Healthy Soup Recipes

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A Cooking Adventure with Thom


Healthy Soup Recipes

Thom's Recipe File

Organic herbs and spices not only make your homemade soups taste better, they can provide a little extra healing support!  Season your homemade soups with a good quality sea salt; I use only Celtic Sea Salt and recommend it for the best flavor (so much better than table salt) and also, better nutrition.  Sea salt is rich in minerals and trace elements which are lacking from refined table salts.

SoupThe art of soup is natural, organic soups that are crafted by hand.  Nothing beats the aroma and taste of homemade soup on chilly autumn evenings.  These days, however, market leaders like Campbell’s are not seeing their customary growth and profits.  The reason may be because people are becoming more aware of what they eat, and many no longer consider typical condensed soup—loaded with sodium, and filled with overcooked vegetables, limp noodles and some type of animal-based stock—to be part of a healthy diet.

Homemade soup is one of my favorite dishes to prepare,Soup but many uninitiated cooks are intimidated at the thought of making it.  In truth, most recipes are extremely easy to master.  Did you know that there is actual scientific data that shows homemade chicken soup speeds recovery time for a cold?

BaseThe first step of making soup involves making a flavor base, which usually includes things like garlic, onion, carrots, celery.  They are cooked first for a few minutes until soft, then herbs/spices are added and it is cooked another minute or two.  Then you add the rest of the ingredients which comprise the main portion of the soup and the cooking time.  Then you add the liquid and bring the whole thing to a boil.  Add any dry herbs.  If using fresh herbs they are added at the end when the soup is cooked.

The liquid I add is the broth which is important for two main reasons:  it has flavor, and it carries flavor.

First, a broth should be tasty.  If it is not, the entire soupBroth will be bland, and you won't get any flavor at all unless you happen to bite into something that has a lot of flavor in it.

Second, it has to be able to absorb flavors from other ingredients, and carry them to the taste buds.  To do this, it must have something called a flavor carrier.

A flavor carrier is a substance, generally in liquid form, that can absorb organic molecules.  That's because everything with flavor, with the exception of salt, is made up of organic molecules.

So what liquids will work as a flavor carrier, and still be really tasty?  Water simply will not do the trick.  Water cannot dissolve organic molecules, which is why oil and water do not mix.  Which brings us to our first flavor carrier: oil and fat.  Both of these are capable of carrying flavor, and both can be from tasty sources and thus have a lot of flavor themselves.  But oil lends itself more to dressings, and certainly would not act as soup broth.

CollagenWhat this leaves us with is a material called collagen.  Collagen is a dissolved material that comes from bones, tendons, and other tissues of animals.  And because it comes from these animal sources, it also brings along with it the flavors that reside within the tissues.  And boy, can it carry flavor!  Be sure to use only those animal ingredients from organic sources.

Stock is made very simply by slowly simmering, notbroth boiling, several pounds of raw bones (generally beef, chicken, lamb or veal) along with some aromatic vegetables to slowly release the collagen from the bones.  By slowly heating it, the collagen has time to dissolve before it gets hardened and stays stuck in the bones.  It brings out the flavor from the bones, and picks up the flavors of the aromatic vegetables.  This is the essence of a tasty soup broth and then a tasty soup!


Coconut Milk Soup
Organic Chunky Vegetable Cabbage Soup
Organic Irish Stew
Organic Russian Borscht


Lactic Fermentation?
Lactic fermentation is a proven traditional of preserving foods.  This kind of preservation is the only one that preserves all the natural substances of the vegetable.  By lactic fermentation you preserve the food and at the same time improve its quality.  It allows the flavors to fully develop.

Nutritionists recommend this kind of fermented vegetable.  Thanks to fermentation it cannot only be preserved for a long time and has a delicious taste, but it also prevents a number of illnesses typical of an industrialized society.

Fermented vegetables are essential for a healthy diet.  Natural fermentation is one of the oldest known preservation methods.  Lactic acid bacteria ferment the vegetables and they preserve longer, have a pleasant acidic taste and a rich contents of vitamins and minerals.

Sauerkraut is probably one of the healthiest foods, "writes vicar Sebastian Kneipp.  James Cook introduced sauerkraut for ship crews.  Thanks to its high contents of vitamin C, this fermented vegetable protected quite a number of sailors against the plague of the seas--scurvy.

The latest scientific studies confirm the age-old experience of natural and popular medicine fibers keep a healthy digestion going and lower the cholesterol level.  Lactic bacteria are important for the build-up and maintenance of a healthy intestinal flora.  Secondary plant substances prevent cancer, protect the body against infection and inhibit the growth and reproduction of fungi.  The anti-ulcer factor protects the digestive system against stomach and intestinal ulcers.  And then there is also a natural anti-depressant named acetylcholine.
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