Recipe: Detoxifying Chicken and Vegetable Soup

This recipe is the perfect answer to cold winter nights.

Chicken soup

Photo by Emily McLaughlin

Looking for a hearty, healthy soup to add to your meal rotation? This detoxifying chicken and vegetable soup is perfect for those cold Boston nights. And don’t fret, vegetarians. Chickpeas work just as well as chicken.

Before you start cooking: Do you have a slow cooker? If so, skip to the end of the directions. If you’re without, proceed to the first set of instructions.

Serves 4-6

  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 inch piece of turmeric root, minced*
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 1 can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 head kale, chopped (or 16-ounce bag chopped kale)
  • Juice of 2 lemons**

*No turmeric root? Use 1 Tbsp turmeric powder.

**Add lemon juice just before serving. If preparing in advance, add the lemon juice before you eat each serving.


  1. Do your prep work. Peel and dice the onion, then peel and mince the garlic and turmeric. Wash and chop all of the veggies.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the olive or avocado oil over medium-high heat. Add your chicken breast and sear each side for two to three minutes.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, and turmeric. Cook until the onion becomes translucent, roughly two to three minutes.
  4. Toss in the rest of the veggies, the entire can of tomatoes (do not drain), and the chicken broth. If the broth doesn’t cover the ingredients, add water until they are just covered. Finally, add the salt, pepper, and cumin. Stir.
  5. Bring the soup to a boil and cover. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Using two forks, shred the chicken. Add the chopped kale. Let the soup simmer for another five minutes.
  7. Before serving, add the lemon juice. If you’d like, serve with bread, tortilla chips, brown rice, or quinoa.

Slow cooker directions: Follow steps one through three, using a large frying pan instead of a soup pot. You want the chicken to have a nice sear and the onion and garlic to be aromatic. Add all the ingredients (except the kale and lemon) to the slow cooker. Give it a stir, then cook on high for three to four hours, or on low for seven to eight hours. When cooking is complete, shred the chicken with two forks and stir in the chopped kale until it wilts. Add the lemon juice and serve.