Delicious Soups (that happen to be good for you)

butternutLast week it was really chilly here in California (54 degrees)!  Even though I grew up in New York and Michigan, after living in southern California for 12 years my skin has thinned a bit.  Okay, maybe a lot.  There is nothing I want more than a bowl of hot soup when the chill has set in.  One of my favorite soups is Butternut Squash soup.  This recipe is my mother-in-law’s recipe and it has just enough ginger to warm the back of your throat and leave you satisfied.  This should be in everyone’s recipe file because it’s sooooooo good and because you can make a huge batch of it and freeze it.

Gingered Butternut Squash Soup

1 cup chopped onions or leeks

1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

2 stalks celery, sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Tablespoon butter (or ghee)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

*1 butternut squash, 1 ½ -2 pounds, roasted

Slice of ginger, about 1 inch think, peeled

5 cups chicken or vegetable stock

½ cup heavy cream (optional)

chopped cilantro for garnish (so yummy)

1 – In a large saucepan, cook the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in the butter and oil, covered, over low heat about 15 minutes or until vegetables are softened.

2 – Scoop the flesh of the squash and add it to the pot with the ginger and the stock.  Continue to cook, covered, for about 30 minutes.

3 – Puree in food process.  (This is where you would add the cream).  Be careful when pureeing hot liquids.  I usually take out the plug on top and semi cover it with a kitchen towel.

*To roast butternut squash: Cut in half crosswise, then cut each half in half (so you have 4 pieces).  Place, cut down on some foil on a baking sheet.  Roast at 425 for about 30-40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a knife.  Let cool.

Serves 8-10.  This can be made a few days in advance.  It also freezes very well (without the cream).

Egg Drop

Egg Drop Soup

 There is no faster soup to put together than egg drop soup.  I remember eating this as a kid and had sort of forgotten about it until I started this Paleo thing.  It’s easy, simmer chicken broth (homemade is best), pour in a beaten egg whilst gently stirring with a fork, add some chicken and/or chopped spinach if you like and you’re done.  As Ina Garten always says, “How easy is that?”

posole

Posole

My neighbor made me some Posole a few months ago and I fell in love with it.  And my kids love anything they can “decorate” (i.e. garnish).  I used this recipe from Food&Wine, except that I left out the hominy because of the Paleo thing I’m doing.  It was good, but I think the broth needed a little more oomph.  Next time, I will add some chile powder.

Chili is more of a stew, but I’m including it here anyway because it’s my blog and I can do what I want.  This is another “decorating” recipe that my kids love.  My husband doesn’t like beans in his chili, so I created this recipe for him (and it’s paleo).  The spice of the chili and the sweetness of the sweet potato worked so well together.  (Sorry, I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture)

Chili (Paleo Style)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 diced onion (large)

2 lbs ground beef

3 garlic cloves, minced

3-4 T chili powder

1 T cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp salt

28oz can peeled tomatoes, pureed

2 baked sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

Cook onions in oil for a few minutes until softened.  Add garlic and spices and cook for another minute.  Add about half the tomato puree and then add the meat and cook through.  Stir in the rest of the tomato puree and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer over low heat for about an hour (stir occasionally).  Uncover and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes or so.  Add sweet potatoes and gently stir.

*Top with avocado, chopped cilantro, and chopped onion.  This freezes well.

Slow Cooker Chicken Broth

The base to any good soup is the broth.  I recently got a slow cooker and have been trying to figure out some new things to cook in it.  I read somewhere that you can throw your chicken bones (and necks and backs, etc. that I’ve been stockpiling in my freezer) in your slow cooker; fill with water and cook on low for 8 hours.  I cooked in on high for the first 2 hours and then 6 hours on low.  The result was nothing short of amazing.  In the paleo world this is called bone broth.  With a little bit of salt thrown in, it tastes amazing and is really good for you.

While doing this Paleo thing, I kind of wanted to make tomato soup and french onion soup, but decided against it, since each soup is just sooooo much better with cheese.  I can’t wait to sink my teeth into a grilled cheese sandwich dunked into some creamy tomato soup!

“Cuisine is when things taste like themselves.” – Curnonsky

30 Clove Garlic Soup

Got the sickies?  I recommend making a big batch of this soup to freeze for when you are sick and need soup to make you all better.  This soup is so velvety and delicious that I eat it even when I’m not sick.  I came across the recipe from Whole Living Magazine a few months ago.  Here it is:

Ingredients:

2 heads garlic, halved crosswise

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups low-sodium chicken stock

8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1 – Heat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle garlic heads with oil. Wrap tightly in foil and roast until tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool, then squeeze garlic from papery skin and set aside.

Before

After

2 – Bring stock, potatoes, and roasted garlic to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan.

3 – Let cool slightly, then puree in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve with rustic bread.

There are two secrets to this recipe: 1 – You must use Yukon Gold potatoes – I tried using russets and it was not as creamy. 2 – Store bought chicken stock is fine, but homemade chicken stock, in this recipe particular (since there are so few ingredients), really takes it up to another level.  I was also thinking some crumbled bacon on top would be extra delicious.  Enjoy the garlicky goodness of this soup!