We're of the opinion that the holidays and overindulging more than usual go hand-in-hand. But by December 26, our food-coma-induced stupor has typically lifted, and we find ourselves searching for lighter fare. Detoxifying soups always fit the bill: They're flavorful, easy to prepare, and light.
For that reason, we scanned some of our favorite food blogs in search of the best nourishing soup recipes fit for the day after any big food-focused holiday. Packed with cleansing, anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric, ginger, celery, and more, the following 10 soups are just as detoxifying as they are delicious. Whip these up in your kitchen today for a post-holiday dinner that's as tasty as it is guilt free.
The Recipe: Turkey Soup by The Modern Proper
Why We Love It: Not only will this super-practical recipe utilize all of your leftover turkey, it's also packed with detoxifying ingredients like ginger, garlic, and bok choy (an excellent source of folate, beta carotene, and vitamins C and E). In the words of recipe creator Holly Erickson, this recipe is "rich, flavor-packed, and will keep things interesting at the dinner table until every last bit of turkey is gone."
Pro Tip: Keep your turkey in the fridge right up until you're ready to make the soup; separating the meat from the turkey is easier to do when the bird is chilled.
Why We Love It: This soup is about as healthy as you can get. It's packed with nutrient-dense vegetables, including kale, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, and leeks. The veggies are complemented by protein-rich lentils and detoxifying spices like garlic, ginger, and cayenne, which will help you "fight off winter colds and rev your metabolism," writes recipe creator Tieghan Gerard.
Pro Tip: You can use beans in lieu of the lentils.
If you want to go the extra mile, add sliced avocado on top. Avocados are rich in vitamins K, C, E, B5, and B6, not to mention folate and potassium.
Why We Love It: The First Mess is a health-conscious, plant-based food blog, which means that you can expect nutrient-dense, unprocessed ingredients in the blog's catalogue of healthy recipes. This soup is exhibit A. Though it looks creamy and indulgent, it actually consists of pureed fruits and vegetables, plus invigorating spices like cumin, coriander, and fresh ginger.
Pro Tip: Serve the soup hot with your choice of garnishes.
The Recipe: Ginger Carrot Soup by Foodie Crush
Why We Love It: In the words of recipe creator and Foodie Crush founder Heidi Larson, this soup will help you "achieve your health goals, no matter what they are." It's made with Greek yogurt instead of cream, plus beta carotene-rich carrots and antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory ginger.
Pro Tip: Instead of using a knife to mince the garlic, try a hand grater—it helps speed up the process.
The Recipe: Lemony Artichoke Soup by Gimme Some Oven
Why We Love It: Maybe it's in our heads, or maybe it's magic, but this soup is the kind of dish that makes us feel healthier after just one spoonful. Made with detoxifying ingredients like lemon juice (which is packed with vitamin C) and antioxidant- and fiber-rich artichokes, this tasty delicacy will do wonders for you if you're coming off of a holiday diet of pie, gravy, and buttery potatoes.
Pro Tip: For a delicate flavor, use plain jarred artichokes instead of those that have been marinated.
The Recipe: Butternut Squash and Apple Soup by Ina Garten
Why We Love It: The perfect conclusion to a crisp fall day, this detox soup by Ina Garten merges the sweetness of apples with the nutty flavor of butternut squash. The aforementioned harvest produce is simmered in a stockpot along with onions and curry powder until very soft, then blended to a thick, silky consistency.
Pro Tip: Processing the soup through a food mill will result in a velvety-smooth texture that you're unlikely to achieve via a food processor.
The Recipe: Creamy Beet Detox Soup by Hello Glow
Why We Love It: Because this raw detox soup is never heated, its wholesome ingredients aren't at risk of losing their potency through the cooking process. Better still, prepping the recipe couldn't be much simpler. Just toss an avocado, chopped beets and carrots, garlic, coconut water, and apple cider vinegar into a blender, then blend until smooth.
Pro Tip: Top this soup with a dusting of nutritional yeast for a dose of B vitamins and protein.
The Recipe: Green Detox Soup by Pickled Plum
Why We Love It: The emerald-green hue and complex flavors of this post-dinner soup suggest a labor-intensive dish, but the recipe comes together in just 15 minutes. Onions are sauteed in olive oil in a pan, then joined by spinach, watercress garlic, fresh ginger, turmeric, cumin, and water. After a quick whirr with a hand blender, the soup is ready to be spooned into a bowl and garnished with goji berries.
Pro Tip: Serve this vegan soup with lemon wedges and salt and pepper.
Why We Love It: Teeming with fresh vegetables and shredded chicken, this detox soup can be prepared on the stove or in a slow cooker, and it's easily adapted to vegan diners (just sub veggie stock and chickpeas for the chicken stock and chicken). Keeping things super simple, the soup only requires two spices (salt and pepper); it gets its flavor from canned tomatoes and the fact that the chicken is poached right in the broth.
Pro Tip: Use San Marzano brand tomatoes for the best flavor.
Why We Love It: Can a detox soup be warming and hearty? Absolutely—and this post-holiday dinner soup is proof. In this recipe, a medley of fresh veggies (cauliflower, carrots, red bell pepper, and kale) swims in a light yet satisfying broth that gets its distinctive yellow hue (and anti-inflammatory health benefits) from turmeric. Chickpeas provide a dose of plant-based protein.
Pro Tip: Chill the soup in the fridge for up to one week, or stow it in the freezer for up to two months.