Cabbage Detox Soup

Cabbage Detox Soup

Vegan, Gluten-Free, AIP (nightshade-free)

Cabbage Detox Soup is a hearty staple of any whole foods healing and/or detox program, including our PWR Detox (see Seven-Day PWR Detox book).  It is very low in calories, yet packed with nutrients and compounds to cleanse the body.  The cabbage, garlic, onion, ginger and lemon combination make it a detoxifying and anti-inflammatory powerhouse. If you feel like you're getting sick, have some of this soup to knock it out right away.

Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that is rich in vitamins C and K, and B vitamins, as well as major antioxidants including choline, beta-carotene, lutein, quercetin and sulforaphane.  These help fight inflammation, strengthen the immune system, lower blood sugar, slow down cartilage damage in joints, protect against cancer and even improve memory. The vitamin K is vital for our blood and the sulfur helps eliminate toxins. The fiber also is good for the digestive system. Be forewarned, however, eating large amounts of cabbage can cause gas and diarrhea. It can also interact with medications like blood thinners and or cause hypothyroidism. If you are taking these medications, check with your doctor before eating cabbage.

I modified this recipe from the original I used to make years back. It started off spicy with roasted tomatoes and jalapeño. Now, I eat "AIP-informed" (based on the Autoimmune Protocol), so I tend to not eat nightshade vegetables (e.g. tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplant and bell peppers) or nightshade spices (e.g. cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper) which can spur inflammation. I also use only water instead of broth or bouillon cubes to boost the cleansing effect. If you do not follow AIP, feel free to spice it up with tomatoes and broth, as well as cayenne and/or jalapeño. Regardless, be sure to include the bay leaf for flavor AND to prevent gas.  Also, you can stir in some nutritional yeast flakes for added B-12 and protein. Finally, you may notice that I add the cabbage toward the end of simmering. I do that because I like the cabbage leaves to be al dente (a little firm) instead of soggy.

Eat the soup alone or with some gluten-free bread or dumplings and enjoy!



Ingredients: (yields eight cups)

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch fresh ginger root, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium green cabbage, sliced
2 quarts (or 8 cups) water or vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt, omit if using broth
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup parsley, chopped



  1. Prep all the vegetables. 
  2. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-hight heat.
  3. Add onions and cook 3-5 minutes, until softened and transparent.
  4. Add garlic, ginger, celery and scallions, and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.
  5. Stir in carrots, thyme, and basil. Cook for another minute.
  6. Add the liquid, bay leaf, nutritional yeast and salt. Cover pot and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Add cabbage and simmer for another 10-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  9. Add lemon juice and parsley. Season with additional salt to taste. Enjoy!


Images & Copyright Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy   


Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy is a Harvard Business School-trained Strategist, Mind-Body Expert, Award-Winning Author, Keynote Speaker and Activist.  She is Founder & CEO of Power Living and creator of Elder Dignity.  Selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, her mission is to unleash human potential and create a more just and sustainable world.

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