It is March. It’s cold, it’s windy, and it’s pretty darn grey outside. At least it is here, in the northeast. At this time of year and really all winter, I am grateful for my high vitamin cod liver oil. The vitamin D content in this product turns this yucky liquid into “sunshine in a bottle” and really charges my battery. (Perhaps I will blog on that at a later date..) However, I am also truly grateful for my daily bowl of soup. I have been eating soup just about every day now for a couple of months. I make the stock according to the recipe in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. It seems like I end up making chicken stock once every 10 days or so. Once it is finished brewing, I bottle it up in mason jars and store it in the fridge. When I am not so “soup crazed” then I store it in the freezer. Right now though, I am most definitely soup crazed and we go through stock very quickly.
Stock, whether beef or chicken needs to be made with bones in order to get real benefit from your soup. Please do not buy broth in a can or box. There is very little value to those products and it is so easy and so much more nutritious to make your own. It is also very economical. Before making your stock, purchase a free range organic chicken and roast it for dinner. If you don’t use all the meat from your chicken, remove the rest from the carcass and save for other meals (add to soup, chicken salad, etc..). Now use the carcass and the giblets along with carrots, celery, onion, etc… to make your stock! You just got 3 uses out of that 1 chicken that most likely was kind of pricey. If you use a whole chicken to make your stock then, once it is done simmering, remove all the meat from the carcass and save it to be used in a casserole or in enchiladas (my favorite!).
Properly prepared stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow, and vegetables. Raw apple cider vinegar added during cooking helps to draw out the minerals, especially calcium, magnesium and potassium. Another important component of homemade stock is gelatin. Gelatin acts as a digestive aid and in many cultures, soups and stocks have been consumed right before each meal in order to aid digestion. It has also been used in the treatment of many intestinal disorders, including GERD, colitis and Crohn’s disease. It is known to feed, repair, and calm the lining of the small intestine. The use of gelatin-rich broth on a daily or frequent basis, provides continuous protection from many health problems. It’s no wonder it is often referred to as “Jewish penicillin”. You must keep in mind though that it is only effective if the stock is made with the bones! The same magic does not occur with broth made only from the meat.
When I make myself a bowl of soup, I think about both the nutritive value of the ingredients that I add and the taste and texture of the finished product. A good bowl of soup can be quite a party for the mouth as well as a satisfying meal. No bread on the side is needed to complete the meal when the soup is made right. My daily soup routine began while I was doing the Standard Process Purification Program. At the time, it was important to get lots of good foods into me, feel satisfied, and not be hungry again for awhile. This is the soup (minus the cheese) that I came up with while doing the cleanse and have continued to consume daily since it ended:
Into a 1 qt. saucepan:
fill about 2/3 full with homemade chicken stock
Add some real salt to your liking. (Real Salt or Celtic Sea Salt – these products are full of minerals unlike white, iodized salt)
Add some pepper to your liking (I like a lot of heat!).
Add some leftover brown or wild rice – (whole grains – B vitamins, manganese, selenium, magnesium).
Some zucchini (good for the adrenal glands)
Some cauliflower (anti-cancer, good for the liver)
Add some leftover chicken (protein).
Into your soup bowl (make sure it is a big one!):
Add some shredded red cabbage (anti-cancer and many important nutrients)
Have the following garnishes ready:
The juice of 1 lime
Some chopped up cilantro – the more the better (cilantro is known to help remove heavy metals from your body )
A chopped up scallion/green onion
Some ripe avocado (good fat!)
Some grated raw cheese (I like cheddar)
Pour the hot soup over the cabbage and let sit for a few minutes. This will cook the cabbage just enough but, still give you some crunch. Then top with all of your garnishes. Fill free to play with this recipe. Be creative and report back to me your findings! Now I am hungry…… Good soup is one of the many blessings in my life and I hope it becomes one of yours.