or puree in batches if you have a small blender.
- Adjust the seasoning.
- Garnish with parsley, if desired.