Broth for Breakfast

When it comes to breakfast Americans love their bacon and eggs, and most of all we love our sugar.  But, there are better choices for breakfast than pop tarts or cereal that’s so sweet you can smell the sugar (yes, you actually can).  As a matter of fact most of the rest of the world, if they get breakfast, start the day with soup which seems to be catching on here in the U.S.  One of the hot new trends is switching from a big, overpriced cup of gourmet coffee to a big, overpriced mug of bone broth.   I guess it’s a move toward better nutrition, but it’s still overpriced, and it’s made from bones, so I’m opting for a plant based version instead.  To each his own.  For me, there’s something comforting about a big mug of warm soup, and once you get over the idea that soup for breakfast is just too weird, you discover a whole panorama of tasty possibilities.  Here are some ideas I’ve  come up with that are broadening breakfast horizons at my house.  Give it a try.

 Spicy Breakfast Broth 2 Ways

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup V8 Juice (spicy or original, your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallion including some green tops
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces plain avocado or guacamole
  • ¾ teaspoon Siracha (optional)

Directions

In a saucepan, heat the scallions in a small amount of vegetable stock.

Broth for Breakfast - Scallions 4

 

 

 

 

 

Add V8 juice, oregano, cumin and salt and pepper.  Season with a few drops of siracha.

  1. Serve with avocado toast on whole wheat bread.
  2. Whisk avocado or guacamole into the broth and serve a hard-boiled egg on the side.

Spicy Vegetable Broth - Breakfast 2                                                  Spicy Vegetable Broth - Breakfast 4

 

This recipe makes 2 generous 1-cup servings.  Store in a glass container in the refrigerator.  Pop in the microwave to warm or serve it chilled.

Broth with Bean Sprouts and Vegetables

Scallions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup mixed vegetables, fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
  • ¼ cup bean sprouts
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh mushrooms thinly sliced, or 1 tablespoon mushroom powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Directions

  1. In a saucepan, heat the scallions, garlic and ginger in 2 tablespoons of broth until softened.
  2. Add the rest of the broth, vegetables and mushrooms or mushroom powder. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the bean sprouts and heat through before serving.
  4. For extra protein float a boiled egg or serve on the side with toast sticks.

Thai Style Coconut Soup

Of course, if you prefer your breakfast creamy and a little sweeter, here’s a slightly more exotic way to start your day.

Thai Style Coconut Soup

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 smallish red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used almond oil but olive oil works also)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes (fresh is best but canned will work)
  • 1 cup coconut milk, unsweetened or vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used almond)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped mint, basil or cilantro leaves for garnish

Directions

Sautee the onion, peppers and garlic in olive oil in a large pot until onions are soft, about 3-5 minutes.

Coconut Soup 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the remaining ingredients, except for the basil and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook over low heat for one hour.

Coconut Soup 2

 

Coconut Soup 3Transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot. Add basil or cilantro and enjoy your coconut soup!

*You can add ¾ cup chickpeas to increase the protein content, but it’s optional and I usually leave them out.

Healthy Soups Are Good Medicine

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates Winter is here in earnest and flu season is hitting its peak.  The really bad news is that the vaccine this year isn’t as effective as in years past so supporting your immune system is a good way to stay healthy.  Food as medicine is a very old idea and here are two great soups to help boost your immune system plus provide a bowl of comfort when you’re fighting off the miseries.  My first soup is a serious flu and cold fighter but it’s not a great first course on date night.

Garlic Soup

Ingredients: 3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced 1 – 3 small parsnips, peeled and diced 1 large carrot, peeled and left whole 1 small onion, diced 6-8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

What You Need

What You Need

In a heavy saucepan, sauté the onion in the melted the butter (or oil).  Add the minced garlic. Garlic Soup 10   Saute onion until translucent and the garlic is fragrant but not browned.   Add the parsnips and potatoes and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Garlic Soup 14

 

 

 

 

 

Add the stock and the whole carrot, cover and simmer until the vegetables are fork tender. Garlic Soup 17                                                                                                                                     Remove the carrot and set aside. Blend the soup until smooth. Garlic Soup 20

Slice the carrot and add back to the soup.  Garnish with ground black pepper and crackers. Garlic Soup 21 But what if you already feel awful and your tummy is out of sorts.  Sometimes you need comfort as well as an immunity boost.  This soup is will fix you right up and even kids and cranky husbands like it.

Spicy Ginger-Carrot Soup

This is based on a recipe I found for Punjabi Ginger Soup with a few added tweaks.  It really is delicious and you’ll eat it again and again even if you’re not feeling under the weather. Ingredients: 1 large onion, diced 1 sizable knob of ginger (about 2 tablespoons grated), or you can use powdered ginger. 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter if you prefer) 1 tablespoon cumin seed 3 teaspoons ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste) Salt and pepper to taste 1 15-ounce can of full fat coconut milk Spicy Ginger Soup 2           In a heavy skillet, saute cumin seed, turmeric and pepper flakes in the coconut oil until the spices are fragrant. Ginger soup 002           Add the ginger, salt, onion and the carrot and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Pour in the can of coconut milk and simmer until the carrot is tender.

Ginger soup 007

Spicy Ginger Carrot Soup

  Blend until smooth, garnish with some chopped mint and serve with some crusty bread. Ginger soup 013   There’s ginger to settle your tummy, tumeric to boost your immune system, a bit of pepper to help the aches and stuffy nose, and smooth yummy coconut milk to make everything feel all better.  Enjoy!

Winter Warmup with French Onion Soup

French onion soup sounds like one of those time consuming, only eat it in restaurants kind of dish.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  French onion soup is really easy to make and one of my favorite homemade winter day treats.  So break out the slow cooker and get started.

Slow Cooker French Onion Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 5 large onions, sliced thinly and separated
  • 1 tsp sugar, divided
  • 3 ½ pints beef broth
  • 4 tbsp ruby port
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup of your favorite melting cheese (provolone and/or mozzarella cheese, swiss, gruyere) grated
  • 6-8 slices sourdough bread, lightly toasted – I like to use a full baguette from the  bakery

Directions

onion soup 002

 

 

 

Cut the onions in half and slice the halves. Sliced Onions

 

 

 

 

Heat the butter in the slow cooker until melted.

Butter and garlic

 

 

Add the onions, cover and cook, on low, until the onions are soft and just beginning to brown.

onion soup 010

 

 

 

 

Next I add the port, beef or vegetable stock, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours.

Divide the soup into individual oven-proof bowls and place the bread slices to cover evenly.onion soup 014 Sprinkle with the grated cheese and put under the broiler about 6-inches from the heat until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.

Enjoy!

After the Garden

Well, the garden is done and everything has been canned, preserved, frozen, or eaten. Fortunately, broccoli is still in season somewhere, so it’s an inexpensive item in the supermarket. So, the soup this week is broccoli cheese. Now, I usually avoid broccoli cheese soup because it always looks like a few chunks of limp broccoli floating in a sea of mystery cheese. Just too much carb and dairy and too little lovely green stuff. Until Broccoli Cheese Soupnow. Recently, I discovered a recipe, thanks to the Test Kitchen, that does broccoli cheese soup with emphasis on the broccoli and it’s rich as butter without all the fat.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

• 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable broth
• 2 heads (pounds) broccoli, peel and trim the stems and cut in cubes, roughly chop the florets into 1-inch pieces
• 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
• 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
• 1 ½ teaspoons dry mustard powder
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• salt to taste
• 3–4 cups water
• ¼ teaspoon baking soda (helps get rid of those sulphur containing compounds and brings out the taste of the broccoli)
• 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken)
• 2 cups baby spinach (if using frozen, thaw and squeeze the water out)
• 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3/4 cup)
• 1 ½ ounces Parmesan cheese, grated fine (about 3/4 cup), plus extra for serving
• Ground black pepper

1. Heat oil or broth in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add broccoli, onion, garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 6 minutes until fragrant. Add 1 cup water and the baking soda. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until broccoli is very soft, about 20 minutes, stirring once during cooking.

2. Add broth and 2 cups water and increase heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture back to a simmer, stir in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1 minute. You can transfer half of soup to blender, add cheddar and Parmesan, and process until smooth or leave the soup in the pot and use that immersion blender you got for Christmas. Over medium heat, bring to simmer. If the soup seems too thick, adjust consistency by adding up to a cup of water or broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Broccoli Cheese Soup VSprinkle with croutons and grated or shaved Parmesan and serve with some crusty bread.

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