Soup: The First Fast Food
The following article is reprinted from the website of Kathy Strahan, and is used with her permission. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, you can listen to Mel’s interview with Kathy in Podcast 90.
Soup: The First Fast Food
Everyone knows how wonderful a bowl of warm soup is on a cold winter day, right?
But most people don’t consider soup the fastest fast food on the planet.
Yes, with a little planning ahead, even homemade soup can provide an almost instant meal that is nourishing, and delicious.
I make it a point to prepare a batch of soup every week because my husband and I really love it, plus, we also know the health benefits of starting with homemade bone broth.
However, start the process of healthy meal preparation at your own pace. Any homemade food is better than a drive-through meal, and easier on the wallet too.
So, prepare the healthy make-ahead meals from where you are right now in life. For instance, you may want to make your own soup, but would prefer to buy the store-bought broth. That’s fine. Do that. Add your own veggies and other goodies.
If you’d like to try making your own broth, below is my version of homemade chicken bone broth, and the basics of how to build a soup. From the recipe below, any soup can evolve depending on taste and preference.
NOTE: Traditional bone broth is simmered for 24 hours or so. I used to prepare it this way, now I use a faster procedure which gives the same or even better results. This recipe can be used in a slow cooker, or on the stove. Broth can also be made with the use of a pressure cooker. At this writing, I have no experience with that yet. I plan to get a pressure cooker soon.
Slow Cooker Chicken Bone Broth
1. First I start with a whole, pastured chicken I get from my farmers market. (The most organic chicken you can find is ideal)
2. And the second most important ingredient, but it is still optional, is a pound or so of chicken feet from a farmers market, or your local butcher. Using chicken feet has finally given me the wonderful gelatin like consistency we all want. It also has all the beneficial collagen etc.
3. A TBSP of apple sider vinegar is added to extract the minerals from the bones during cooking.
4. I also throw in carrots and celery which I dispose after the cooking procedure. (veggies also contribute to the high mineral content of bone broth)
5. You can use other veggies and then near the end of the cooking, (about 30 minutes) add onions and garlic if you wish.
6. Now, cover all the contents with filtered water so that there is roughly a half to an inch of water above the contents.
7. I set the slow cooker to high and after 5-7 hours, the broth is strained.
8. The bones are discarded, and the chicken is separated from the broth for use in other dishes, including the chicken soup I’m making.
9. Then the broth is allowed to sit in mason jars in the fridge for about 24 hours. This seems to be a good amount of time for the liquid to gel.
10. (the result should ideally be dense and jiggly just like Jell-O.
11. I then remove the hard fat from the top and discard. What is left is a nourishing, Jell-O like substance called bone broth.
12. I usually get 3-4 jars of broth from this procedure, so I will freeze the extra broth to use in future cooking.
Now comes the fun, building the soup!
1. Start by sautéing onions. I use two large onions, usually red. (
2. The onions are roughly cut and then coat the bottom of a heavy soup pot with a generous amount of oil like avocado, butter, or ghe...
3. After the onions are soft and translucent, (about 15 minutes) then add fresh mushrooms. (we like tons of mushrooms so I use two packages of sliced mushrooms)
4. After the mushrooms are soft, then I add 2-3 TBSP dried spices. I like basil, and oregano. I will also use garlic powder if I don’t have fresh.
5. After the dried spices seem incorporated, I may add fresh garlic and let the garlic sauté for about 2 minutes.
Now here is where you can get creative.
1. Add in other veggies (for a big batch, about 6 cups) like shredded cabbage, kale, squash if you like, a can of beans (Eden Foods brand is ideal because the beans are soaked and pressure cooked) and also this is a good time to add in a pinch of salt such as sea salt or kosher salt, as well as ground pepper.
2. Now the final thing is add in the homemade broth and let the soup simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
3. You can serve over rice, add in such protein sources as chicken, or even grass-fed sausage. You can add grated parmesan cheese, freshly chopped parsley -- the extras are up to you!
Soup preparation is almost impossible to mess up. In other words, please be encouraged to experiment. After a couple of tries, you will come up with your favorite soup.
I’m here to help if you have any questions or comments.
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