Green Soup | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Oct. 9. 2018

Garden Green Soup

Oct. 9. 2018
McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Founder of Nutrition Stripped and the Mindful Nutrition Method™

With the weather changing, it might be a good time to use up those garden green in this light garden green soup!

One of my favorite summer-fall transition recipes is to make a vegetable broth-based green soup with hearty greens from the garden. This garden green soup is a great way to utilize hearty greens that you have in the garden. This soup is also a great way to squeeze more greens into your diet if you find that challenging because it tastes so delicious!

If you don’t garden or have a garden at home, check out your local farmers market or make a grocery trip to pick these up.

A Closer Look at Dark Leafy Greens

You can truly use whatever garden vegetable you have available to you or what’s in season right now. Or you can incorporate these tried and true favorites. Like most of these dark leafy greens listed below, many have similar nutrition profiles, except some are richer in antioxidants than others.

Dark leafy greens are excellent sources of vitamin K, A, C, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and phosphorus. In addition to the micronutrients, dark leafy greens are a great source of fiber, low in fat, and low in protein.



Kale has many health benefits as most dark leafy greens contain, but kale also has benefits coming from the cruciferous veggie family including powerful detoxification properties. Kale also lowers risk for certain types of cancer mainly due to the ITC content (a.k.a. isothiocyanates made from glucosinolates), these ITC’s are also responsible for kale’s support on the detoxification system. Kale is generally an anti-inflammatory food.


Watercress is actually higher in antioxidants than kale, but a little less popular and widely used. It’s delicious and best served raw since it has a delicate texture and slightly earthy and sweet flavor. Watercress is also grown in the water, hence the name, and can be a delicious garnish to this soup recipe.


Spinach contains special phytonutrients that have been shown to help decrease inflammation in the body as well to have anti-cancer benefits. As with most fruits and vegetables, spinach contains great amounts of fiber which help our digestive system moving, keeps us fuller for a longer period of time, and releases a steady flow of energy into our bodies.

Collard, Dandelion, and Mustard Greens

All of these dark leafy greens are pretty bitter if eaten raw, so it’s best to cook them like this recipe. All these greens are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Celery Tops

Celery is a great source of vitamin C which we know helps fight free radicals and protect our cells from damage. Since celery contains a unique type of fiber, pectin, it’s great for our digestive systems by product anti-inflammatory benefits to improve our digestive health. The vitamins and minerals coupled with these antioxidants found in celery also are great for general cardiovascular


The Recipe

Serves 8



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, thinly sliced

Sea salt and black pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced (or use a grater)

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or use bone broth)

1/2 bunch collard greens (about 4 leaves), stems removed then chopped

1/2 bunch kale, stems removed then chopped

1/2 bunch spinach (about 2 heaping cups), stems removed then chopped

1/2 tablespoon lemon zest

Juice of 1 lemon

Garnish options: fresh herbs, kitehill cream cheese, hot sauce


Step 1

In a dutch oven or large soup pot, add olive oil, onions, and sea salt and black pepper. Cook on medium-low heat and let the onions slowly cook until fragrant and golden brown about 10-15 minutes. You may need to add more olive oil during this process to keep the onions moist.

Step 2

Add garlic to the cooked onions and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes for the garlic to cook. Then add in the broth along with all the greens. Cook this for 30 minutes.

Step 3

Taste test and adjust seasonings if you need to, such as salt and pepper. You want the greens to be soft with a little bite (al dente), otherwise, you have the option to cook them for 45 minutes for a very soft green soup, which is also delicious.

Add the lemon juice and lemon zest at the end of the cooking process. Stir and take off the heat.


Serve with optional garnishes and enjoy hot.

Have Leftovers? Here’s What To Do With Them:

As always, store in an airtight glass container that we recommend from the NS Shop. It’ll keep well for 5-7 days in the fridge, or put in the freezer. Reheat on the stove.

Can’t wait to see you try it!

Did you know that you can submit your own photo of whatever recipe you make from NS? Scroll down to the bottom right and you’ll see a section for you to show off your creations from home! Share your image on Instagram too by tagging #nutritionstripped!

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