Photo by Idit Knaan
Photo by Idit Knaan

There is no shortage of restaurants ready to help Washingtonians gain the “fall 15.” The Commodore’s new menu has a sandwich called the “Fatboy Fantasy,” The Bird wants to pump you full of fried chicken and foie gras, and hitting up Fry Brothers is a new late night right of passage. And that’s before Janice in accounting makes you go shot-for-shot at the office holiday party.

Local soup company Soupergirl wants to be the antidote by helping District denizens clean up their dietary dirty habits during the holidays and beyond. Founder Sara Polon is teaming with Door Dash to deliver “Souper Cleanse” packages to customers.

The one-week kit includes 20 (16 oz.) seasonal soups, healthy living tips, and delivery for $135. A two-week order is $255, a four-week order is $500, and an eight-week program is $980.

Each week of the cleanse calls for five days on, two days off of eating four soups a day. All soups are vegan, kosher, low-sodium, contain no chemicals or preservatives, and are produced in small batches at the Takoma Park Soupergirl location.

Flavors, some of which are exclusive to cleanse customers, include barley sweet potato and greens, triple ginger butternut squash, split pea rosemary, and winter root vegetable chili.

Polon thinks some people will spring for the whole $980 shebang right around the time New Years’ resolutions drop, and can personally speak to the benefits of eating a plant-based (vegan) diet.

“I know I’ve drank the Kool-Aid, but my life has been one big cleanse since I started this business,” Polon says. “I’ve dropped a ton of weight, I’m in really good shape, and my palate has changed completely.” She explains that she craves fresh fruits and vegetables instead of sweets and finds almost all food too salty. 

“My cholesterol before I really committed to this style of eating was between 220 and 230 because of my family,” she says. “I really committed almost three years ago to eating fully plant-based, whole-ingredient real food and my cholesterol is now 170. It’s no joke. And with no medicine.”

Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley of Ripple, Roofers Union, and Smoked & Stacked tried a Souper Cleanse over the summer while she was deep into recipe testing for her pastrami shop. “It gave her guidance on what to eat and she didn’t have to think about it,” Polon says.

“It is well mapped out and unlike a juice cleanse or something, I was never hungry and I honestly really felt that I had more energy,” Meek-Bradley says, adding that she lost about 15 pounds over the course of a month. 

A soup cleanse is different than a juice cleanse because it’s not a quick fix. “We’re not trying to remove toxins. It’s not a temporary diet,” she says. “What we’re trying to do is get people to overhaul the way they approach food. These are meals. You won’t be running to the snack machine in the afternoon.”

The Soupergirl website is now taking pre-orders, and the first Souper Cleanse packages will be delivered on Monday, Nov. 28.