Chef Lizette Marx, a Holistic Chef Instructor for our Holistic Chef Online Culinary Program kicks off the New Year with a green, clean, anti-inflammatory soup recipe that is guaranteed to warm you up this Winter.
Even if you’re not into the idea of devoting to a detox or committing to a cleanse, this soup is flat out soothing and nourishing.
Inspired by Dr. Bieler’s detox broth, this soup includes all the alkalizing vegetables and fiber of the original recipe, but is enhanced with healing flavors and delicious mineral-rich superfoods.
We’re sure your body will be thanking you for it well after your taste buds have enjoyed the goodness of Eat Your Greens and Herbs Soup.
Perhaps Cleansing isn’t a Bad Idea
Lately, I’ve noticed a little resistance to typical New Year goals like detoxing from holiday excess, making January thru February “Dry-uary” months, starting a new exercise program, or joining a gym. I get it, going on a program, especially during these times when restrictions and rules are all around us, seems hugely unappealing but if last year included baking along with the British Bake Off, or rekindling that sourdough starter and baking beautiful, bodacious no-knead loaves and telling yourself, “Wheat is the staff of life!” while ignoring your scratchy throat, sniffles, and bloated belly, perhaps cleansing isn’t a bad idea.
No worries if you’re still not convinced. I wasn’t either, especially when I recall the last time we went on a serious 3-week cleanse of only eating raw, or steamed non-starchy vegetables, two chalky protein smoothies per day that still make me gag when I think of them, vegetable broth, herbal tea, and heaps of supplements. We certainly detoxed but we suffered through it plenty.
Strict Cleanses Induce Out-of-Control Food Fantasies
I remember while sipping our unseasoned Swiss Chard and mushroom soup, we talked about all the things we couldn’t have like creamy polenta and meatballs, turkey pozole, a really good burrito with hot sauce and even foods we would never eat, like fried Spam and eggs or mac n’ cheese from the box. Can you say desperate? The good thing is after we were done, we really did feel amazing. It was just a wee bit strict and punishing.
Another cleanse I tried was all green juice. This was not a good idea in January. I nearly froze.
The Right Cleanse is a Positive Experience
The takeaway here after years of going on cleanses, cheffing at Bauman College’s Vitality Retreats, and leading detox groups, is that the programs that were the most rejuvenating and healing did not sacrifice flavor or a sense of abundance, even when the menu was lean and simple.
Dr. Bieler’s Soup Legacy Revisited
The soup recipe I’m about to introduce is also from a cleansing program but I want to make it clear that you don’t even need to be on a detox diet or other “plan” to enjoy it. We call this soup, Eat Your Greens and Herbs and it is the result of a batch of Bieler Broth we morphed. The original recipe, was developed by Dr. Henry G. Bieler, a pioneer in alternative medicine from the 1930s to 1970s, who believed that poor diet and lifestyle were the primary cause of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
His food and herbs first methods were controversial at the time but his healing diet programs were sought after by many including celebrities like Gloria Swanson, Lucille Ball, Greta Garbo, and Anthony Quinn. He even published a book in 1965, Food is Your Best Medicine, that is still available to this day.
Bieler’s famous broth is essentially celery, green beans, zucchini, and parsley cooked and blended to a purée. No salt or fat is added and while it is certainly green and clean, the flavor is weak and deeply bland. Bieler swore by his broth as a remedy for just about everything and many of his celebrity clients would agree that subsisting on this broth for a week or more, helped them lose weight and feel better.
This broth blend is indeed rich in healthy sources of potassium, sodium, minerals, and fiber. You can also skip the fiber by straining out the solids and sip the watery broth but I highly recommend the roughage as it’s good for promoting healthy digestion and gets you regular in no time if you know what I mean.
Turning Up the Flavor
After making the classic Bieler, my husband Geoff and I couldn’t leave it alone. What if we sauté the vegetables in a healthy, clean oil like olive oil or coconut oil? If we’re going to do that, then you have to add onions, and if you’re going to add onions why not some other healing flavors like garlic, ginger, turmeric, and of course, sea salt and pepper. We kept tinkering and adjusting and well Dr. Bieler, this tangent makes a better tasting soup while still staying green, clean, and anti-inflammatory. The best part is you can make this soup and enjoy it just for its deliciousness alone. Or, you can make a big batch and savor it all week long and make it part of warming and nourishing cleanse.
Either way, this soup is a wonderful way to reset and retune your palate without omitting the all-important criteria for making healthy foods delicious. Flavor!
Learn more about Chef Lizette by visiting our faculty page. You can also find more recipes from Chef Lizette on her website.
Eat Your Greens and Herbs Soup
Yield: 2 Quarts | Prep Time: 15 Min | Cook Time: 35 Min
Inspired by Dr. Bieler’s detox broth, this soup includes all the alkalizing vegetables and fiber of the original but is enhanced with healing flavors and delicious mineral-rich superfoods. Instead of just a simple pureed soup made from celery, zucchini, parsley, and green beans, we’ve added sautéed onions, garlic, fennel, cumin, coriander seeds, fresh turmeric, ginger, sea salt, and kombu.
The result is a soothing and delicious soup that just so happens to be perfect for a cold-weather cleanse should you choose to take it there! As you can see in the photo, we believe in making a feast for the eyes. Here it is garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds, fresh turmeric slivers, and a swirly drizzle of coconut milk.
- 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil or ghee
- 1 large onion, large dice
- 3 large cloves of garlic
- 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric, diced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, diced
- 4 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 lb green beans, chopped
- 4 zucchinis, large dice
- 8 cups filtered water, vegetable stock, or mineral broth
- 3-inch strip of kombu
- 3 cups of chopped herbs of choice (parsley, basil, cilantro, dill)*
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
*Feel free to use a combination of herbs listed or some other soft, fresh herbs such as chervil, tarragon, or mint.
- 1 Tablespoon toasted pepitas (per serving)
- 1 Tablespoon full-fat coconut milk (per serving)
- In a large stockpot, melt coconut oil or ghee over low heat.
- Add onion, garlic, turmeric, ginger, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes until onions and celery are translucent.
- Add spices, a pinch of salt, and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes until aromatic.
- Stir in green beans, zucchini, and then add water or stock and kombu. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are tender.
- Add chopped herbs and allow to wilt.
- Remove soup from heat and purée using an immersion blender or for an extra smooth and creamy soup, blend in a high-speed blender. Be sure to place a thick folded kitchen towel over the blender top as you purée in case the hot soup bubbles up.
- This soup can be enjoyed as is or garnished with toasted pepitas and a drizzle of coconut milk if desired.
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