Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse by Elina Fuhrman

 Spicy Quinoa and Vegetable Chili

Elina Fuhrman created Soupelina (soup + Elina, catchy!) from recipes she created at home in an effort to help her in her fight against an aggressive form of breast cancer. Her goal with her soup company is make the world a healthier place one soup at a time.

Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse book came out at the perfect time for me. I am currently undergoing chemo therapy for an aggressive form of breast cancer myself – something called triple negative breast cancer. The more research I do, the more I discover living a plant based diet is the key to beating it back, and to prevent cancer from recurring when I do beat it.

Fuhrman’s book is more than a recipe book as she goes into finding your dosha, folk remedies, equipment and ingredients, and how to fool your cravings. There are many interviews with doctors and experts in their fields, too. And if you are familiar with cleanses, she has tips for expert cleansers.

So, What Makes a Soup So Special?

It fills as it nourishes. Her soup cleansing diet provides energy, improves digestion, reduces inflammation, and keeps you full. Fuhrman details why soup cleanses are better than raw food smoothies which primarily rely on fruits. With cooked soups, you tend to eat more veggies. Your body absorbs minerals better, and cooking vegetables will make it easier for your body to digest them.

She believes that slowly simmered organic soups can both heal the body and mind, and help restore your immune system. And while she is a proponent of cooked soups, she does dedicate an entire chapter to raw soup recipes so that you are able to do a short one-day raw cleanse.

Menus and Recipes

The recipes are all divided by types of soups: smooth blended, chunky style, broths, and raw soups (not cooked). Because she has traveled the world as a journalist, she is keen on different cultures. Fuhrman brings out exotic culinary flavors in her recipes from her travels.

Included in the book are menus to help along the way: 5-Day Soup Cleanse, 24-Hour Reset Cleanse (using raw soup recipes), and a 3-Day Boost cleanse. The seasonal menus in the book go from Spring to Winter, and all have five meals (breakfast, midmorning snack, lunch, midafternoon snack, and dinner – all soups). She even gives a list of favorite soup toppings so that each soup can be unique.

A quick flip through the recipes will tell you it’s not just an ordinary soup cookbook. All her recipes have fun names, and half the fun of preparing the recipes is reading the titles: Kale-ifornia Dreamin’; I Gotcha Kabocha Covered; A-Mung the Stars; What’s the Hurry, Melon Curry?; Lady MacBroth; and Macho Gazpacho.

This cookbook is an excellent group of recipes. The soups are all vegan, soy and nut free, and all call for organic, GMO- and gluten-free ingredients. So, even when you aren’t doing a soup cleanse, any of the recipes would incorporate well in your everyday menus.

My favorite recipe? The quinoa and vegetable chili that she cleverly names ‘It’s Chili and It’s Hot’.

It's Chili and It's Hot
Serves 6
More protein than a steak, this great-for-you chili contains quinoa giving this dish an impressive amount of B vitamins all packed into an incredibly tasty dish.
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  1. 1/2 cup red quinoa, soaked overnight
  2. 1/2 cup white quinoa, soaked overnight
  3. Extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 onion, chopped
  5. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  7. 1 medium size carrot, peeled and chopped
  8. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  9. 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  10. 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  11. 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
  12. 1 zucchini, chopped
  13. 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight and cooked
  14. 1 cup kidney beans, soaked overnight and cooked
  15. 2 diced tomatoes with juice
  16. 1 cup freshly pressed tomato juice
  17. 1 tablespoon cumin
  18. Handful of fresh oregano leaves, or 1/2 tablespoon dried
  19. Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper
  20. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  21. 2 to 3 cups boiling filtered water
  22. Sliced avocado, fresh cilantro spirgs, and chopped onion, for garnish
  1. In a medium-size saucepan, boil 2 cups of water, add the quinoa, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, add the onion, and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, jalapeño, carrot, celery, peppers, and zucchini and cook until the veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add all the beans, tomatoes, and tomato juice, along with the cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Taste before slowly adding chili powder to your desired spiciness.
  5. Add the quinoa and boiling filtered water and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Keep stirring and adding spices and salt until you are happy with the taste.
  7. Garnish with avocado slices, cilantro, and onion.
Adapted from Soupelina's Soup Cleanse
Adapted from Soupelina's Soup Cleanse
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Book Info:

  • Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse by Elina Fuhrman
  • De Capo; 2016
  • ISBN13: 9780738218885
  • 265 pages; hardcover; color photos throughout.

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Recipe and image from Soupelina’s Soup Cleanse: Plant-Based Soups and Broths to Heal Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Transform Your Life by Elina Fuhrman. Reprinted courtesy of Da Capo Lifelong Books.

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.

Chicken and Corn Tortilla Soup with Tomatillos and Cotija Cheese

Sand and Succotash | Chicken, Tomatillo, Corn Tortilla Soup with Cotija Cheese

This recipe for chicken and corn tortilla soup uses tomatillos to flavor the broth which gives the finished soup a slight piquant flavor. Chicken breasts are first poached in chicken broth, then shredded. This can be done by hand or by shredding the chicken breasts between two dinner forks. The enriched broth is reserved and strained for use in the soup recipe.

Instead of frying the corn tortilla strips, oven bake them. Crisping up the strips is easier and much healthier. Just drizzle a bit of corn oil over the top of tortilla strips in a bowl, toss to coat, layer them evenly on a sheet pan, and bake until crisp in a hot oven, turning frequently to prevent burning.

While the recipe uses Cotija cheese, any hard grating cheese can be used instead. Greek Myzithra cheese is a great substitute since it has the same strong, salty profile. Serve the soup with chopped avocado, sour cream, fresh cilantro, and oven baked corn tortilla strips.

This recipe makes about 6 servings.

Chicken and Corn Tortilla Soup with Tomatillos and Cotija Cheese
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  1. 2 boneless chicken breasts
  2. 6 cups defatted chicken stock
  3. 6 corn tortillas
  4. 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons corn oil
  5. 1 medium onion, diced
  6. 3 tomatillos, chopped
  7. 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  8. 1 14- to 15-oz can chopped tomatoes, including liquid
  9. 2 green onions, white and green parts
  10. 2/3 cup cilantro, divided
  11. 1 teaspoon cumin
  12. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  13. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  14. 1 bay leaf
  15. 1 tablespoon Cotija cheese, plus more for sprinkling if desired
  16. 1 avocado, diced
  17. 6 teaspoons sour cream, or as needed for garnish
  1. Trim the boneless chicken breasts if needed and place in a saucepan with 6 cups of the defatted chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer until the chicken tests done, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from the broth and shred the chicken breast. Reserve the broth for later.
  2. While the chicken breasts are cooking, cut the corn tortillas into strips. Place the strips in a bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of corn oil. Toss to coat, then spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned and crisp, turning two to three times ensuring even baking. Remove to a serving bowl.
  3. Add the 2 teaspoons corn oil to a small stock pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add onions and the tomatillos and cook for about 5 to 8 minutes, until the onions have softened and are beginning to turn a light brown.
  4. Stir in the chopped garlic cloves, and cook for another 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  5. Add in the chopped tomatoes with liquid, green onions, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, cumin, paprika, and bay leaf. Strain the reserved chicken broth and pour over the tomato mixture.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat. Stir in the Cotija cheese, and remove the bay leaf.
  8. Serve the hot soup with the reserved shredded chicken breast and chopped avocado. Add a small dollop of sour cream on the top of each portion. Serve immediately.
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