Brilliant Green Detox Soup

I've been learning a lot more lately about the connection between hormone balancing and our livers. I find it so fascinating and have had really great results getting my moods and energy levels to even out by diligently taking extra care of my liver. Funny though, that just thinking of the word "liver" conjures up all kinds of yucky images for me; the dreaded liver and onion dinner of childhood, liver spots, those nasty photos they showed you in middle school as a warning against alcoholism. So, to help me treat my liver with kindness I find myself imagining it like a cloud of glowing golden light, tucked deep into my right side, radiating out goodness and constantly cleansing those hormones that make me crave chocolate and red wine, which make me so happy, right before they make me so very, very sad. And the hormones that cause me to burst into tears when I see an old man with a walker waiting at a bus stop. Say what you will about pregnancy hormones but people often fail to mention that postpartum "super feelings" are like surfing North Shore waves and can take a long time to settle down. So I'm doing some weird stuff, like castor oil packs and tinctures but I'm also doing some fun stuff, like eating and drinking things that instantly make me feel like I can leap over small buildings. Plus, I've found that 2 out of 3 kids love this soup and one eats it grudgingly so I think that's as good as it's getting around here.

We've been living off batches of it for weeks now, with slight variations and tweaks but we've enjoyed every batch. I have it for breakfast with some extra protein like bacon or sausage and the baby and I usually have a little bowl at lunch, where we clink our spoons together, say "Cheers!" and laugh hysterically, over and over. Today we needed this because last night there were SIX BOYS sleeping under our roof. Seven counting my husband but I decided to call him Elise for the night so I wouldn't feel so overrun with testosterone. The boys were all so fun and we had a great time but I'm pretty sure they were running the entire time they were with us, save for the hours they were passed out (which was not many). They ran like hooligans all through our little town on the way to a college basketball game up the hill from us and this morning they were out the door by 7, like a band of marauding pirates, not to be seen until parents showed up. They only way I knew they hadn't escaped was the occasional demand for food and water through the screen door. By the time everyone went home my kids looked like hell. Dirty faces, holes in all their socks, dried grass covering their clothes and I found last night's popcorn buried in one's hair. What a great time! My only wish, in that moment, was to be a kid again, to play that hard, to be so immersed, so lost in what you're doing that you forget yourself completely, totally unaware that you're still in your own backyard. And then plates of pepperoni, oranges, apples, crackers and raw cheese suddenly appear out of nowhere. Heaven.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp ghee or avocado oil
1/2 large onion or 1 whole small onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups broccoli, chopped
2 leeks, white parts only, sliced horizontally, rinsed well and dried thoroughly with a dish towel
4-5 cups spinach (I use a whole 16oz. bag frozen)
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp turmeric
Juice of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Herbamare (optional)

*To make this vegan-friendly it's so simple to swap out cooking fats and stock

Instructions:

Heat ghee or oil in a large dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 7-8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. After a couple minutes add leeks, stirring to combine again. Once leeks start to soften, add broccoli and cook, stirring often, until broccoli is bright green. Add the turmeric and some salt and pepper (and Herbamare, if using), stir, then add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the broccoli is soft. Add the spinach and allow to wilt, then squeeze in the lemon juice. I usually start with half of the lemon, then check to see how it tastes after I put it through the blender. I'll add the rest and stir it in while I'm reheating on the stovetop. Allow the soup to cool for a bit, then pureé in batches in the blender. I've had it both slightly chunky and pureéd very smooth and like them both, but I would say my preference is more smooth. Gently reheat on the stove.