Broccoli Soup + a detox

Oh my gosh so how annoying are those detox/juice-cleansing/January-gymfomaniacs right now?? It’s nearing the end of January though, so although we might be in the thick of the health-obsessed frenzy right now, the end is in sight, I’m sure.

Just as I’m about to jump on the bandwagon. Don’t hate me when I say I’m going on a cleanse! I’m actually so excited for it. I got back from the gym on Sunday night around 5pm and spent the next 4 or 5 hours listening to music, catching up on some shows and cooking away, prepping for a week of wholesome, detoxifying food.

Broccoli Soup

Maybe you’ve sensed the shift from layer cakes to raw date newtons. I’ve been trying to eat clean by staying away from sugar and eating lots of soups, but when Sarah B. of My New Roots mentioned the detox plan she’d written up for Whole Living, I was all over it!

Broccoli Soup

It’s not exactly the traditional detox or cleanse that you might imagine, but it’s something I can totally get behind: fruit, vegetable, lentil, nut and seed-based eating for a week, then a working in of other foods (gluten-free grains, legumes, fish). I’ve based my plan so far off the online slideshows, but I’m planning on going out and finding the magazine today.

Why am I doing this?

  • Sugar. I really want to kick my addiction to sugar. I don’t want a life controlled by cravings. Or diabetes.
  • Challenge. I want to see if I can really, actually eat clean with no cheating for three weeks.
  • Body. I want to feel better about myself. And I want my thighs to stop rubbing together please and thank you.
  • Science. I want to figure out how different foods make my body feel. After drinking breakfast smoothies for a week, what will it feel like to eat pancakes and quinoa porridge?
  • That’s mostly it. Also, Hi, my name is Erika and I love to bake cook. For no reason. But especially when there’s a reason.

You should totally join. Today is my day two.

Yesterday was an orange-berry smoothie for breakfast, lentil salad for lunch, and creamy broccoli soup for dinner.


So ALSO things have been a little slow around here lately. That’s because I’ve been stockpiling recipes to give you while I’m away doing my wholesome, wholesome cleanse—no pancakes allowed (until week two, at least, eee!), but stick around, because I have a very special recipe to show you this coming Friday. It may be one of my favorite. Pancakes. Ever. And you know I’m serious when I separate words with.periods. And I’ll be delivering detox updates, whoopee.

For now, here’s a glimpse at the type of thing I was detoxing with before I went down the real detox path.

And I’m not kidding–you should do it too! I’d love you forever. Or at least tell me: what do you eat when you’re being healthy? Any go-to meals?

Broccoli Soup


This soup is very similar to this old recipe of mine. Why make this? It’s so simple—THE simplest of all soups if you have a blender. It doesn’t require the building of a flavor base with sautéed garlic or onion which is great if you hate both (my sister) or are in a rush to eat and don’t care either way (me). Just toss the broccoli in liquid, let it cook until tender, then puree with a bit of soy sauce for umami. I like to stretch out my vegetable broth with lots of water, but the more stock you use, the more flavorful your soup will be (though  make sure you add at least a cup or two of water if your stock is not low-sodium).

This soup is made by the toppings. Fluffed quinoa and a stick of imitation crab are great protein sources and a sprinkle of cheese adds fantastic flavor.

Simple Broccoli Soup
Basically a riff on this

1.5 cups good-tasting vegetable stock
3-4 cups water
1 large or 2 small heads broccoli (about 8-10 cups), washed and chopped into florets
1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional)
salt and pepper

½ cup quinoa, rinsed
imitation crab
grated parmesan cheese

If using quinoa: add 1 cup of water, quinoa and dash of salt to a small pot, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is translucent. If quinoa is not translucent, add more water and continue to simmer until you can see rings separating from the kernels.

For the soup: Set the broccoli, stock and water in a medium pot, covered over high heat until it comes to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, uncovered, until broccoli is easily pierced by a fork. Reduce heat to low and stir in the soy sauce. Transfer soup to a blender and puree to desired smoothness (I did this in about three trips to the blender). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add a scoop of quinoa, crab, corn and sprinkle with cheese.

34 responses to “Broccoli Soup + a detox

    • YES. I definitely recommend, especially if you have time on hand to do the food prep. I feel amazing and haven’t had the bad bloated feeling (as opposed to practically bursting with water)/a food hangover since I started! I really love it because it gives you structure (which I’ve found I do best with) in terms of what to eat every day (although you still have options) and there’s so much variety from week to week that you can figure out what works best for you! Like today was my first day of week 2, where you switch from smoothie breakfasts to a lot of grain-based breakfasts (quinoa porridge, banana oat pancakes, etc.). Even though they were about the same calorie make up, I felt way hungrier after eating today’s breakfast than all last week, when smoothies kept me full almost until lunch. I would never have guessed! I always like chewing something in the morning, but turns out smoothies keep me fuller! The ONLY downside I would say is that its required quite a bit of time to shop and prep all the food, but I think the first week requires the most work (the cleansing broth took me awhile) and it gets better from there 🙂 Oh, and not being able to eat out/go out if you stick strictly to the detox isn’t the most fun, but I think you can manage to find something on menus if you’re careful. I REALLY REALLY recommend it! I’ve never done a detox before (and never thought I could!), but I am just loving this one. (Plus, I’ve dropped 4 lbs. so far which could be water weight, but it looks like I’m on the right track!)

      • That was so long I’m not sure if its even readable. Let me know if you have any questions at all! I’m really excited about this in case you can’t tell 🙂

  1. I love a good broccoli soup and I have been craving soup all day. Detox for me! Looks delicious 🙂

  2. I would love to try a detox! I’ve noticed that my addiction to sugar has gotten worse since starting my blog. But if I’m making desserts, I can’t NOT eat them, right? Oh, dilemmas…
    Good luck with your detox. This soup looks really good!

    • Omg, SAME HERE. That’s partly why I’m doing it–I feel like I got into such a bad habit of eating (sometimes a lot of) whatever I make! Which is a lot of stuff! And yes, if you make them, you can’t NOT eat them! I try to give stuff away but sometimes it’s so haaard.

      Thank you! I will let you know how it goes! (I highly recommend it so far)

  3. The soup looks yummy and so simple Erika!! I love broccoli! I can’t wait for the pancakes on Friday, lol! Good for you to working at the heathier way, you body and mind will thank you and trust me, healthy eating is every bit as delicious. I refuse to feel like I’m being deprived. I love sweets just like anybody, that’s why i work so hard at my recipes. Everything we eat is delicious and I’m not missing out! Come on Friday! 🙂

    • Thanks Brandi! And that’s such a good way to think about healthy eating–I think I’m slowly adopting that mindset because I get to eat such delicious, veggie-packed meals and I can get my sweet fixes through huge smoothies and fruit/nut balls, so I almost don’t feel deprived at all! Omgosh I’m so excited to share the pancakes too. And they’re vegan!

  4. Pingback: A Moving Announcement! | The Pancake Princess and the Protein Prince·

    • Um, I don’t think you need one based on how healthily you eat, Ms. broiled-salmon-kimchi-vegetable-filled-bibimbap-eating Squish Monster! (But if you do want to do one, I highly recommend this one by Whole Living! You get to eat real food and feel so good!)

  5. Wow – you are such an inspiration. Maybe I should still bake, but palm them off to work mates, friends, family, and try a moderately healthier version of a diet…

    You do make me want to try and be better than I am!! But I am so weak willed.

    I think I will have to take baby steps for this one, and just keep ready to see how your doing! Good luck and hope it goes well!! x

    • Girl, if I can do it, you can DEFINITELY do it. And I would love to deliver updates every day on my progress–I was thinking about doing it on my facebook page so that I don’t barrage everyone with blog posts here, but I’m kind of self-conscious about some people seeing it…what do you think?

      Thank you SO much for your sweet comment!! And I just said it but I’ll say it again–your blog looks AMAZING!!

  6. I’m with you…the January health cleanse thing is annoying, but no better time of year to try and start things off fresh! Some canneloni beans pureed would also be great in this I bet. Love it!

    • That’s a fantastic idea–it would make the soup so thick and beans would make another great source of protein and fiber! Ugh, yes I hate jumping on the bandwagon like so many other people, but I really do feel so much better!! And there’s something about doing it now, rather than in, say, July that makes me want to stick with it 🙂

  7. Oh, Erika – you’re totally inspiring me to do something about my fatty, carb-filled, sugary diet. It’s hard because I’m an emotional eater – I eat when I’m bored, depressed, stressed… And it’s also hard when you’re cooking for two people – my husband would never go for food like this and I really don’t want to have to cook two meals: a normal one for him and a more healthful one for me. I guess it’s all about striking a balance right? Anyways, I’m totally rooting for you on this journey and can’t wait to hear more about your progress.

    • Nancy, you made my day (which seems to be a theme around here…)! I don’t think I’ve EVER inspired someone to do something about NOT eating sugar lol. And I totally understand the difficulty in cooking for two people–the rest of my family eats meat and so does my boyfriend. Although I guess I have it easier because if my bf doesn’t want to eat what I’m cooking–well, he has a freezer full of lean cuisines! Ha. But yes, balance! And thank you so much, I really appreciate your support as I battle my cravings for doughnuts and pancakes and basically everything ever.

    • Hah, thanks! I always thought if I could choose one or the other, I’d choose to crave salty over sweet. On the bright side, at least you’re not pouring what some people compare to drugs in your body! (sugar) 🙂

    • Right?? I could never do an all-liquid diet! So I was excited to see one that I could actually follow. Thanks so much, you are my best healthy supporter :))

  8. This sounds amazing – considered it pinned for my post-Paleo days!

    Look at you go with your detox! That’s awesome – I’m so excited to hear about your updates! I’m sure you can do it.

    P.S. You’ve totally got me intrigued about Friday’s post!

    • Yayy!! Well you can eat the basic soup on your paleo diet right? With a side of carcass? 🙂

      And thanks 🙂 I thought of you when I decided to talk about this on my blog. Ackk. We’ll see how it goes, it’s only day 1.5 and I feel like I’m bloating!

      And I am soooooooo excited about Friday’s post!!! I will have to live vicariously through my photos! And by then you will be able to make them in like six days!!

      • Haha, love your phrase, “side of carcass.” So true! I bet it’d be great with some leftover shredded beef or chicken or chopped up shrimp!

        Don’t worry – I think the first 7-10 days of any new diet change is the hardest. You’ve totally got this! Trust me, if I can do it, you can do it! 😉

        I know what you mean about living vicariously through photos. Every time I see a delicious dessert online I’m like, “mmmm!”

        • Okay, I trust you. Keep telling me that!! And seriously, I think I am going to have to cut down on my tastespotting addiction for the next few weeks because I want to eat EVERYTHING. Hahaa.

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