While I’m not about the juice cleanse life, I do crave recipes like this Detox Soup when I’m in the mood for a little reset and a healthy dose of vegetables, fiber, and vitamins all in one bowl. This healthy and wholesome detox vegetable soup recipe is simple to make yet flavorful, satisfying and remarkably nutritious. Best of all, it will help your body feel energized and refreshed from the inside out.

Why We Love This Detox Soup

As I said, I certainly don’t promote hard-core fasts or cleanses. But a “detox” that means eating more—specifically fiber-rich ingredients like those you’ll find in this tomato-kale soup?—now that’s a “reset” I can fully endorse.

This Detox Soup is a simple, wholesome lunch or dinner appetizer that’s easy to digest, hydrating and full of fiber (which helps you feel full). It’s also free of any foods that may cause inflammation such as gluten, dairy, soy, and corn. It’s a dream to share with those who follow nearly any diet, because this tomato-kale soup just so happens to be:

  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Soy-free
  • Corn-free
  • Nut-free

Overdoing it on sodium and falling shy on fiber are two of the most common pitfalls of the standard American diet. My detox vegetable soup addresses both of those things and will leave you feeling good. This soup is made with low-sodium broth, canned tomatoes, onion, fennel, fresh oregano, chickpeas and kale.

tomato and kale soup in a shallow white bowl with chickpeas and olive oil droplets

Aside from all the veggies, research proves that at least a little fat is required to help the body absorb as much of the micronutrients from the soup as possible (hence the term “fat-soluble vitamins”).

And since this detox vegetable soup is all about nourishing the body and keeping the process of digestion simple, I use extra-virgin olive oil for cooking the onions and fennel, and for finishing the soup right before serving. It’s heart-healthy, flavorful, and one of the best ingredients you can add to your daily menu.

In case you could use a little more motivation to add this detox vegetable soup to your menu this week, consider all of these health benefits (not to mention the fact that it’s drink-from-the-bowl delicious):

  • Boosts hydration
  • Reduces chronic inflammation
  • Aids in the breakdown of internal toxins 
  • Boosts metabolism 
  • Promotes gut health
  • Helps you feel full 
  • Decreases bloating
Overhead image of detox soup ingredients laid out on a gray table

Grocery List

  • Fennel: This hardy, aromatic piece of produce is part of the carrot family. It’s actually a perennial herb, though, not a vegetable. The bulb portion—which is the portion we use in this detox vegetable soup—somewhat resembles a white onion. Wash and chop the fronds (leaves) to use as a garnish, if desired.
  • Onion: Yellow onion is my go-to, but a couple shallots would also taste incredible here.
  • Red pepper flakes: Omit if you don’t dig a hint of spice.
  • Oregano: I explain below how to use fresh or dried in this tomato-kale soup. Substitute rosemary or thyme if you like.
  • Canned diced tomatoes in juice: Seek out a fire-roasted variety to infuse a subtle smoky note.
  • Tuscan kale: Look for this labeled Tuscan, Dinosaur or Lacinato kale; they’re all the same. If you can’t find any of the above, regular curly-leaf kale will work just fine, too!
  • Chickpeas: Aka garbanzo beans. A can of cannellini beans would also work well.

How to Make This Detox Soup

  1. Cook onions, fennel and aromatics in olive oil until softened. 
  2. Add tomatoes (and their juices) and broth, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the kale and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add chickpeas and vinegar and cook until kale has softened. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper flakes, and vinegar.
  5. Drizzle servings with Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil and enjoy! 
tomato and kale soup in a shallow white bowl with chickpeas and olive oil droplets

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat leftovers in a saucepan over medium-low heat or individual servings in the microwave for 2 minutes on high. Add additional water to thin as needed. 

More Healthy Meals to Crave…


Can I add extra protein to this Detox Soup?

This Detox Soup relies on chickpeas to be the main source of protein, keeping it completely plant-based. It isn’t overly high in protein, but it is jam-packed fiber, which does a wonderful job of making you feel full and also helps feed your good gut bacteria.
However, if you’d like to boost the protein content, you can add cooked and shredded chicken (like I do in this Quick & Easy Mexican Chicken Soup). Add it towards the end of cooking, and simmer the tomato-kale soup until the chicken is heated through. Or for a vegetarian-friendly protein boost, toss in cubes of firm tofu or top your bowl with a fried or poached egg.

What else could I add to make this Detox Soup more of a meal?

Try scooping a serving over a cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa, or pair it with a side of warm crusty bread. A sprinkling of grated Parmesan cheese (if you can have it) adds a lovely dose of umami.

Detox Soup

5 from 7 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 15 cups
Category Lunch/Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Lauren


Light, healthy and packed with nutrients, this simple vegan soup will surprise you with how flavorful it is! Even better, it serves a whole crew!


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil + more for serving
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced (fronds reserved)
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (or 2 teaspoons dried)*
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes in juice
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (10-ounce) bag chopped Tuscan kale
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  • Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-low.
  • Add fennel, onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
    onion, fennel, minced garlic, and spices in a Dutch oven
  • Stir in oregano and cook 30 seconds.
    minced oregano in a Dutch oven with onions and fennel
  • Stir in tomatoes with their juices and broth, bring soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
    tomato and broth in a large Dutch oven
  • Stir in kale, simmer 10 minutes.
    mounded kale in a Dutch oven filled with tomatoes and broth
  • Stir in chickpeas and vinegar and simmer 5 minutes. Season soup with additional salt, pepper flakes, and vinegar to taste.
    tomato and kale soup in a Dutch oven
  • Drizzle servings with olive oil and top with chopped fennel fronds.


* Don’t have oregano? Rosemary or thyme will also work.
** Can’t find Tuscan kale? It’s often labeled Dinosaur or Lacinato kale as well. However, regular curly-leaf kale will work just fine!
Serve over rice for a heartier stew-like dish.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat leftovers in a saucepan over medium-low heat or individual servings in the microwave for 2 minutes on high. Add additional water to thin as needed. 


Serving: 2cupsCalories: 150kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 6gFat: 4.5gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 560mgFiber: 4.5gSugar: 2.5g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
tomato and kale soup in a shallow white bowl with chickpeas and olive oil droplets

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This recipe and article were originally published on January 15, 2020.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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  1. 5 stars
    This soup is amazing. Such an easy soup to make and I love that it makes so much! It’s a great soup to share with friends and have as leftovers. Love love

  2. 5 stars
    This is so delicious! I served it for guests in January and everyone appreciated it being so light and flavorful after rich holiday meals. Also freezes so nicely!

    1. Yes, you’re right they are! I included them in this soup because not all people experience inflammation from consuming them (there’s also not been significant research evidence that supports the idea that nightshade cause inflammation).