It’s no secret I have a thing for soup. We’re friends. It could be because winter around here hangs out for like 9 out of 12 months. So. Much. Fun. Ahem. It’s great for soup though.
Bone broth is a relatively new discovery for me. By name, anyway. I’ve been guilty of over-cooking a soup stock until, when cooled, it turned gelatinous. Gross. Or so I thought. Little did I know it was liquid gold, and one of the best things I could possibly consume for gut health. I’m not going to go into detail here about the creation of, variations on, or nutritional benefits of bone broth. I’ll let Lauren Matheson guest posting at Kitchen Stewardship do that for me because she does such a marvelous job. You can read up on it here.
The gist: Bone broth is made from simmering meat bones (chicken/fish/beef/pork) for an extended period of time (8+ hours), until all of the nutrients condensed in the bone marrow, joints and meat are leached out into the broth. Including the gelatin from the bone joins. It all sounds gristly, I know, but it is far less macabre than you might think. I’m not one for being in love with the process, but I sure love the product, and isn’t that they way with most things? And what remains in your soup pot once the simmering process is finished, is the most beautiful broth you’ve ever tasted.
The soup in this recipe is made from a base of pork bone broth, but you could use fish/beef/or chicken as well.
BONE BROTH AND VEGETABLE SOUP WITH BEAN THREAD NOODLES
1 quart homemade bone broth (Pork/chicken/beef/fish)
Whatever meat remains on bones (removed from bones of course) once the broth has cooked. Approximately 1 cup or so.
1 cup carrots
2 small zucchini
1 package mushrooms (portabella or chanterelle)
2 large handfuls of baby kale greens
1 package of bean thread noodles
1 teaspoon salt
Take one quart of bone broth and heat to boiling. Add the meat remaining from the bones you simmered and add them to the heated broth. Sprinkle salt into the broth and taste—adjust salt to your liking.
Once the broth is boiling add carrots and cook in the broth until they are fork-tender. Then, add zucchini—sliced into rounds and then half-rounds—and cook for one minute. Add the bean thread noodles followed by the remaining veggies and simmer gently until the noodles are cooked through and tender, but not mushy.
Yah. I know. Soup again.
But I was totally serious when I said earlier that I could live off the stuff once the temps change. And low and behold! *shows you the view from the window* See? Cold. Windy. All the leaves falling to the ground. Rain even. Summer is over and soup season is here. So yes. Another soup post. *beams*
Potato Soup has never been real high on my list of favs because—oh, I dknow—it’s just potatoes, Man. How far can you go? But because of Whole30, it seemed like a good idea to try try again and I came up with something pretty tasty. Like for real. With bacon. And where there is bacon, there is . . . um . . . happiness?
Yes. Let’s go with that.
BABY RED POTATO SOUP WITH BACON
12 baby red potatoes
1 quart chicken stock
1 teaspoon (or more as needed) Onion Powder
1 teaspoon (or more as needed) salt
1/2 teaspoon (or more as needed) black pepper
1 package bacon
chives for garnish
In a crock out, quarter a dozen baby red potatoes and cover with chicken stock. Add pepper, onion powder, and salt. Set for four hours on high and go do all the rest of the things you would normally do in four hours. Or nap. Napping would be best. When those four hours are up, come back and get ready to blend! I use an immersion blender for this part because I’m all about saving myself dishes to wash. But you can just as easily empty the contents of your crock pot into a traditional blender and whirl away. Add the remaining chicken stock and whirl once more until well-incorporated. Return the contents of the blender to the crock pot and taste. Adjust seasoning accordingly.
Now for bacon. Don’t you just love bacon? Me too.
I searched high and low for a bacon that had been raised antibiotic free, uncurred, sugar free, nitrate free, gluten free, GMO free, all the Frees, and finally found it in this brand:
I would prefer to purchase my bacon from a local supplier but it wasn’t ready yet, so I had to make due. Go ahead and cook the entire package of bacon. This is my favorite method for doing so. And don’t forget to save the grease. That stuff (especially with all the Frees) is liquid gold.
Once the bacon is cooked, let it cool and drain on paper toweling and then crumble and set aside.
Ladle the potato soup into bowls and top with bacon crumbles and diced chives. Serve with a loaf of warm crusty bread, because as long as we are doing potatoes, we may as well continue to carb load.
Fall is so much about soup for me. So much.
Bisque. Chowder. Bean. Split pea with bacon. Wild rice. Noodle. Veggie. Italian. All of them. But Pho is a new discovery. I’d never made it before this spring and then BOOM. Several pots of the stuff raced through my kitchen with warm welcomes and sad farewells. Another reason to love this particular soup is the whole gluten-free thing it’s got going on. No cream base, but not a typical veggie soup either. This baby can pack a little heat, if you’re into that kind of thing. And for me, on this particular fall afternoon, it was exactly what the cool temps ordered. This is a simplified version of the traditional Vietnamese noodle soup. Faux. Yah. See what I did there?
PHO (a simple beef version)
3 tablespoons Sesame Oil
1 onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1.5 quarts vegetable broth (but you could use pretty much any kind)
1 large steak (sliced thin and against the grain in bite-sized pieces. Chicken or pork would work nicely as well).
Sriracha chili sauce to taste
Bean thread noodles—1 package
Spinach—several cups or as desired
green peas— 1 cup or as desired
In a large stockpot heat sesame oil and sauté diced onion. Season with ginger, salt, rice vinegar, and 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Cook until onions are soft and then add another two cups of broth and heat until boiling. Add your meat of choice. Make sure to cut thin, bite-size pieces of whatever meat you choose. The thinner they are, the more tender they will be when cooked in the broth. Once the meat is cooked add the rest of the broth and Sriracha sauce. Taste as you go and adjust the Sriracha, salt, ginger, and rice vinegar as needed. Taste is such a personal thing—especially when it comes to heat.
In a separate pot, heat 2 quarts of water to boiling and cook bean threads as you would any noodle—el dente or just slightly chewy. I recommend adding the noodles to a bowl and then spooning the pho over the noodles for each serving, rather than cooking the noodles right in the pho. They tend to get . . . what’s the word . . . ? Slimy. Once the bean threads are cooked, drain and set aside.
Add green peas to the pho, about a cup or more, or as desired. And several cups of spinach. Cook, stirring gently until the spinach is wilted.
Spoon over bean threads and enjoy!
You can now start using words like “crisp” and “spice.”
Orange and red and gold are back in vogue.
Wool socks and sweaters, scarves, boots that button and zip and lace—all of these in any combination are perfectly suitable attire for pretty much anything.
And the food. Oh the food. This is the season I live for, as a foodie. And if you’re going to start Autumn off right, in my humble opinion, it might as well be with a lovely pot of savory soup. This particular pot is an excellent place to start. —Smooth like a bisque but not overly-heavy. Savory but not too rich. Vegetarian, but hearty enough for your typical meat-lover. And when hedged with a rustic bread and a pat of warm butter, fall can be officially ushered in.
Happy First Day of Autumn!
SPICED PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATO SOUP
3 Tbsp clarified butter
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp diced garlic
1.5 Tea ground ginger
1 Tea ground thyme
1 Tea salt
.5 Tea black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
2 baked sweet potatoes
3.5 cups puréed pumpkin
1.5 cups coconut milk
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add onion and simmer until caramelized. Add garlic, ginger, thyme and mix well. Add vegetable broth, sweet potato, (baked, peeled and cubed) and pumpkin. With an immersion blender, purée until thick and smooth. Add coconut milk, stirring over heat until soup is heated through and desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!