Gina over at Home Joys recently asked whether feeding your family the same meals was a rut or a tradition.
Her post made me smile because today is Wednesday, and for the fall and winter months, Wednesday night’s menu is soup. It’s not really a tradition, like turkey for Thanksgiving, but it’s not a rut either.
When we make soup, they’re all broth-based:chicken, beef, or fish. We do this for several reasons:
1.) With cold and flu season upon us, there’s nothing like homemade broth. When you make a broth, the minerals from the bones, cartilage, and marrow are used by the body as electrolytes.
A 12th-century physician prescribed broth as a treatment for colds and flus, and we’ve heard the same from our grandparents. Modern research has even acknowledged their wisdom (imagine that!) and confirms that rich chicken broth helps prevent infectious diseases. The article Broth is Beautiful by the WAPF (Weston A. Price Foundation) explains in more detail.
Chicken broth has a natural ingredient that feeds, repairs, and calms the lining in the small intestine. It also heals nerves, reduces allergies, and strengthens your body overall.
Gelatin in broth aids in digestion and has been used to treat anemia, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, and even cancer. It was commonly referred to in the 1800′s as a treatment for infant diarrhea.
Cartilage and collagen components infuse the broth.
I liked saying infuse. It sounds so much better than say. . .leak. Don’t you think? Hmm. Components leak into the broth. . .oh yeah, infuse is definitely better.
Anyhow, those components have been used recently to treat cancer and bone disorders and rheumatoid arthritis.
2.) A totally selfish reason on my part, and my second reason to use broth-based soups on a regular basis, is that there is no comparison to taste. Soups made with water should be used to water the garden. Soups made with canned, processed broth should be poured down the drain. But use homemade broth, and you have an absolutely delicious meal.
French restaurants, European cuisine, tasty dishes made by the Chinese, Japanese, Italians, and in Middle Eastern areas all include broths regularly in their traditional foods. They’re known for delectable sauces made from scratch with attention to the smallest details.
In comparison, Americans have practically forgotten how to cook. Our foods are microwaved in less than two minutes. BEEP! We scrape our supper off a Lean Cuisine tray and call it good. No wonder Americans struggle with weight issues – we’re looking for flavor in cakes, cookies, and boxed pasta and forgetting that the answer is right at our fingertips in a healthier, cheaper, and better tasting way.
3.) Speaking of cheaper – what can be a better money-saving plan than to have roasted chicken one night, using the leftovers in a second dish another night, and then making broth with the bones and stretch that into another couple of meals.
Plus the healthy fats in broth go a long way to filling you up. It’s amazing how broth-based soup can leave you feeling comfortable and satisfied for several hours so you can go longer without needing another meal. I don’t know if you could say the same for Lean Cuisine.
4.) Menu planning is easier too when you already have a set plan for at least one night of each week. Wednesday is often known as ‘hump’ day. It seems that by Wednesday I’m ready for a quick meal preparation. Soups are so easy. For the most part you just pour it all into a pot and let it simmer.
With Thanksgiving coming up I’m anticipating the leftover turkey carcass we’ll have. Even our family and friends bag their carcasses and bones and save them for us because they know of my insatiable love for broth.
I’ll leave you with my favorite basic broth-based soup. This is the one we go back to again and again. It’s quick, simple, extremely versatile, and yummy.
Basic Broth Soup (casein-free, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, sugar-free, yeast-free, anti-candida, low-carb)
12 cups homemade broth (chicken, beef, or fish)
2 lbs meat
any combination of vegetables (we use leeks, garlic, onions, celery, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, etc.)
2 T. celtic sea salt
2 t. black pepper
1 t. thyme
1 t. rosemary
1 t. basil
1 t. oregano
1. The day before you make this, pull out your homemade broth if it’s frozen and let it thaw in the refrigerator. I freeze my broth in jars and lately I’ve been freezing in big glass gallon jars like this one. The floating chunks are fat that has risen to the top and hardened.
You can also decide if you want to use left over meat or thaw something from the freezer. We use leftover steak, roast, fish, chicken, or my favorite: meaty soup bones.
2. If you are going to use soup bones, roast them for about 4 hours before you’re ready to begin the soup. I placed beef soup bones and about 1/2 cup of water in my roasting pan and baked them at 350 F degrees for about 3 1/2 hours.
3. After the meat has cooled a bit, I start cutting and slicing. I save/freeze the roasted bones to make broth down the road.
4. You can add the broth from the roasting pan to your soup, or freeze it in a glass jar for future use. This is essentially beef broth. Sometimes I freeze a cup or two and then when someone’s feeling under the weather I can pull out just a small amount.
5. When your ready to assemble the soup, pour the broth into a large pot over medium heat. Scoop out any fat that has hardened in the broth and place it on a skillet over medium heat. You’ll use this to saute your veggies.
6. While the broth and fat are heating up, go ahead and cut up your veggies of choice. Because we’re low-carb and anti-candida, we typically include 1 large onion, 2 stalks of celery, 1 leek, and 6 (or more) cloves of garlic.
7. Saute your veggies until crisp tender, or however you like them. I love when the onions get browned and just start to caramelize. I have to make myself stop nibbling. I could eat them like candy!
8. Add the veggies to the broth along with the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, basil, and oregano.
9. Simmer until warmed through. Serve and enjoy!
Makes 15 cups. If your veggies consist of 1 large onion, 2 stalks of celery, 1 leek, and 6 (or more) cloves of garlic your net carbs come to 1.95g per cup.
P.S. Well, have I convinced you to give broth-based soups a try? Really. You gotta try it.
Don’t know where to purchase some of these ingredients? Visit our Whole Food Sources page.
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