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The week before my wedding my lovely friend Katherine came and stayed with me and made this soup for me and we ate it for every meal, and also drank a lot of red wine and listened to David Byrne sing beautiful songs.  It was marvelous.

Why soup for healthy skin?

First of all, check with your health care provider before starting any new diets, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding (this soup can be used as part of a full-on detox, which I am not writing about here).  What I am writing about here are basically tips for dramatically reducing the amount of sugar you eat, and if your doctor wants you to be eating a lot of sugar, well, it’s time to find a new doctor.

Back in the 40s or so, one doctor referred to acne as “diabetes of the skin.” Today, most dermatologists will tell you that there is no correlation between the food you eat and the condition of your skin.  Which is, of course, absurd.  This soup focuses on putting beneficial nutrients into your skin, which will also slow the formation of wrinkles and make your skin more radiant!!! (You know all those fancy creams you can buy that are made with avocado and carrots and pomegranates and citrus and Vitamin E and A and C and all the rest of it?  The best way to get those nutrients to your skin is by eating them. In the form of plants.)

The skin reflects the condition of your whole body, especially, some have suggested, the digestive system.  And this soup is a gentle way of promoting digestive health.

The Goal

I made a big batch of this soup the week before Christmas and stopped eating any form of sugar or flour.  My skin was acting up and I was hoping that a few days of this soup and taking my vitamins regularly would fix the problem.  It didn’t, at least not after a week.  I fell off the bandwagon during Christmas, and obviously with the past couple of recipes I posted here, but today I am starting back on my skin health plan.  There are a number of components, and I will be writing about them here, as well as any results I might see.  This is the kind of thing that will probably take weeks, if not months to really work.  But I’m going to try.

The Soup

The basic ingredients for this recipe are onion, tomato juice or tomato paste, garlic, cabbage.  That’s really all you need.  4 ingredients.  You can add crushed tomatoes, lemon juice, parsley, and other things, but you can also keep it as simple as you’d like.

4 Ingredient Cabbage Soup

Sautee 1 onion chopped in some extra virgin olive oil in your stock pot for 5-10 minutes.  Add as much minced garlic as you’d like towards the end, the more the better!!!  Add a 24 oz jar of V8 juice, or 1 little can of tomato paste plus about 20 ounces of water (how much would that be? 6 cups or so?).  Chop some cabbage (preferably red cabbage) and throw that in.  Add 1 tablespoon of ginger powder of some fresh chopped ginger (optional).  You can also add some petit diced tomatoes or any of the following: brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, leeks, cauliflower.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until vegetables are tender (not that long! maybe 10 minutes! you don’t want to over cook this!).  Add fresh lemon or lime juice, parsley or cilantro at the end.  You can also add some powdered or fresh miso as well!!  (Add water until you have as much soup as you would like.  Making soup is an art, not a science, so I am begging you to not pull out a measuring cup and try to measure out 20 ounces of water or whatever!)

You can put this through a blender at the end if you prefer to have a smooth consistency.

Health Benefits of the Ingredients:

Tomatoes: packed with Vitamin C and lycopene, as well as Vitamin K, potassium, and fiber. They are an anti-oxidant powerhouse.  And antioxidants = fewer wrinkles and better skin (and health) overall.

Onions: Like garlic, onions are a sulphur-containing allium vegetable, and the sulphur helps the body rid itself of toxic metals as well as some drugs, food additives, toxins from intestinal bacteria, environmental toxins and some natural body chemicals.  Onions are also rich in vitamins B and C, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, chromium, iron, molybdenum, potassium, copper and dietary fiber. They also contain a ton of quercetin– when cooked in soup, this gets transferred to the broth, so be sure to drink your broth!!!

Cabbage: An oft-overlooked SUPERFOOD. That’s right. A cruciferous vegetable with a TON of Vitamin C, K, and folate.  Like onions, also contains sulphur, which assists in the removal of toxins from the body.

Garlic: Another allium vegetable. Full of manganese, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin C.  Also contains selenium, which works with Vitamin E as an antioxidant to help skin glow.  Helps to cleanse the lymphatic system as well, which is super important.

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