Tag Archives: Soup

Nourishing soup

Soup is so warming and most commonly on the Winter menu, but l think it can be included all year round as a lighter meal option. Home made using your lovingly cooked stock or just filtered water as a base, it will provided flavour, nutrition and a calmness to your day as you slowly sip this comforting dish.

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A lovingly made lamb stock based soup. Add some protein with it to boost the caloric and nutritional content. This helps to make it more of a meal.
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I like to make my own stock. I use lamb, chicken or beef bones normally which are good quality. A stock is so easy to make but takes time. I save the bones from the family roast and place them in a pot with filtered water, left over veggies, a dash of apple cider vinegar, peppercorns, onion and bay leaf. I let it cook for a day then strain and it is ready to use.
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The favourite veggies l use to make soup are pumpkin, sweet potato, leek, onion, carrot, fennel and cabbage. It is entirely up to you what combination goes into the pot. A delicious soup can be made without a stock base but it won’t have the same depth of flavour or nutritional content.

I like to keep some soup in the fridge for lunches and then the rest goes into the freezer in small containers. I often take some over to my neighbour as it is lovely to share your cooking. I heat it up in a saucepan as l avoid the microwave oven. I eat it with a soup spoon from a mug or bowl. Often l place some in a thermos and take it on the road when l am out.

Soup is such a versatile option and can be a mini meal, snack or a hearty dish. It is an excellent way to use up leftover veggies and the bones from a roast. It is very economical and good for the budget.

How do you like your soup?

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My favourite soup mug.

Beetroot, Cauliflower and Fennel soup

This soup is a delightful combination of colour and flavours with each of the main ingredients influencing the dish. The beetroot provides the most magnificent colour, the fennel a strong flavour and the cauliflower an interesting texture. 

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So lovely with fresh parsley.  This is the colour of the soup on the second day. A bit more pink than red.

Ingredients:

2 large beetroots peeled and diced

1/2 fennel washed and sliced

1 whole cauliflower washed and diced

2 sticks celery washed and sliced

1 brown onion diced

2 tablespoons Macadamia oil

3 cups home made chicken stock (see soup section for recipe)

Add all ingredients excluding the chicken stock into a saucepan and cook on a low heat until they soften. You should stir the mixture every now and again during this stage.

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All the vegetables are prepared. Drizzle with oil and cook on a low heat until they start to soften.

Once the vegetables are soft add the chicken stock and let simmer for at least an hour with the lid on.

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Ready to be pureed

Puree the mixture using a hand mixer and when it has a smooth consistency, place back on the stove and let cook for at least 30 more minutes on a gentle heat. Taste now to see if the soup needs more seasoning.

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Use the hand blender to create a smooth consistency

When the soup is cooked serve it on its own or with your favourite herbs or meat.You can freeze the left over soup or have it the next day for lunch or dinner.

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Served with baked salmon. Just after cooking the soup was very reddish but went a bit pinker on the second day.

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Creamy broccoli soup

A hearty soup with loads of personality!

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A delightfully flavoursome and creamy soup.

When l told my family we were having broccoli soup for dinner they did not look happy. There fears melted away when they took their first sip of this lovely filling soup. Healthy vegetables are combined with a nutritious stock to create a comforting and mild flavoured soup.

Ingredients:

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The vegetables are washed and chopped and are in the saucepan with macadamia oil, pink rock salt and black pepper.

2 long sticks of celery

1 head of broccoli

1 good sized brown onion

1 medium sized red sweet potato (white flesh)

pink rock salt and black pepper (season to taste)

2 generous cups of home made chicken stock (recipe on website)

Wash and chop all of the vegetables and place in a saucepan. Coat the vegetables with a small amount of your favourite oil (I used macadamia oil), and a small amount of seasoning depending on your tastes. Brown the veggies on low heat until just soft. At this stage add the chicken stock and let simmer for at least an hour.

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All the vegetables are breaking down

When the vegetables have softened and are breaking apart, take the pot off the stove and blend the mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Place back on the stove and let cook for another good 30 minutes then serve. If you don’t have a hand mixer you could let it cool and then place in a blender before placing back on the stove.

I roasted a chicken while the soup was cooking and served this with the soup. This added protein to the dish and made it a hearty meal. The addition of the snow pea sprouts was a lovely garnish, both for its refreshing flavour and bright green colour.

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A very creamy soup with a subtle flavour combination

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Beetroot, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Soup.

This soup has a wonderful balance of flavours with the most important element  being a beautiful home-made chicken stock. It is such a delightful colour and looks so much like tomato soup but has a very distinctive flavour of beetroot with a lovely sweetness. 

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A thick and delicious soup with a surprising flavour.

Ingredients:

Check the recipe-soup section of the website for the chicken stock recipe.

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1 litre of home-made chicken stock, 2 small beetroot or 1 1/2 large, 1 medium sweet potato, 1 large brown onion, 1/2 teaspoon pink rock salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.
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Just a small amount of pumpkin to thicken up the soup.

Method:

Prepare the vegetables by washing, peeling and chopping.

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Add all ingredients except the stock, into a medium-sized saucepan with some olive oil.
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Cook until the vegetables are starting to soften and stir the ingredients every few minutes.

Add the stock and put the lid on and let simmer for about 60 minutes.

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When the vegetables are soft take off the stove and blend with a hand blender.
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Blend well so that there are no lumps. Place back on the stove on a gentle simmer for approximately another 30 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust as required.

This is a very thick and filling soup. It has the most delicious sweet flavour and the colour is enticing. The main tips for this soup are to brown the vegetables before you put the stock in, use a very good quality home-made stock and use fresh vegetables.

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Home made chicken stock

Home made stock is so handy and can be used as a base in dishes such as soups, casseroles, sauces or as a broth. It is extremely nutritious and adds a lovely flavour to your cooking. 

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A clear and beautiful stock.

When l had a colonoscopy recently l strained it through a muslin cloth and had it before the procedure and it helped me get through the fasting period.

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Here it is as a broth with garlic and parsley.

It freezes very well and if you put it in lots of small containers is easy to add to your favourite dishes. Alternatively freeze it in a couple of larger containers and use it as a base for a soup or casserole.

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A lovely vegetable soup.
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Apricot chicken (The recipe is in the main meal section)

To make the stock start off with a good quality organic or free range chicken which you can cook using your favourite method. I usually roast mine and have a meal or two with it then use the leftover bones, meat and skin to make the stock.

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A delicious roasted chicken

Place the chicken carcass, left over meat and skin in a large stainless steel pot and cover with cold filtered water.

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Put all the leftovers in the pot and cover with filtered water. Don’t use tap water if you can avoid it.

Add the following to the pot:

1 onion or spring onion chopped up

2 or 3 celery sticks chopped into a few pieces

2 medium sized carrots chopped up

Several bay leaves

A small dash of organic apple cider vinegar

A few black peppercorns

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Everything is in the pot now.

Put the lid on and bring to the boil. Let the pot simmer most of the day and overnight if you can. When it has cooled slightly strain into a large pot or bowl.

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This part is a bit tricky.
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It is so golden and looks delicious.

Carefully pour into the storage containers. I usually freeze most of it and keep a small amount in the fridge for use during the week.

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This size is handy to add to smaller meals
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This size container is good as a base for a soup or casserole.

Some of the stock can be used straight away to make a delicious soup.

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Vegetables prepared for the soup
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Cooking nicely and the smell in the house will be lovely.
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A delicious home made soup.

Do yourself a favour and make your own stock. It is very quick to make and the taste is sensational.

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The versatility of sweet potato!

Sweet potatoes are versatile, sweet, nutritious and affordable!

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A simple dinner with sweet potato as the centre piece.

Oh, how l love the sweet potato which is also known as kumara or yam. Not much to look at in the shops, but once cooked the flavour is enticing.

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The orange sweet potato is always in my fridge.

Sweet Potato is a good source of complex carbohydrates, dietary fibre and beta carotene, and this root vegetable also has modest amounts of Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium.

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A sweet potato mash with silverbeet, parsley and spring onion adds some colour to this meal.

Since l stopped eating processed sugar l like to include foods which are naturally sweet as part of my everyday diet. The sweet potato is a lovely addition to a meal because of its beautiful sweet taste, soft texture and bright colour. It is extremely easy to cook with and difficult to ruin. I am amazed at the lovely flavour it adds to baked goods such as cakes and pancakes and although l prefer it cooked it can be a good addition raw to a smoothie.

sweet potato noodles with soup
Sweet Potato noodles with soup
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Sweet Potato and Walnut cake.
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A Paleo, gluten, dairy sugar free pancake with grated sweet potato mixed through the batter.
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Raw sweet potato in a juice tastes a lot like carrot and makes it creamy.

I can’t remember when l first ate a sweet potato but it certainly wasn’t until l was an adult. It has some similarities in flavour and colour to the pumpkin but holds together better when cooked and is especially delicious cut into chips. Sweet Potatoes can be bought quite small or enormously large, and the surprising thing is that in my experience the flavour is the same whatever size you buy. They are also available with a red skin and a white flesh and this is one of those times when your taste buds can get very confused as the taste is the same as the orange version. I have to admit here that l have on occasion tricked my children into thinking they were eating normal potato when in fact it was the red sweet potato just to get them to try a new vegetable.

How many ways can one vegetable be used in recipes? 

Here are a few more pictures of how l have used the sweet potato in my cooking:

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Sweet Potato Chips as a snack. Coat them in olive or coconut oil and season before cooking.
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Sweet Potato and vegetable soup. See the main meals section for a soup recipe.
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Sweet potato chips are my favourite.
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Sweet Potato casserole. This has chicken, vegetables, coconut and spices. It cooks in the slow cooker all day and is lovely. The recipe is in the main meals section.
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A gluten free pizza with sweet potato.

I hope you can enjoy the sweet potato as much as l do and make it a regular part of your meals.

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Roasted sweet potato with salmon is delicious here. I roasted it with the skin on and then sliced it before serving.
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Vegetarian lasagna with sweet potato layers.

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A simple Sweet Potato soup

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A light and sweet soup.

This is a very light and comforting sweet potato soup with a chicken broth base. It was really quick to make as the broth was in the freezer and was ready within a couple of hours. The recipe for making the broth is in another post on the website but home made broth is best and you will be rewarded with a lovely flavour and lots of added nutrients.

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Home made chicken stock

In a medium sized saucepan l placed the stock (about 3 cups), 2 medium to large peeled and chopped sweet potatoes, 1 cup of diced pumpkin, 1 cup of diced cauliflower and 2 diced carrots. I brought this to the boil and then let it simmer for a couple of hours. I blended the hot soup in the pot with my hand blender and served. I like to season my soup at the table and l used ground black pepper and sea salt which really brought out the flavours in the soup.

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Piping hot just out of the pot!

When reheating the soup the next day l use a saucepan which only takes a couple of minutes. As soon as it gets to the boil reduce the heat and let it simmer for about a minute and it will be delicious. I am on a healing and wellness diet and don’t cook or heat any food in the microwave oven as l believe it damages the structure of the food and reduces the vitamin and mineral content.

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Reheat your soup on the stove and dont use the microwave oven.

I wasn’t feeling well from a Winter virus when l made this soup and it is just the right consistency for a delicate stomach to handle. It is both soothing and comforting with a lovely flavour.

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Vegetable Soup

    

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There is so much comfort in sitting down to a lovely bowl of vegetable soup, especially on a cold day.

It might seem kind of basic to be writing about how to make vegetable soup but if you haven’t had a go at it these tips might help. I like to make up big batches of soup and keep them in the freezer in small containers so l can use them as needed. The soup freezes well and if l don’t have time to let the soup defrost overnight l place the frozen tub in a small amount of hot water so it loosens from the container, then put it in a saucepan with a small amount of water. This method works very well as l do not use a microwave oven so need to find other ways of managing.

First step:

The whole base of the soup is a good stock. I have a recipe on my website for making a stock from a chicken base but you can use beef or lamb shanks. My mother used to put the lamb shank into the soup and let it all cook for several days and if you can find some grass fed lamb shanks this would be very nice. I don’t eat red meat now due to my lack of a gall bladder but my Dad was a sheep farmer and we had some lovely lamb meals when we were growing up. Although l don’t eat the red meat l could still put the beef or lamb bones into my stock mix but at this stage l am in the habit of using free range chicken as we often have a roast chicken for dinner and it is economical to then use the bones, skin and leftover meat in the stock.

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The pictures above show the cooked stock, draining out the bones and meat and finally the delicious stock which is the base of the soup. At this stage you can place small amounts of the stock in containers and freeze to use in casseroles or bolognese as examples depending on the quantity of soup you wish to make.

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Decide which vegetables you would like in your soup. I chose sweet potato, celery, pumpkin, carrot and cauliflower this time. You can add anything that you like such as cabbage and some onion if you can tolerate it. My mother used to add split peas and soup mix but l have found these can create digestive issues so avoid them now. Make sure your vegetables are washed well then cut into small pieces. Vegetables such as the carrots and celery will be there in the diced form in the final soup, but the softer vegetables such as sweet potato and carrot will dissolve and thicken the soup. Place all of your chopped vegetables in the pot with the broth and let simmer all day. Get a potato masher and mash some of the softer vegetables such as the pumpkin so they break up and thicken the soup. Serve in a bowl or mug and season with sea salt and ground black pepper. You can add a clove of crushed garlic or some sliced spring onion tops at serving as a garnish and extra flavour. Let the soup left over cool and place into the fridge or freezer for later use. Another handy idea is to take the soup hot to work in a thermos so you can enjoy a lovely lunch or have it in a mug for morning tea.

If you enjoyed this post please share with a friend. I am also on Facebook at Holistic Wellness For Life and Twitter at Holistic Wellness@carolynlgray. Thanks Carolyn

 

Chicken broth with garlic and parsley

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If you are feeling under the weather or need a pick me up then this is the answer. My eighty plus year old uncle recently shared the secret to his longevity as being the regular consumption of this delicious broth, so l decided to have a go at making it and it is amazing!

First off l bought a really good quality organic chicken which l cooked and used for a couple of meals. With the leftover carcass make a delicious chicken stock. If you haven’t done it before then this is what to do:

Place the chicken carcass in a large stainless steel pot and cover with cold water. Add the following to the pot:

1 onion chopped up

2 or 3 celery sticks chopped into a few pieces

2 medium sized carrots chopped up

several bay leaves

a small dash of white vinegar

A couple of pinches of black peppercorns

Put the lid on and bring to the boil. Let the pot simmer most of the day. Strain so just the liquid is left. I used a stainless steel sieve and carefully poured the hot liquid into a big heat proof container (or use another saucepan).

To make the soup smash a section of garlic and place in a bowl. Use a ladle to fill the bowl with soup and watch as the garlic infuses into the soup. The smell is amazing. Place some roughly chopped flat leaf parsley into the bowl. Serve.

Note: This recipe makes several litres of stock. This can be placed into small containers and frozen for later use. Alternatively divide the stock into two and place the first half in the fridge/freezer and with the second half put it back on the stove and add extra vegetables such as pumpkin, celery, carrot and cauliflower to make a yummy chicken and vegetable soup.