Introducing the Blended Salad


One of the cooler blog trends lately is rise of green smoothies (or green monsters, as so many like to say). The introduction of spinach and kale into everyone’s morning smoothie was one of my favorite blogging developments of the year—and lately I’ve been delighted to see greens appearing in hot breakfast cereals too (thank you, Polly and Heather!).

Green smoothies are terrific: full of vitamins, fiber, and an easy, palatable way to get raw greens. But today I’m hoping to ignite some enthusiasm for another blended creation: the blended salad.

What is a blended salad? It’s just a funny name for a raw veggie soup. Blended salads have all of the fiber and g goodness of green goodness of green smoothies, but they’re savory, rather than sweet! They’re also endlessly versatile: I have made dozens upon dozens of variations, and loved them all.I like to keep my blended salads as simple as possible, but you can easily add herbs or spices to change their flavor and character.

Many of my clients have taken to drinking these in the morning, as an alternative to smoothies; if you do that, I recommend a side of sprouted toast and picking clean flavors for your sleepy palate! At any other time of day, go crazy. One of the recipes I’m about to share is given some kick with cayenne pepper.

My basic blended salad formula is always the same:

1-2 cups water
¼-1/2 avocado
1-2 cups vegetables, chopped
1 cup greens
1 tsp-1tbsp cold-pressed oil (optional)
¼ tsp. salt

This is just a suggestion: you can use pretty much any combination of vegetables you like in whatever amounts you like. I enjoy adding avocado for creaminess and/or a drizzle of oil, but both are optional; blended salad purists use vegetables and water alone, which is equally tasty!

Blended salads are not only quick to make, but also very gentle on the digestive tract. They’re wonderful healing foods, and they’re often encouraged in the holistic health community for those whowho suffer from any kind of digestive condition. I often turn to them when my stomach is a bit off: one of my favorite variations (Kristen’s Harvest Soup) got me through my recent battle with a batch of bad sprouts! You can base your blended salads on any flavors or veggies you like. My favorite combinations are zucchini and avocado based, but tomatoes and cucumber are also great bases; carrots and beets can liven them up, too.

Now, I won’t lie: these may not have the immediate appeal of your green monsters. But I think you guys might grow to love them for their simplicity and rich nourishment. I challenge you all to try them one of these days (maybe, for tradition’s sake, a Wednesday)! And if you do, let me know!

In the meantime, here are my top blended salad recipes, and a mini-photo gallery for you all. All recipes serve 1-2:


Creamy Zucchini Soup

1 zucchini, chopped (about 1 generous cup)
1 cup greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp white miso (not necessary, but I enjoy the flavor it lends to raw soups and blended salads)
¼ tsp salt
½ avocado, chopped
2-4 tbsp fresh dill (depending on your taste)
1 cup water
1 tbsp oil

Blend all ingredients on high in a blender until smooth; drizzle in oil slowly. Serve with sprigs of dill for garnish!


Jennifer Cornbleet’s Garden Vegetable Soup (modified by yours truly)

1 small zucchini, chopped
½ large tomato, chopped
2 stalks celery
1 cup greens
10 leaves fresh basil
½ large avocado, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp white miso
¼ tsp salt
Dash of cayenne
1 ½ cups water

Blend all ingredients except for the spinach and basil on high till smooth. Add them and blend again, also adding more water if the soup is too thick. Enjoy!


Blended Spinach Salad

2-3 cups spinach leaves
1 cup water
Dash salt
Dash pepper
Squeeze of lemon
½ large avocado, chopped
1 tbsp oil

Blend all ingredients on high till mixed, then drizzle in oil until soup is creamy. (You can jazz this up with whatever herbs you like.)


Harvest Soup (adapted from Kristen Suzanne)

1/2 cup water
1/2 large zucchini, chopped
1 medium tomatoes, quartered
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cups carrot, chopped
1 date, pitted
1/2 tsp Himalayan crystal salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tbsp flax oil
Handful dulse strips

Blend all of the ingredients, except for the flax oil, on high speed in your blender until really creamy (approximately one minute – I prefer this soup a tad warm and very creamy). Then, while the blender is running on low speed, add the flax oil. Continue blending, at a higher speed, for another minute or less. This will make it slightly warm.


Gena’s Basic Tomato Soup

1 ¼ cups chopped cherry or Holland tomatoes
½ avocado
1 cup water
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp agave or dash of stevia
Dash of salt

Blend all ingredients on high till smooth and creamy. Add more water if needed. If you prefer a slightly creamier soup, go ahead and drizzle in some oil on high speed.

I also love this soup as a light dip for veggies or even a light dressing for big summer salads!

I hope you’ll all be inspired to try out one or a few of these recipes at home: and remember to personalize them according to your tastes! Garlic could be added to nearly all of them. If you must. There’s no easier way to get a ton of veggies into your day. So get to chopping and blending, and enjoy!


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Categories: Soups
Dietary Preferences: Raw

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  1. Hi,
    I have autoimmune atrophic gastritis. Is this blended salad idea OK?

    • Hi there! Without knowing the details of your gastritis, I’d recommend you talk to your GI or PCP before trying. Raw vegetables may not be safe or appropriate for you at this moment in time. Have a chat with your provider, just to be safe, before you experiment with the idea 🙂


  2. This summer I had oral surgery and now wear an upper denture. I love salads but thought I couldn’t chew them with teeth that were not my own and was not happy. I thought, why not add all the things I normally put in a salad and blend it in my Vitamix. I googled it and discovered that lots of people make their salads in liquid form or heat them up as a soup. I tried it tonight, and it tasted exactly like the salad I love. I used lettuce, tomato, onion, celery, carrot, red pepper and my usual dressing of a couple of tbsp of seasoned rice vinegar and a tbsp of olive oil. Now I won’t have to miss out on a favorite. Yeah!

  3. Gena,is it ok to use coconut water instead of plain water in your recipes? I was thinking of added electrolytes. I usually do that in my smoothies.

    I’m new to the concept of blended soups.

  4. I love your blended salads and can’t wait to try them. I don’t like to use oil, so will that affect the soups? For me the avocado has enough fat
    Thank you

  5. I’ve got to try these.

    Can you use any type of blender or do you need a special kind?

    I’ve been told to use a Vitamix blender, but they are expensive!

      • Thanks Gena,

        I’ve also been looking into a Blendtec blender. Seems people either like the Vitamix or Blendtec.

        I’ve been juicing like crazy lately but want to add these blended veggies to my diet. I’m going to try your recipes.

        I need to overload my body on all this great nutrition in order to beat an illness I was recently diagnosed with.

  6. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having
    a tough time locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email.
    I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be
    interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  7. I have a question. Some of your recipes are called soups but there is no process of heating them, is it just because they are blended salads? Is it ok to just blend all the vegetables and drink?
    I am new to the blending world and I want to use more veggies than fruit. I travel a bunch so I bought the Hamilton Beach single serve blender for my travel bag. I do not have access to health food stores usually, just groceries so I am not able to do some of the more exotic recipes while on the road.
    Thank you for posting recipes, I am headed to the store now.

    • Yes, they’re essentially blended salads — if no heating is involved, I may call it “soup,” but it’s certainly not soup in the traditional sense!

      • Thank you so much, I have tried a few of these but very simplified because I am in a difft hotel each night and there are only so many ingredients I can haul around.
        Thank you again,

  8. Seriously my prayers have been answered. The snow is on its way here in Boulder, CO so I am super grateful to have found some raw soups to try out. Yeah! I think I will “survive” winter raw after all. Many many thanks and lovely job!

  9. The great thing about blended salads/cold soups is you can add ANYTHING!!! Whenever my crisper is getting low, I grab whatever bits I have left and throw them in the blender with a little ice. Today I threw in a tomato, stalk of celery, 1/2 cucumber, 1 beet, and a little sea salt and olive oil with a little ice. It was great!! The drink with a handful of almonds made a really filling and fulfilling lunch.

  10. Gena,

    I just recently discovered your site – and am having a field day with all of your creative recipes! My CSA share just started up again this week, and I’ve been having a blast in the kitchen concocting new meals with my garden freshies. My lunch today was a version of your blended salad – I’ve been meaning to do a gazpacho for ages, and landing on this page was just the impetus I needed! So easy, clean and fresh tasting. Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge.


  11. I’ve been blending veggies in with 1/2 cup low-sodium veggie juice. I probably don’t use quite as much greens, but I’ve found this is a great way to use up random veggies like carrot tops or kale/collard stalks (when I’ve made “doritos” out of the leaves). I’ll add a cuke, a couple carrots, some celery, red pepper, or whatever I have on hand. Adding an avocado is a good idea because it’s not sustaining enough for me to have as a stand-alone breakfast.

    • Could you please share how you make Doritos out of greens? I have some black kale I need to use. Thanks in advance!

  12. Gena,

    I’m a long time lurker, and I finally wanted to speak up to say thank you for this post. I love green monsters, but it’s freezing her and I can’t bring myself to drink one. I missed them so much! I gave blended salads a try and I am in love!! I love them even more than green monsters, and I’ll be drinking these for life. Today’s blended salad was avocado, miso, celery, green onion, 1 small garlic clove, half a red bell pepper, a ton of spinach, half a zucchini, grapeseed oil and hot water to blend it together. It was so good!

  13. I made this soup in my food processor. It did not turn out smooth. It looks like little chunks of green bits in water. How do you make it look creamy?
    I really, REALLY want to make this work because the recipes look and sound so good!

      • I made the creamy zucchini soup. Maybe I should have peeled the zucchini before I put it in the food processor? Maybe the ‘greens’ are not blended enough? I tried adding more water to see if that would make it more creamy, but it still looked like very tiny green bits in water.

  14. Might it be acceptable, in cold weather (like what we’re having right now), to warm the soup up a bit prior to consumption? I’ve never tried the stuff, but I feel like it might make a great alternative to your usual comfort goods.

  15. Hi Gena, 🙂
    I really appreciate all the work in put into your website. I have bookmarked you and lately when I need to learn about or eat raw meals, everyday now for three weeks, I click on your recipes and pick one of choice for me. I love the look of the pages too. Crisp and classy. It makes me want to eat healthier too. 🙂
    I was wondering if you know of others who react to eating raw zucchini. I eat it regularly for pasta looks but my body reacts to it by thinking it’s acidic or something. Sometimes, I feel like I need to burp. It seems my body wants to get rid of it. Have you ever come across this?

  16. Hello Gena!I love soups and tomato soup is my fav, lately I’ve been experimenting with green smoothie but fruit isn’t friendly to me, so I’m definately gonig to try every suggestion here 😉
    Have a nice we!

  17. I love the simplicity of your recipes and how it makes vegetables its focal point. It also makes the raw food diet less scary.

  18. hi! this looks real good. the truth is my dad used to make us these when we were kids ( and guess what our reaction was ?!).
    nowdays im all for this. this is so healthy and great on hot days.


  19. Okay, these look really good. And I happen to know that my birthday present (2 more weeks!) is a Blentec. It’s definitely summer squash season around here, and I’ve got chard in the garden. And what DOESN’T avocado make better?

    Love the blog.

  20. These look amazing!! =]

    But–I think you may have meant to thank Polly at Yoga is Yummy, not Holly…?

  21. Your tomato soup looks delicious! I will definitely be making this very soon, as my favourite hot tomato soup is getting to be a bit too much in this weather. I love that it seems pretty light, and not all weighed down with nuts and cups of oil!

  22. I love blended soups!

    My current fave is carrot/ginger. I add 2 carrots, a chunk of ginger, some nutmeg, some chile powder, a little salt & pepper, and a small handfull of nuts or seeds. Then I put in enoug water to cover and blend on high in my Vita-Mix until it is just slightly warm.

    I’ve had this exact soup twice this week for lunch.

  23. Yum! I’ve been on a green smoothie kick for my pre-workout snacks. They fill me for just about the length of a 45-minute to 1-hour workout and then I’m famished. But this might be another pre-gym snack idea for me. I’m getting a little tired of the green smoothies (I have to mix things up often).

  24. Thank you SO MUCH for this post, Gena! I have been trying so hard to cut back on my fruit intake, but every morning when I make my green smoothie, I am too scared to skip over the fruit! Now that I have your recipes to follow (thanks for including multiples!) I can bravely experiment with confidence! Seriously, this is the best Friday post ever! Now I can go to the farmers market and co-op after work armed with recipes and a plan! I am so excited – thank you, thank you, thank you! : )

  25. All of those soups look great! I have always been a gazpacho kind of girl, but now I can really broaden my horizons. Thanks for the recipes!

  26. wow! these look amazing! and perfect for summer! thanks for all the great ideas. keep ’em coming 🙂

  27. Actually a RAW SOUP…(sweet potato) was my FIRST RAW recipe.

    it was so so so and the bubs just inhaled it!

    my family was so (not sure the word, but it was somewhere between amazed and horrified) that I fed the baby RAW sweet potato, AVOCADO and the like. To date my 15 month old (and us all) have eaten things like KALE PAPAYA…AND RAW SWEET POTATO (not at the same time…but who knows??)

    he loves loves loves it…and so do I … and now I have a few new ones to try!

    again….. YEAH

  28. Actually a RAW SOUP…(sweet potato) was my FIRST recipe.

    it was so so so and the bubs just inhaled it!

    my family was so (not sure the word, but it was somewhere between amazed and horrified) that I fed the baby RAW sweet potato, AVOCADO and the like. To date my 15 month old (and us all) have eaten things like KALE PAPAYA…AND RAW SWEET POTATO

  29. YUM! so many of these look delish. and i bet my blender may even suffice for making them…fingers crossed.

    anyways, im not sure if you use google reader or not, but i think you may have to update it, since suddenly reader doesnt seem to be recognizing my page properly…
    for SOME reason now you have to enter into google reader subscriptions (this is only a change in google reader though)…have you had any probs before with this?

  30. I have never tried and liked any cold soups, but maybe I should try again. Some of these recipes sound really good!

  31. Great ideas! I actually remember thinking, as I was drinking a green smoothie some time ago, that if I hadn’t added a sweet element (fruit or almond milk or whatever it was), I was essentially drinking a salad – I had even used salad greens for it. I just never took the plunge to call it what it was!

    And you know how the juice stand at Coffee Shop has like a bajillion combos listed all over it? Most of the veggie ones are just listed under juice as opposed to the smoothie list, which is fruit heavy. It occurred to me that a smoothie of any of the juice combos might be tasty too – do you think the health benefits differ much between a juice vs. a smoothie made of the same things? (No added froyo or whatever.)

    Thanks for the inspiration! I’m going to try to keep up what I did this week, which was one raw meal most every day. Not hard at all and it feels great. 🙂

    • Hey D — This is a great question! And I’m getting it so often that I’ll make it my belated question of the week today or tmw. Stay tuned 😉

  32. Everyone of these blended salads sound so yummy! I really like the idea of using these as a dressing. Im sure I could make a bigger batch and have the soup for lunch. Then pour the remaning over a huge salad for dinner. I bet zucchini pasta would taste with good with it also. Thanks for the inspiration!


  33. Having just completed a three day Green Smoothie Cleanse- not sure I am ready to jump back into the blended salad world. Enjoying the crunch but these are definite great options. Also an easy way to make a salad a little more transportable.

  34. Great recipes. I’ve seen energy soup recipes around and they never looked appetizing. These looks like something I’ll actually eat. I don’t yet have a Vita, so mine may be a slight bit chunkier than yours.

    Also, thanks so much for your email! I’ll be in contact after my appointment next week.

  35. Hmm…interesting, I may have to try this! One question- do you need a good blender/food processor? Mine isn’t that great, and tends to not get things as creamy as other high end machines can.

    • Hey Jane,

      Unfortunately, yeah, a good quality blender or food processor REALLY helps. You don’t have to go whole hog and get a vita, but definitely look online and see if you can get a powerful one for a cheap price!


  36. See, this is why I love your blog so much! What a great idea that never occurred to me to do! They all look so rich and perfectly creamy. The zucchini and garden veggie sound great. I was thinking about lunch for over the weekend, so this would be perfect. And what a great light meal for a hot summer day (Is summer ever going to fully arrive in NY, or what?!?!?) I’ve seen some other awesome soups in Kristen’s book that I put on the meal plan back burner. Time to get off my butt and try these out! Thanks for the ideas!

  37. So funny, I’ve put “raw soup” on my list of meals every week for the past month and have yet to make some! Thanks for all the recipes! Have a nice weekend!

  38. I’ve to treat my father to lunch today and he chose a buffet restaurant. How would you navigator a buffet? I personally don’t like it at all (very impersonal and just too much food), but what can I say, it’s dad’s day. 🙂

    • Kim:

      One word: SALAD. Get lots of greens and tons of veggies. If they have avocado, you’re a lucky girl. If you eat eats, you could do an egg or two. Oil and vinegar or lemon is always the best dressing. Good luck!


  39. Here’s the deal… they sound a lot like my first green juice, which was an “interesting” experience. It might be more palatable if I come at it with a different mindset and eat it with a spoon. Eating something with a spoon automatically makes my mind switch to savory/soup flavors. I’ll wait until my husband isn’t home to make this. He already thinks I’m crazy for what I eat half the time! hahaha I did get him to drink a Green Monster, though! (I got so excited I started jumping around like a hyper chihuahua) I’m also working my way up to making the fermented oats from Heather’s blog. I’m actually super excited about that!

    • Nice!

      If you’re not diggin’ the green juice yet, use apple! I still use apple in my green juice, even though I’m a hardcore juicer and *should* be fine with straight greens by now.

  40. You’re on! I’m definitely going to try these recipes… I also found one for tomato and red bell pepper recently, that I thought would be amazing. I love my green smoothies, but it never hurts to have some variety!

  41. I’m typing this as I have my breakfast green smoothie, and that Harvest Soup is already calling my name for lunch! Thanks for being so generous with all the ideas. Have a great weekend!

  42. Yum! I made a blended kabocha, spinach, oat bran concoction for breakfast this morning, and it dawned on me that I was essentially eating baby food. I didn’t care…it was delicious! I will have to try some of yours!

  43. I love that you post many recipes in one post! Am liking the sound of the tomato one. I usually use Renee Loux’s version, but I’ll be sure to give yours a go next time I make one!
    Have a great day x em.

  44. OK, here’s what I just made for dinner (and lunch tomorrow):

    1/2 bunch rainbow chard
    1 small head (??) bok choy
    1/2 avocado
    a small red gypsy pepper
    1 big bloodred & 1 small yellow heirloom tomato
    juice from 1/2 a lemon
    a bit of young red onion
    Adobo seasoning (oye, soy latina; what do you expect?)
    water to blend


  45. I just got Victoria Boutenko’s Green For Life from the library and I have been blending all sorts of green nonsense lately! My favorite (this week) is the following:

    a champagne mango
    1/2 big bunch purple kale
    3/4 c. mixed blueberries/cherries
    1 t. cacao nibs
    1/2 t. maca
    water to blend

    WTF! I almost lost my damn mind it was so good. And an intense deep purple. Which not enough foods are.

    So I know that was not a salad, but I thought I would throw it out there in any case, because the world should know about delicious purple drinks that are not called Pinot Noir.

    I am making a savory green blended concoction for dinner tonight even. Sometimes a girl just wants to give her mandibles a break, ya know?

  46. Oh, I love blended salads! I have one almost every day for lunch… such a great way to get in daily veggies in a light, digestible way. I was shocked by how quickly I became addicted. Thanks for the post!

  47. I’m super excited because I have all the ingredients for the tomato soup- and tomato soup is my favorite!! I might have to try making it tomorrow. Looks delicious (and easy- which I like ;))

  48. Thank you for this post!!! I’ve been needing a change from the traditional fruit green smoothies, but wasn’t sure how to improve them. I can’t wait to try this!!!

  49. Oh my goodness, Gena, these ideas are fabulous! The other day, I was looking for a cold soup recipes, in which I can get all my veggies in, and this sounds perfect. The first one looks especially try-worthy for me 😀

  50. They’re called Green Monsters cuz everyone loves the Red Sox… right?

    Of course right! 😀 I can’t wait to try these soups!

  51. these all look delicious! Ive recently started on the green smoothies myself, and I’ll def have to give the soups a try. I have to say I absolutely love the ideas your blog gives me!

  52. I am in love with this post! I’ve stopped making green smoothies because of all the fruit. I can’t handle that much at once. I never thought to make them savory though!

    I can’t decide which recipe to make first! They are sound so delicious!