Writing up this detox broccoli soup recipe got me thinking... Have y'all heard of "souping"? It's the same idea as juicing but instead of replacing meals with juice you swap in soup. It's gained quite a bit of popularity over the last few years as a detoxifying alternative to juicing that is a bit more satisfying and not quite as intense.
You don't have to do a full on soup cleanse though to see and feel the benefits of adding more soups to your weekly meals.
Soups, especially blended soups like this detox broccoli soup, are much easier to digest than, say, a protein and two sides. Just the process of cooking foods together in a large pot at a low temperate over a long period of time does a good portion of body's digestive work. The lower and slower the better to break down the proteins in the foods, especially meats. If you've tried my slow cooker whole chicken then you know what I mean!
Something magical happens when foods are cooked together this way. They break down and come together all at the same time to form something that's greater than the sum of its parts. Think about the best chicken soup you've ever had, or your favorite chili or stew. It has a certain X factor that satisfies more than your physical hunger, a good soup can feed your soul.
Soups are deeply nourishing, but at the same time, because much of the digestive work is done for you (read: chewing), soups can really help give your digestive system a much needed break from time to time.
The Benefits of Giving Your Digestive System a Break
Just like there are only so many hours in a day, our bodies only have so much energy to accomplish all the tasks it needs to in a 24-hour period. Think of it like your house to do list. There are the routine maintenance tasks like tidying up, washing dishes, taking out the trash. Then there are the "broken door knobs" of the house - the little things that need to be fixed but they're at the bottom of your list. You'll get around to them when you have time.... but they seem to never get done.
The work your body has to do every day is like a long to do list. Digestion is one of those routine maintenance tasks your body has to do daily otherwise food and waste would pile up just like dishes in your sink. It's a task that takes up a lot of your body's energy, especially when your digestive system is over taxed. Say you throw a party (ie. eat like it's a party) and there's A LOT of dishes sitting in the sink. That load can put a major burden on your body's resources.
What if your body didn't have to do the dishes every day, though? What if you simplified things, outsourced your meals for the week and didn't have any dishes to do at all?
Maybe then there'd be some time and energy left to get to that door knob...
That's what happens in a detox or a cleanse. With a lot less daily clean up going on, your bod can get to those other tasks further down it's to-do list - things like healing and reducing inflammation that can be causing anything from allergies, to brain fog, to muscle pain and so on. It's why these diets can be so powerfully healing and energizing too, with less to do, there's more energy left for you.
Detox without the "Detox"
Trouble is committing to a full on liquid detox can be pretty daunting and isn't for everyone. I'll tell you, I'm a health coach and I've never done a "juice cleanse."
What I do is I use juices, smoothies and soups strategically in my everyday life diet to help me maintain a healthy balance and when I feel like my system needs a little R&R.
Maybe I'm coming off a weekend of parties where I overindulged, or I ate a bigger lunch than usual, that's when I want something like this detox broccoli soup.
This is what I mean when I say you don't have to go on a full on "souping" diet, to reap the benefits of giving your digestive system a night off.
Even just adding this detox broccoli soup or another soup or two to your cooking repertoire can be enough to give your digestive system the break it needs to catch up, let your body devote a little more energy to other "house cleaning" tasks, and save a little more energy for you!
What Cooking Repertoire?
If that last part left you asking "what cooking repertoire?" then we should talk.
I offer full weekly meal plans complete with recipes, shopping lists and instructions that tell you exactly what to do so you can eat the healthiest, most deliciously satisfying food every night, that you made all yourself, in minutes.
It will completely change the way you look at dinner....
Stop the "what's for dinner?" stress... email me.
Detox Broccoli Soup
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head broccoli, cut into crowns
1 head cauliflower, cut into crowns
4-6 cups vegetable broth
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add broccoli and cauliflower and cook 5 minutes until broccoli turns bright green.
Add broth to cover veggies and bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15-20 minutes. Blend (very carefully) in a high speed blender or with an immersion blender. If using a blender, see below for important safety instructions...
How to Blend Hot Foods Safely
Blending hot foods like this detox broccoli soup heats the air inside the blender as well creating pressure that can blow the lid right off and BOOM soup is everywhere. This can also be quite dangerous and cause severe burns, plus a huge mess.
Follow these tips every time you blend something hot to prevent injuries and messes.
1. Fill blender mo more than one-third to one-half full. Filling the jar more than halfway can cause too much steam to build up and that's when accidents happen.
2. Remove the feeder cap (the piece in the center) on the blender lid.
3. Place the lid (minus the feeder cap) securely on the blender.
4. Cover the lid with a clean kitchen towel, folded so it's just slightly larger than the lid.
This allows the hot steam to escape through the feeder cap hole and edges of the towel) so pressure doesn't build.
5. Hold the lid to keep it secure and begin blending at the lowest speed. From there you can increase the speed gradually as needed.
Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps people take charge of their health and to start listening to themselves over the latest diet trend to optimize their own wellness, happiness and potential. Her family-friendly meal plans help parents take charge in the kitchen, too. This leads to more vegetables, less junk, and happier, healthier kids and parents. Megan shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.