Small steps food series
Soups and Broth
Here we are at soups day. I wonder what words or images are conjured up for you when I say ‘soup’?
I think about Saturday afternoons as a kid, after playing netball in the freezing rain and dipping white ‘flour rolls’ into microwaved tinned tomato soup. Quite frankly, it was delicious. But now I make different choices!
I love soup. Any soup really. Except soup with peas in it. Just not a fan….
Here’s the thing about soup and how well it can nourish your body - there’s different levels. At the base there’s tinned soup, then there’s homemade soup with store-bought stock and then at the top there’s homemade soup using slow-cooked broth.
Today we take soup to that next level and I show you how easy it is to make ridiculously nutritious bone broth.
Two of my favourite recipe/educational/wholefood books are Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Wholefoods by Jude Blereau. In it they both stress the importance of a good stock/broth.
Throughout the centuries, stocks made from bones have been considered to be crucial foods for health. Meat stocks, particularly when cooked with a little wine or vinegar, drew out the minerals, amino acids and cartilage in the bone, making them more freely available. As a component of stock made from animal bones, gelatine is of particular value. Gelatine enables the easy digestion of cooked foods - in particular protein, and it also allows the body to utilise more fully the complete proteins that are eaten.
Basically all you do is simmer bones and veggies over a very low heat for twelve hours.
And if you're wondering - how could we possibly go from 'raw food is awesome’ yesterday to 'cooking things for the longest time possible is best' - well - welcome to the confusing and contradicting world of nutrition!
I am constantly experimenting with the best bits of lots of different dietary theories. I hope it doesn't get too confusing for you but is instead a launching pad from which you can create your own personalised wholefood lifestyle!
Next time you are at the butcher, ask about access to their bones. They are usually super cheap. Buy the best quality bones you can afford. By that I mean from animals that have been fed well and are free to roam. Beef, lamb or chicken bones are awesome to use.
Creating a big batch of soup on a Sunday and storing it in portions for the week is an amazing way to create easy lunches.
If you need a slice of sourdough bread to dip in - go for it! I’m all about the dipping….
Create a broth and experience the benefits. You’ll be doing more for your health than you realise!
Recipes to try
- 1 kg beef or lamb bones
- Dash of apple cider vinegar
- 2 onions, peeled and halved
- 2 carrots, chopped into quarters
- 10 cups of water
- Any other herbs / veggies you want to add
1. Place bones, water and a few dashes of the vinegar in your slow-cooker. Do not turn it on. Allow to rest for an hour.
2. Add vegetables to slow cooker and turn to high heat.
3. Once it’s boiling away, reduce the temperature and allow to simmer for 12 hours (maximum 18 hours).
4. In the morning, strain the stock and place the liquid in the fridge. I tend to use it over the next 5-6 days and freeze what I don’t use in either ice-cube trays to pop out and add to food or in a glass container in a ‘soup size’ portion.
- 1/2 large jap pumpkin, cut in chucks
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- Olive oil
- 2 cups chicken, beef or vegetable broth
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Cut pumpkin into large wedges, and spread on baking tray (or trays). Add peeled and halved onion and whole, unpeeled garlic cloves to the tray and coat in olive oil and a few sprinkles of salt.
3. Place tray in the oven to cook for 30-40 minutes - until pumpkin is soft all the way through.
4. Once ingredients are roasted scrape the pumpkin away from it's skin and into a saucepan, add the onion and the inside of the garlic (squeeze out the cooked garlic from inside the casing).
5. Add the broth/stock to the saucepan and bring to the boil on the stove top. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. Then use your stick blender and blend until smooth.
6. Alternatively this process can happen in a thermomix by adding all ingredients to the thermomix, cooking for 10 minutes, 100 degrees, speed 1 and then blending on speed 9 for one minute.
7. Add a dash of cream to serve.
This minestrone soup is warming and hearty. Get it boiling away on a Sunday and enjoy a premade lunch during the week.
- 3 slices of the best bacon you can find and afford
(naturally smoked adds an AMAZING flavour to this soup)
- 1 sliced onion
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 carrots chopped
- 3 zucchinis chopped
- 3 potatoes chopped
- 300 g green beans chopped
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup passata
- 1 litre chicken broth/stock
- 1.5 - 2 litres water
- Dash of tamari
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp heaped Italian herbs
- 1 cup pearl barley (or 1 cup gluten-free pasta spirals)
- Cook bacon, onion and garlic in 2 tbls olive oil over a medium heat for 3-5 minutes in a very large sauce pan.
- Then add all other ingredients.
- Bring to boil them simmer for 1.5 hours
- Add 1 cup of pearl barley and continue cooking for half an hour until soft. Enjoy
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