I’m a fan of meals that are simple, versatile, tasty and healthy. Simple soup recipes are my go to in this case. In all honestly, one of my favorite sensations is the way that a warm cup of homemade soup can make you feel (similar to the feeling of a hot cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate if you want to get nostalgic). It’s always filled with love and goodness, especially if you’re using homemade bone broth. Mmm… I’m getting all fuzzy just thinking about it.
There’s no better season than right now in the winter months to invest some time to prepare these meals. I often talk about the benefits of bone broth with clients and its incredible healing properties. It’s a nutrient dense food that anyone can benefit from for whatever health goals they are striving for. I always turn to broth to help me rebalance and get back on track when I start to feel off, whether that’s my digestion acting funny, my skin starts to break out, or just feeling like the creep of a cold coming my way, in any case, I almost always instantly feel better, not to mention relaxed.
An Incredible Resource For Simple Soup Recipes
Although there are tons of recipes out there for soups, it’s always nice to have a one stop shop resource, which is why I am so excited to share with you just that. A fellow NTP (Nutritional Therapy Practitioner) and friend of mine, Craig Fear, author and blogger at FearlessEating.net recently released his latest book “Fearless Broth and Soups. Ditch the Boxes and Cans… Simple Recipes for Real People on Real Budgets“. This is an incredible resource that features over 60 simple soup recipes!
Reversing the #1 Nutritional Deficiency
Craig hit the nail on the head when he called out the largest nutritional deficiency happening in our modern world. You’re probably thinking vitamin D, magnesium, omega-3s, zinc?? But it’s not a nutrient, and as Craig puts it, ” despite what all those bumper stickers say, you’re not going to correct it by eating more kale”. He calls it, Hypokitchenemia—a deficiency in knowledge for how to cook and prepare nutrient-dense foods in one’s own kitchen. I 100% concur.
Although this is not something that can be confirmed by any peer reviewed study, if you have ever worked with hundreds of people in the way I have, listening, managing and seeing individuals progress by examining their dietary habits, as well as the triggers and reasons why people eat the way they do, you would know that 90% of the time it’s because they don’t know how, don’t feel comfortable, don’t care, or don’t think they have the time. Obviously cooking skills is not a nutritional deficiency, but a lack thereof most certainly can lead to them.
Working personally with professional clients with crazy work hours in office settings that cater to a persons every need, including providing breakfast, lunch and snack options (thanks to the start- up culture), I know for a fact that the notion of hypokitchenemia is real and more prevalent today than ever before.
Jessica Prentice, from Full Moon Feast, sums this phenomenon up well:
“All too often, modern Americans are like oversized infants when it comes to food. We are used to having it provided for us. We are like baby birds in a nest with our mouths wide open, squawking for more. But we never grow up into the mama bird that goes and hunts and finds food and provides. We never learn how to feed ourselves, because it is so easy and culturally supported not to. People who cook on a daily basis and who like to prepare food from scratch are considered either foodies or health nuts. Cooking is not seen as a universal skill of self-sufficiency and adulthood, like driving a car. We are surprised when someone doesn’t know how to drive a car, but we are not at all surprised when someone doesn’t know how to cook. Large corporations are more than happy to keep us in this state of helplessness. It creates a huge market for factory-processed products and fast food.”
But, this doesn’t have to be the case, and you can reverse hypokitchenemia, and improve your health and symptoms by simply learning to make one of the most nutrient dense and healing traditional foods available to us, homemade soup. Why? It’s all about the broth.
Why Bone Broth?
Gelatin, which is a large component of bone broth, has been used for centuries to help ease digestive issues. Dr. Kaayla Daniel’s thoroughly researched article, entitled “Why Broth is Beautiful“, “discusses the role gelatin played in the medical profession in the first part of the twentieth century. She cites numerous researchers who studied its benefits and doctors who used it therapeutically with patients for an assortment of digestive problems, including:
- Bacterial infections
In particular, she focuses on the roles of proline and glycine, the two main amino acids in gelatin, which have a multitude of healing and protective effects.” Glutamine is another amino acid that is prevalent in bone broth which has been shown to improve leaky gut symptoms by regenerating the mucosal lining of the small intestine, becoming extremely helpful for conditions such as celiac disease, crohn’s, IBS, allergies, and even metabolic and cardiovascular disturbances. You can read more here on why bone broth is also amazing for skin, hair and nails.
Soups For Every Meal
The reason why I love Craig’s book is that he makes it simple, stupid simple, to learn how to make broth and then turn it into an incredibly nourishing, filling, and tasty meal. Effort and cost is minimal, which is why I am an advocate of keeping simple soup recipes close by. It requires little preparation and making soup is a lot less intimidating once you’ve done it and realize it’s literally throwing ingredients into a pot and waiting for them to cook.
One of the first things I immediately noticed about the book was how diverse the recipes are. It reminded me of one of my favorite classes I took in college, Cultural Nutrition. In this class we learned about different dishes, tastes, flavors and ingredients from different countries around the world. Every culture has their own native dishes and flavors, but what always remains the same in each cuisine is the foundation of the diet, bone broth being at the heart of it. I can absolutely resonate with this, as when I was a child my grandma would make a large pot of soup using bones and a variety of animal parts to really make it flavorful. Whether she knew it or not, she was also making it much more nutritious by doing this.
These are some of the amazing soups featured in Craig’s Fearless Broths and Soups book:
- Broth for Breakfast recipes. My favorite!
- Asian noodle soups. I sub the noodles for either zoodles (aka zuchini noodles using this spiralizer or kelp noodles)
- Simple Sausage and Meatball Soups. See below for a recipe I made.
- Creamy Vegetable Soups. I use coconut cream or coconut milk in place of cream or dairy. This is my favorite brand as it doesn’t contain any additional additives.
- Soups from the Sea. Oozing with mineral richness!
The book is not catered necessarily to food allergies or sensitivities, but that doesn’t make it hard to tweak them. As you can see, I modify some ingredients with the above substitutions. I honestly cannot tell a difference, and even making these soups for others I’ve never had someone question the taste. I have even gotten my mocha loving dad to think he was eating real noodles when in fact he was inhaling a bowl of soup with kelp noodles 🙂
Sausage and Greens in a Garlic-Ginger Broth with Kimchi
I had a hard time deciding what recipe from Fearless Broth and Soups I wanted to make for this post. Between the Burmese Coconut Chicken Noodle Soup, Faux Pho, Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Soup, and the Ginger-Miso-Sesame Soup (do you see a theme here?), I was a little more than torn. I eventually was sold on the one featuring 3 of my favorite ingredients: Garlic, ginger and kimchi. A simple tasty broth with these gems and some greens and I’m pretty much set for the winter. Give this a try, you won’t be disappointed (just me sure to cook in bulk)!
By the way, if you think kimchi is a foreign language, it’s not. It’s actually a traditional fermented (think probiotics, enzymes and digestive support!) Korean dish made with cabbage. You can buy or make this yourself. This is a great option here. Traditionally kimchi is typically served on the side of a main dish, but by adding it in the soup creates a wonderful flavor with a hint of spice.
• 2 quarts beef broth or chicken broth
• 2–3 Tbsp mirin or Chinese rice cooking wine, optional
• 2 links hot sausage—hot Italian, chorizo, etc.
• 3–6 cloves garlic, chopped
• 2–3-inch piece of ginger, diced
• Greens of choice—kale, spinach, chard. Bok choy I find works very well here too!
• Soy sauce, to taste (I used Coconut Aminos instead as soy tends to trigger skin symptoms for myself)
• Hot sauce
• Sesame oil
Step 1. Add ginger, garlic, broth, and optional mirin or Chinese rice cooking wine to pot and bring to a simmer for 5–10 minutes.
Step 2. Add greens and sausage and simmer until sausage is cooked, a few minutes.
Step 3. Season to taste with soy sauce. Top with optional accompaniments to taste. Keep kimchi on the side, if preferred. I love mixing it right in.
Tips and Variations
1. Add some rice or sweet potatoes to make it more filling. I used purple sweet potatoes in mine.
2. Use a milder sausage if you’re not a fan of spice.
3. Sub meatballs for the sausage. Pork meatballs, in particular, would work well.
And this was my result of this recipe (I promise it tastes so much better than it looks)! The flavor is all in the broth. You can see the richness in color due to the ingredients simmering together. I will be making this many times again, as well as trying some others from the book.
I have many cookbooks, and honestly I don’t use a lot of them because the recipes take time and I usually prefer quick and simple meals that work for my schedule and taste preferences. BUT, Fearless Broth and Soups is one that I have already seen myself pull out every week, especially in the chillier weather. Soup is a great way to keep our immunity strong, and with all the nutrient goodness, collagen, amino acids, and minerals such as calcium and magnesium to name of few, it helps to calm both mind and body. They are also some of the most satiating meals one can have, which can help with overeating and cravings that temp us during the winter months. Get your copy here instantly and start your bone broth now!