Stop Playing — Savory Smoothies Are Basically Just Soup

More than just another health fad that promises to fix all your problems and grant you eternal life, smoothies have become an essential source of nutrition for busy people. All too often, though, smoothies are fraught with copious amounts of sugar, thanks to the addition of fruit, fruit juices, honey, and other sweeteners. In an effort to cut out excess sugar, some have taken to whipping up savory smoothies, a blended beverage in which vegetables are the stars of the show.

While savory smoothies can include many of the same raw vegetables you might toss in a sweeter smoothie (Think: cucumber, greens, and carrots), they can also be crafted with cooked ingredients, such as roasted squash, steamed corn, or sauteed peas and onions. Cooked vegetables make for easier blending and work to provide a depth of flavor that can't be attained using raw vegetables alone. Beans, nuts, bone broths, and even previously cooked meats, can also be blended into a savory smoothie to further enhance the umami flavor and give a boost of protein.

Traditionally when smoothie-crafting, we aim to neutralize the taste of bitter greens with the addition of fruits. When it comes to savory smoothies, however, the idea is to compliment the taste of the vegetables rather than mask them. This can be done with the addition of herbs, spices, citrus, and condiments such as soy sauce, vinegar, and tomato paste. In this way, a savory smoothie may sound more like a gazpacho than a smoothie. But is this just semantics?

Toeing the line between smoothie and soup

If a strawberry and banana smoothie — packed with fresh greens and sticky peanut butter — could talk, it would almost certainly say, "Good morning! Now, go crush the day." So, what then, do you think a roasted garlic and tomato smoothie with chicken bone broth would have to say for itself? We imagine it might utter something along the lines of, "Please stop calling me a smoothie when I am very obviously soup."

While a concoction of blended vegetables, spices, oils, and vinegar may be known to trendy health enthusiasts as a savory smoothie, the Spanish have been calling that same combination of ingredients "gazpacho" for centuries. Blended and served cold, it seems that the only thing that kept gazpacho from being considered a smoothie was its savory nature. However, as the recipe evolved, and variations like watermelon and mint gazpacho were born, the distinction between soup and smoothie became markedly more blurry.

As far as we can tell, the only difference between cold soup and savory smoothies is whether you choose to eat them with a spoon or drink them with a straw. So, call it whatever you want; just don't put it in the microwave, because then it would definitely be soup ... we think.