Sunday, February 17, 2013
It is a bit laughable that I would share a recipe for soup because it is the most forgiving food there is. But, with allergies and colds in the air, I thought we should talk about hot, healing soup.
The key to amazing soup is homemade bone stock. I remember watching Martha Stewart demonstrate how to make stock when I was a young adult. It was so complex and cumbersome (and seemed wasteful too) that I immediately added stock making to my mental file box. The one that includes homemade marshmallows and cutting your own children's' hair; things I will never do.
We make a batch of stock each week. Sunday is roast chicken night and as soon as dinner is over, we clean the carcass of any tasty leftover bits for tacos or rice later in the week. We then throw the carcass into a crock pot and cover with water. Sometimes we add some onion, carrot, celery or garlic. It really depends on what we have around. It simmers all night.
Sorry, Martha. My method is a million times easier.
And Monday is soup night!
In the morning, I drain the liquid gold and use it for a base for our wellness soup. It is full of magic because the bones were simmered all night long and because I feel like we are really honoring the life of the chicken by not wasting any part of it.
To make the soup, I sauté an onion, a few carrots, a few celery stalks and any additional raw chicken I might want to use in olive or coconut oil, or butter. I throw in tons of chopped up garlic at the end.
Then I add the stock and any additional water I might need. I also add chopped up ginger root, lemongrass, salt, pepper, and dried mixed herbs.
I let this simmer anywhere from 15 - 45 minutes. It really depends on how big you cut your carrots and how hungry you are. Taste it and see what you think along the way.
If we have any kale, I chopped it into thin ribbons and add those near the end of the cooking. They only take a minute or two to wilt and make the soup over the top good.
You can add any carby goodness at the end too. I have a kid who is cutting out gluten, so last week we used some gluten free pizza dough we had on hand and the dumplings were really good! You can also make traditional dumplings, store bought egg noodles, left over rice or homemade pasta style dumplings.
To make your own pasta style dumplings, just mix flour (about a cup) and an egg (or two) into a dough (it can be wet) and drop bits pinched off or spooned off into the boiling broth. When they pop up to the surface they are done. They have a wonderful chew to them.
An added can of white beans will make this soup even more filling. Your kids don't like beans? Puree them in some water or broth and then add them!
Although, my kids do not all love soup at the same time, there are always a few who are really into it (it changes weekly... do all kids do this?). I feel like an wellness alchemist making it. The chopping, stirring, adding pinches of this and that, along with my intentions that this will boost their immunity, soothe their bellies and help them grow strong make my soup making a deep, fulfilling ritual.
I would love to hear how you cook wellness into your soup, please share.