Tortilla Soup

This is my husbands favorite meal… and he doesn’t even really like soups! He requests this often.

Place chicken, onion, garlic and salt in large pot. Add filtered water to cover the chicken.
Bring to a slow boil. Skim and discard foam. Cover and lower heat to maintain a simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. If using a whole chicken, cook 45 – 60 minutes.
Remove chicken from pot, let cool. Allow broth to simmer uncovered so that it reduces in volume by about half.
Process cooled chicken reserving bones in one bowl and chicken meat in another bowl. Save the skin and fat in a third bowl.
Shred or chop the meat and set aside. Save the bones in the freezer for another batch of broth. Put the skin and fat in a small food processor along with a little broth. Process until smooth. Set aside. Do not skip this step. It adds much nourishment and satisfaction to the final soup.
Remove onion and garlic from broth. Reserve broth.
In a large pot over medium heat, saute onion in oil until translucent. Add the garlic, cumin and chili powder; saute for a minute or so. Add reserved broth, salsa and processed chicken skin/fat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes (or up to a couple of hours). Add chicken and frozen corn heat until warm. Taste for seasoning.
Serve with organic tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream and/or kefir

Homemade Roast Chicken Broth

This recipe follows my roast chicken recipe – first roast the bird and eat the meat, then use the bones and organs to make the base for an incredibly tasty soup. It’s a great way to use every part of what you’ve got. How many recipes call for chicken broth? SO MANY. Put this one in your recipe drawer and save it for a cool, rainy day. Making broth warms the house up and smells so good!

Chop up the vegetables
Put everything in a stock pot. Add water until the bones are nearly covered.
Simmer for up to 8 hours, until bone structure is falling apart.
Strain out broth and let cool. Fat will float to the top and can be skimmed off for other uses.

Sauerkraut and Cabbage Soup

Sauerkraut Cabbage Soup is one of those warm, filling winter soups that takes advantage of a long simmer. Although it can come together on the stove top in about an hour if you are so inclined. It has a chicken broth base with shredded cabbage, sauerkraut, carrots, potatoes and pork. These humble ingredients create a satisfying meal.

In a large pot on the stove or your slow cooker add the stock, pork, water, allspice, bay leaves, marjoram, potato, carrots, onion, cabbage, sauerkraut, salt and black pepper.
Simmer for a minimum 20 minutes on the stove or six to eight hours in the slow cooker. Before serving mix in the sauerkraut and its juice and cook for an additional ten minutes. Taste for flavor and add more salt if needed.

Thai Red Curry Pumpkin Soup

Not the typical curried pumpkin soup. This smooth pumpkin soup uses Thai red curry paste (I use Mae Ploy) to give it a bit of a kick. You can choose to use more or less red curry paste as your taste prefers. This recipe calls for a modest amount of curry that should suit most pallets.
The pumpkins are roasted in the oven to give them a more robust sweetness that blends perfectly with the spicy curry. Great for cold winter evening family meals.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Cut each pumpkin in halves or quarters and rub butter all over them. Sprinkle generously with salt. Place on a baking sheet skin sides down and put in the oven. Bake for for about an hour or until the pumpkins are tender.
Allow pumpkins to cool enough to handle and then scoop out the seeds and pulp. Then scoop the flesh into a blender. Add coconut milk and curry paste. Blend until you have a thick base.
Pour pumpkin base into a heavy bottomed soup pot and add chicken stock until the soup is the consistency you prefer. Bring to a simmer and add salt and additional curry paste to your taste. Simmer for about 7-10 minutes.

Big Cast Iron Skillet Chili

Oh my, oh my. Best chili I’ve ever made. My children, who don’t usually like chili actually like it. My husband loves it. I adapted this recipe from one in The Primal Blueprint Cookbook. I used a huge cast iron skillet to make this chili. You could also use a large pot. This makes a large amount and would be easy to cut in half.

In a large skillet or pot, heat the bacon fat over medium heat until melted.
Add in the onions and cook until soft, about 10 – 15 minutes.
Add in the garlic and cook for 5 minutes more.
Add in the ground beef and cook until done, breaking up as you go.
Add in the tomatoes, broth, oregano, paprika and chili powder. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the vinegars and seasoned salt. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream if desired.

Asian Inspired Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is an Asian adaptation on traditional butternut squash soup – creamy and delicious, with just the right hints of taste-bud pleasing flavor. Filling enough for a meal, or use smaller portions as a starter. This is a favorite autumn recipe of kids and adults in my family!

Melt butter in 3-4 quart pot.
Add onion, ginger, garlic, and chili. Cook until onion is softened.
Add squash, salt, and pepper, and saute for 5 minutes.
Add stock. Simmer for 20 minutes or until squash is tender.
Blend in batches in blender until smooth. Add back to pot.
Take one ladel of soup, add to a small bowl, and mix with the nut butter. Add back to soup pot.
Squeeze lime into soup.
To serve, sprinkle with cilantro and dollop with yogurt and coconut creme.

Butternut Squash Soup

When you want soup but you want a little hint of sweet. Warm and creamy or chilled its good either way.

In large pot melt raw butter and sauté the onion.
Add in cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Add butternut squash and chicken stock.
Bring to a boil and let simmer till squash is tender.
Puree soup in food processor or blender until smooth.
Can be garnished with a sprinkling of cinnamon and chopped walnuts if not allergic to nuts.

Summer Beans and Potatoes

My mother would make this dish every summer just as the green beans and new potatoes were harvested from the garden. I just updated the recipe to include chicken. There is nothing like fresh vegetables from the garden, this brings back some great memories.

In a cast iron pan, add bacon and cook until fat is rendered.
Add onion, garlic, and chicken cook until brown.
Place in slow cooker.
Add potatoes, green beans, salt, pepper, thyme and 2 cups of vegetable stock.
Cook on lowest setting 4-6 hours. Serve with a great crusty piece of bread.

Beef Liver Meatball and Cabbage Soup

This recipe has many layers of flavor that make the liver much less noticeable. There is a savory, salty broth made with a parmesan rind, lots of hearty vegetables, and the meatballs which contain ground beef, liver, and spices. You can adjust the amount of liver according to your taste. Try just 1/4 pound if you’re not sure you’ll like it or go all the way to 3/4 pound if you’re a liver-eating pro.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and sauté another 5 minutes, until vegetables are starting to soften. Add cabbage and allow to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
Add broth or stock and parmesan rind. Bring to a simmer and prepare meatballs.
Place liver in a food processor and blend until smooth. Place in a large bowl with ground beef, egg, flax, salt, paprika, and oregano. Mix ingredients until uniformly distributed. In a large sauté pan, heat a little more olive oil. Drop beef mixture by tablespoonfuls into the pan and cook for about 1 minute on each side, until lightly browned. They do not have to be cooked all the way through as they will continue cooking in the stock pot with the soup.
Add meatballs to the soup and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve hot.

Zuppa Toscana or “Can-I-have-more-soup-please?”

This recipe has all the great flavor of that famous Italian restaurant’s soup — but packs a power punch of taste and nutrition with wholesome and healthy ingredients. After making this recipe kosher and increasing the Whole-Food Goodness Factor, this is a one-pot-crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone asking for one ladle more.

(Hint: If you’re looking for a way to sneak kale from your garden to your family — THIS IS IT!)

In a large pot, sauté the onion and salt in butter until glossy.
Add the sausage and cook until browned, breaking into bite-size pieces.
Stir in minced garlic, cooking until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
Add chicken broth, scraping up the brown bits with a spoon — a free, yummy flavor boost!
Add potato cubes and simmer (covered) for 15 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
Add kale (it will wilt — always add more than you think) and cream, simmering 5 minutes more.
Garnish with pepper and serve.

Brown Rice Congee (Asian Rice Porridge)

Congee, also known as Zhou, Kayu, Chok, Jook and other names depending on the culture, is a thick rice porridge made typically from white rice. There are countless variations to how and what it is eaten with. Sometimes it is served as a meal in itself paired with meats, veggies, condiments and other toppings. Other times it’s served plain as a side dish with only soy sauce. In most cultures it is served as a breakfast or late supper, but in others is eaten plain as a snack from a street vendor. Because it is well cooked in copious amounts of bone broth (at least this version–it can be made plain in water as well), it is considered food medicine and is easily digestible and good for the digestive tract.

We make a large batch in the crockpot and keep it warm for several days, scooping out a bowl as often as we want it and topping with prepared veggies and condiments in the fridge. Change your toppings up each time to keep it new and enjoyable. This is a wonderful way to get your daily bone broth supplement if you have a hard time drinking plain broth.

Rinse brown rice well and cover with filtered water. Add the acidyfier. Cover and allow to soak for at least 8 hours, but preferably 24.
Drain and rinse rice (reserve 10 % soaking water if using the grain water method.)
Place rice, ginger, garlic and chicken stock into a crockpot and set to High. Cook for 6-12 hours or until rice is super soft and broken and the congee is thick and creamy. Or cook on LOW for 10-14 hours then set the crockpot to warm and enjoy for several days (stir often and add more stock/water as necessary to keep it from sticking on the bottom). Be sure to check the crockpot every once in a while during the cooking process and skim off any foam or scum that rises to the surface.

*Fermenting brown rice before cooking it allows to anti-nutrients like phytic acid to break down and the grain to become more digestible. You can ferment your grains by adding live whey drained from yogurt or kefir that has active cultures, raw apple cider vinegar like Bragg’s, or by using the grain water method.
The grain water soaking method works by soaking brown rice in plain filtered water for 24 hours, drain off and reserve 10%–which keeps a long time in the fridge. Cook rice in fresh water as usual. Next time, soak your rice in fresh water to cover plus the reserved soaking liquid for 24 hours. Drain, again reserving 10% and cook the rice as usual in fresh water. Repeat this cycle of reserving 10% and always adding the previous reserved soaking water to your next soak and eventually up to 96% of phytic acid will be reduced in 24 hours. Meanwhile you get to eat healthy and nutritious whole grains. Read more about the grain water soaking method here.

**Serve topped with you choice of toppings:
Mushrooms
Tamari
Chjopped scallions
Boiled Egg
Poached Egg
Chopped Chicken
Kimchi
Sauerkraut
Cilantro
Cabbage
Gingered Carrots
Julienne Carrots
Fresh Parsley
Snap Peas
Fried or Carmelized Onions
Serrano Chilis
Cayenne Pepper
Cold-pressed sesame oil
Coconut Milk
Coconut Oil
Toasted Peanuts
Lime
Avocado

Spicy Grass-Fed Lamb Chili

Chili at it’s best… filling, healthy, and full of flavor!

Melt the lamb lard on low heat in a 5 quart cast iron Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed kettle.
Add the chopped red onion and saute, turning up the heat a little, until the onion is softened.
Add the ground lamb meat, stir and chop it until all of the meat has browned.
Add tomatoes, tomato juice, chili beans, chili powder, salt and herbs*.
Bring to a boil. Cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
* When fresh herbs are available in the garden, I gather enough of the rosemary, thyme, oregano and basil, that when it is chopped finely together, there is about 1/4 of a cup. If you do not have fresh herbs, use 1 tablespoon of a mixture of the herbs, roughly in equal proportions.
We like to serve this over cornbread and top it with cottage cheese.
You can, of course, make substitutions but the the flavor will be affected. This combination is particularly delicious.