Soup's On! Are Soup Cleanses the New Juice?

A new trend has emerged to take the place of juicing: the soup cleanse. Soup cleanses aim to keep you full all day without the energy spikes and valleys that often occur with juice cleanses.

Juice cleanses have taken a back seat to the next detox that’s emerged: soup cleanses. Instead of juicing, people are — you got it — souping. Soup is synonymous with comfort and nourishment, which is exactly what these “cleanses” aim to provide: a more satisfying experience that doesn’t leave users starved, tired or dying for solid food. While nutritionists do not recommend cleanses, they do recommend a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. And that is what these soups offer. Whether they're part of a detox program or not, soups can pack nutrition into the body. While homemade is the best variety, here are a few souping brands on the rise.

The brainchild of Nicole Chaszar, The Splendid Spoon aims to make it easier for people to eat their veggies. Every day, you consume five soups on either the one-, two- or three-day plan; there are two servings of vegetables in every bowlful. On average, a daily plan with The Splendid Spoon offers 715 calories and less than 2,200 milligrams of sodium (mostly from seasoning with sea salt). All soups are vegan and gluten-free, and some are available by the pint (which can be used as a lunch or dinner shortcut). Soups may be frozen for up to one month and eaten, when kept in the refrigerator, for up to one week.

Cost (does not include tax or shipping): $55 for a one-day plan; $92 for a two-day plan; or $138 for a three-day plan. Available via, Fresh Direct, Good Eggs and Farmigo.

Sample Soup: Sweet & Spicy Beet includes ark-violet pureed beets with a dash of horseradish and chia seeds for protein.

You’ll be slurping six soups per day when you’re on Real Food Works' soup cleanse. There's no need to guess which to eat first, as all soups are labeled with numbers indicating the order in which to consume them. Variations run the gamut — sweet, savory, hot and cold, with contrasting tastes and mouthfeels. Soups are shipped frozen via FedEx and come in a convenient carry bag for the office.

Cost: $68 for one-day cleanse

Sample Soup: Shine is a sweet blend of carrots, coconut water, red pepper, onion, ginger, garlic, red chile, lemongrass, goji berries, Thai ginger, salt, shallots and kaffir lime.This soup is great chilled in the summer or warmed up on a chilly spring morning.

Soupure’s founders, also former juicers, found juice cleanses to be hard to stick to and not nearly nourishing enough. They turned to a professional chef and nutritionist to develop recipes that they would want to eat themselves. Their fiber-rich soups purport regulation of blood glucose levels, promote good digestive health and promote proper regulation of cholesterol. They offer regular cleansing plans and healing broth packs (like their grass-fed beef bone broth, another big trend), as well as a specialized program for oncology patients.

Cost: Soupure one-day cleanses start at $79; three-day cleanses start at $235. They deliver to the greater Los Angeles area.

Sample Soup: Satisfy features two kinds of lentils, chickepeas and tomatoes.

Make Your Own:  Alton Brown's Lentil Soup

Let this new trend inspire wholesome eating habits, motivate you to change up your soup recipes, and ultimately help you get more powerful fruits and veggies into your week. Remember, as with all cleanses that claim to "detox," soup cleanses don’t contribute to what your organs process on their own — no souping necessary.

Kiri Tannenbaum is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris and holds an M.A. in food studies from New York University where she is currently an adjunct professor. When her schedule allows, she leads culinary walking tours in New York City and is currently at work on her first book.

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