Honest Fare

Pretty Provisions and Notes from the Kitchen

Detox Soup: Cleansing Miso, Beet, Asparagus

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Detox Soup: Cleansing Miso, Beet, Asparagus, Honest Fare by Gabrielle Arnold

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been indulging a lot lately. More desserts and baked goods and cheeses and even meat than usual. It’s like everything is too beautiful and delicious to pass up or something. And all of a sudden I’m telling myself I deserve frozen yogurt for lunch? And that chips and salsa are a good breakfast option?

As you know, I’m a pretty healthy eater (and by that I mean balanced and fresh with some decadence here and there because I think that’s important too), but every once in a while I develop some weird habits…like eating a bunch of crackers with butter and honey right before bed. I know that’s not a huge deal – it’s not like I’m gorging on fist fulls of Cheetos or anything. But, the issue lies in that I just don’t FEEL my best when I eat a lot of refined sugars, cheese, meat, etc.

So I’m cleansing. No cheese. No grains. No refined sugars. No frozen yogurt! I’m taking a break from all of it and sticking to purely fruits & veggies for the next…um maybe 10 days. The idea is to keep everything pretty light and packed with nutrients. It’s been almost a week now and I feel petty great. I’ve been eating a lot of nuts and potatoes and avocados and making a bunch of healthy and energizing soups (with ingredients that have detoxifying properties) to offset offset all the ruffage.

Like this miso based veggie soup with the powers of parsley and asparagus to cleanse your kidneys and urinary tract and beet to purify and strengthen your blood. The energizing fresh ginger and protein-rich miso are known for reducing the harmful effects of stored and environmental toxins like radiation, pesticides, cigarette smoke, and air pollution.


One thing about cooking with miso: You have to dissolve the miso paste with a little hot water (a ladle full of hot soup water will do) before adding to the pot of soup. Do this in a small bowl on the side AND THEN add to the large pot of soup and continue cooking. Skipping this step will result in the miso clumping up in the soup and never fully dissolving.

I’m no nutritionist, but I can tell you that this soup feels like exactly what my body needs.


P.S. I didn’t think this would be challenging at all because I’ve done a lot of cleanses/detoxes in the past and I eat a ton of veggies anyway. But then last night, when Jason suggested we have grilled cheese sandwiches and I almost punched him, I realized that it must be starting to get to me a tiny bit.

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Coop/prep time: 30 minutes Serves 4. The flavor of this soup is so refreshing and clean. You’ll fell healthier right away!

You need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup onion of choice diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup peeled, chopped beet
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped asparagus (bases removed, tips left whole)
  • Some fresh scallions, chopped
  • Large handful flat-leaf fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 5 cups water
  • Salt (about 1 teaspoon) to taste
  • 3 tablespoons miso paste of choice
  • A little minced jalepeño or chile pepper (to taste)


  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes until begins to brown. Add the celery and scallions and half the parsley and sauté for another minute.
  2. Add the water, beet, carrot, ginger, salt and pepper of choice. Increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium/low, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. While that cooks, remove a ladle of the hot water from the pot and place in a small bowl on the side. Add miso paste to the small bowl and stir/mash in until fully combined (refer to image in post). Now add the dissolved miso to the soup pot. You can’t skip this step and just add the miso directly to the main pot of soup – it will clump and never fully incorporate.
  4. Add the asparagus and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat when asparagus are bright green and still firm. Stir in remaining parsley. Place in bowls and serve warm.



  1. Posted June 7, 2010 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

    i’m all for this idea, and i completely feel you about the summer indulgences. all this warm weather is making me decide i “deserve” ice cream 24/7. i mean, we all DESERVE ice cream 24/7 but i don’t have a hankering for diabetes.

    question: what are you having for breakfast in your veggie-filled days? i’m all for vegetables in breakfast and lunch but always crave yogurts and sweet oatmeal for breakfast. suggestions?

    ps: you have a wonderful blog, here.

  2. gabi
    Posted June 7, 2010 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    I totally hear you on that morning sweet tooth. I’ve been getting pretty creative with smoothies for breakfast these days. (Wait, did I forget to mention that I’m also eating fruit? Whoops – I should add that to the post!). Yesterday I made a mango, peach, apple, banana and cashew butter one that was amazing. I’m leaving the skin on fruits like apples, grapes and peaches for the extra texture and adding flax oil or nut butters (almond, peanut, cashew) for protein and fat.

  3. Kimiko
    Posted June 8, 2010 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

    superb! i am a fan of mini detoxes throughout the year as well and this soup sounds divine. i don’t seem to see the recipe…am i missing the link somehow? gorgeous blog, must thank you for the many meals you’ve inspired. cheers!!

  4. gabi
    Posted June 8, 2010 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    Doh! I totally forgot to include the full recipe. What a bonehead. Too many veggies making me loopy? I’ll have that up shortly.

  5. Fay
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    BRILLIANT! Seriously…. this is pure genius!!

  6. Fay
    Posted June 9, 2010 at 11:51 PM | Permalink

    Am I missing something? When do you add the miso? Also, could you share your method for adding the miso; whenever I attempt to make miso soup, the miso never fully dissolves. The soup has a piece-y look to it. Any tips? Thank you!

  7. gabi
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    Gotcha ;)
    Cleared it up in step three of directions. Also, a note about it below the picture of the miso paste with small blue bowl in the post.

  8. Fay
    Posted June 10, 2010 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    Appreciate it!

  9. Posted June 10, 2010 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Dear me, I’ve just finished making this, and I swear, it’s in the top 5 best soups I’ve ever had. Thank you thank you thank you, as I too have been overindulging!

  10. Posted November 21, 2010 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    Can’t wait to try this – just got most of these ingredients from the farmers market and was looking for recipes to put them to use.

    Question: How do you store Miso? In the freezer?

  11. gabi
    Posted November 21, 2010 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    I keep mine in the fridge. Enjoy the soup!

  12. Posted January 1, 2011 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    I’m totally gonna make this!! I feel I’m in need of a soup quite like this!!

    Happy New Year!

  13. Posted January 6, 2011 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    This recipe rocks! We had it for dinner last night, and now my husband is sharing it with all his vegetarian and vegan friends. It takes a dish this satisfying to make this omnivore forget about the absence meat. Thank you!

  14. Posted February 4, 2011 at 11:01 PM | Permalink

    love your site and your recipes and pictures! great job inspiring people to be their best by being healthy! love what you do!

  15. Faygie
    Posted February 9, 2011 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    I made this soup last night, but lo and behold the beet was missing from my shopping bag! I proceeded anyway and it was so good. My 3 yr old said it was his favorite soup, and I had about 3 bowls. Thank you! Any more soup recipes coming? These freezing winter days are perfect for soup.

  16. Posted April 16, 2011 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    I’ve had an opened container of white Miso in my fridge for 8 months. It’s looks the same as it did when I opened it and tastes and smells fine. Is it still ok to use in soup?


  17. gabi
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Based on all that, I’d probably go for it. Sometimes the edges and top can harden a bit, but just scrape that off and what’s underneath should still be nice and soft.

  18. jane
    Posted June 22, 2011 at 9:12 PM | Permalink

    question: do you roast the beet first?

  19. gabi
    Posted June 23, 2011 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

    Hello Martha,
    Nope no need to roast the beet first, just throw it in with the rest of the veggies.

  20. fay
    Posted February 9, 2012 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    I know you posted this ages ago but just wanted to let you know, once again, how incredible this soup is. It is amazing. I’ve been making this soup ever since you posted the recipe and it never lets me down. Thank you!

  21. Ana
    Posted April 15, 2012 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    You should add the miso paste at the end while the soup is still hot but no longer on the stove – boiling miso kills all its beneficial properties.

  22. zimjoyzy
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 3:52 AM | Permalink

    So… I have fresh organic beets from my garden, fresh asparagus, a packet of miso which i have just purchased and am looking forward to using for the first time, and a recipe that has been tried and tested and rated very highly by all who have tried it out…. plus we have just started a 9 day detox today… looks like the planets are aligned ;)

  23. zimjoyzy
    Posted February 21, 2013 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    Well, we tried it for lunch and it was a hit! Thank you so much for sharing this with the world :) I only had hatcho miso which is very dark, so i didn’t end up with the lovely pink coloured soup like yours, but it was still delicious! Thanks to Ana for reminding us not to reheat the soup once the miso has been added in order to maintain its healthy living properties. Very important.

  24. Suzanne
    Posted June 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    This was the best veggie soup I have ever made/ate. For some odd reason my local store was out of fresh asparagus, so I chopped off the beet greens and added them in the last 5 minutes & it is superb!

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