I have been meaning to post my recipe for Weekend Recovery Soup for a while now. This has been a staple recipe for us for many years. This soup is something I would make in advance of a fun-filled weekend or vacation where I knew we would be indulging in sweets, treats, and drinks. That way when Sunday or Monday rolled around and we felt like absolute crap, I would have something healthy to heat up and restore all the minerals and nutrients we lost. If you are looking for a hangover cure, it's this soup. This soup always brought us back to life.
A lot of people say one of the hardest parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is "falling off the wagon" after letting go for a special weekend or celebration. I hate that phrase, but the point is if you have something healthy that is going to make you feel good--all ready to consume once the festivities are over--it's going to be easier to "get back on the wagon" and move on from the indulgences.
As it turns out, being pregnant feels exactly like being hungover all the time (at least the first trimester). You are nauseous all the time, your digestion is a wreck, you constantly have to pee, you didn't sleep great, anxiety is through the roof (Natural Calm helped a lot with this), you might have a headache, everything hurts, you're dizzy, you are so thirsty yet your mouth is still dry, your skin is breaking out, all you want to do is lie down and take a nap, you're questioning every decision you've ever made in your life up to this point, and you feel like you should be thinking more about the future but all you can focus on is how awful you feel right now.
And you're so hungry, yet somehow food makes you feel worse. Nothing is satisfying.
Enter First Trimester Soup AKA Weekend Recovery Soup. Suitable for all stages of life!
This is the only food I have been able to eat more than once during the entire first trimester (once I ate something I was craving, the thought of eating it again made me gag...just me?). Plus with your digestive system being all squished up, it's really hard to digest a lot of food. I was craving healthy food and veggies, but I had such a hard time digesting them and it made me feel worse than I already did. The vegetables in this soup are really easy to digest, but still retained a lot of their nutrient value.
I also developed this awful aversion to pork and chicken and really most animal sources of protein. The thought or even smell of chicken sent me in a downward spiral of gagging and nausea...the only thing worse than the smell of chicken was perfume. I also developed an aversion to egg whites (but not yolks...smart baby), and for awhile I would be able to just eat the yolks (hey!), but eventually looking at egg whites made me want to gag as well. I was ok with scrambled eggs hidden in things (I made Nom Nom Paleo's Egg Drop Soup a few times as well). Luckily about once a week I would crave a steak, but other than that my usual sources of protein and fat became my new worst enemies.
The most important part of this soup, both for hangovers and pregnancy, is the bone broth. Rich in essential minerals (which you deplete with junk food, sugar, and alcohol, but are also stolen from you while pregnant and breastfeeding) bone broth also contains protein and collagen. The latter was really important for me to consume during the first trimester because I all of the sudden found myself an unintentional vegetarian.
In addition to the collagen protein found in bone broth, I began incorporating Vital Proteins collagen in as many ways as I could. I would add it to Kettle and Fire's bone broth (which replaced my morning coffee), I drank the collagen beauty water (I prefer the strawberry flavor with fresh lemon juice in a shaker bottle), and I made my collagen gummies. I also liberally added collagen peptides to my soups. Collagen is not a complete protein as it lacks tryptophan, but it's still nutrient dense and a really important for the baby's development.
I also increased my consumption of grass-fed yogurt, milk, and cheese (Organic Valley is a great pasture-raised brand that is widely available) to get protein and fat in since my meat consumption was lacking, and to make sure I was getting enough Vitamin K2 which is only found in full-fat, grass-fed meat and dairy. Luckily I had no issues tolerating dairy.
Before the suggestions come rolling in, I did try supplementing with B6 and I also tried topical magnesium. The magnesium worked initially for my protein aversions but after about a week, whatever was causing the aversions just became too strong for my measly attempts at bio-hacking...and I was too tired to even attempt more things. I'd rather nap and sleep through my nausea than spend any precious energy and effort trying to thwart it. I obviously tried ginger in various forms but I honestly think it made me feel worse. The only thing that seemed to even slightly lessen my nausea was grapefruit. There was a few weeks there where we were running out to the store multiple times a week to get more grapefruit juice--I just couldn't get enough of it.
A few tips for this recipe:
In this specific bowl pictured, I used a combo of parsnips, carrots, celery, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and extra tomatoes. I used spinach as my greens. Onions and tomatoes I always use for this soup, but for the rest of vegetables you can pretty much use whatever you like, whatever you have on hand, or whatever is in season. My favorite combo is green beans, celery, and carrots...CLASSIC.
Weekend Recovery Soup/First Trimester Soup
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Add coconut oil to a large soup pot and set stove to medium-high heat. Once coconut oil is melted, add the eggs and cook until scrambled. Break up the scrambled eggs into tiny pieces with your spatula.
Add the onion and tomatoes, and cook down, stirring occasionally until onions just start to turn translucent.
Add the rest of your veggies and then pour in the bone broth. Cook on high until it starts to boil. Then add your greens and bring to a boil again.
Cover and simmer on low for about 45 minutes. Add salt to taste.
We are so fortunate to have a really great lamb farm near us on our side of Pittsburgh that sells responsibly raised, pastured meat.
One of my favorite things to cook with ground lamb is Primal Palate's Mint Lamburgers.
But as much as I love burgers, they can get old after a while.
I love using ground meat in soups (here and here), and I had previously made a lamb bone broth from the lamb bones I saved from our Easter dinner; I like using bone broth in soups so I wanted to come up with a mineral-rich lamb soup using fresh in-season vegetables.
Garden Harvest Lamb Soup
In a soup pot over medium heat, stir ground lamb, garlic, and onion until lamb is cooked (the lamb should be fatty enough to cook the onion and garlic, but you can add a little stable cooking fat of choice like coconut oil, ghee, tallow, etc. if needed).
Add zucchini and tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add bone broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with fresh mint and if you prefer, some rice or cauliflower rice.
EDIT: The last time we made this, I had one loner potato leftover from making a Spanish Tortilla, so I chopped it up and threw it in with the bone broth. If you need extra healthy carbs, some potatoes would be a great addition!
One of my favorite meals growing up was my italian grandma's wedding soup. The one with the little noodle balls. Yeah, I haven't had that since I was a child.
I was feeling under the weather this morning, and I guess I was craving comfort food because I woke up and just had to make my own version of it. Luckily, I had the ingredients on hand to throw something together.
You know I am all about simplicity and I have so much on my To Do list at the moment, so spending all morning making teeny little meatballs just wasn't happening. Who has time for that? No one does these days. So I decided to freestyle the ground meat. Note that you could substitute 2 lbs of either ground beef or ground pork instead of one of each.
Turns out, it is not about the shape of the meatball. It is all about the flavor (hint: buy good quality grass fed ground beef). I did not miss those little noodle balls, either, thanks to the cauliflower rice.
My italian husband said it was "awesome" and that he likes it better without the meatballs.
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!
Lazy Paleo Italian Wedding Soup
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
In a large soup pot on high heat, cook the ground meat and onion. Add the salt and garlic powder.
Once meat is cooked through, add the tomatoes, cauliflower rice, broth, and spinach. Bring to a boil and add the parsley. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Salt to taste before serving.
Serve with some fresh parmesan cheese if you do dairy (I don't like parmesan cheese and I thought it was fantastic; just add a little more salt) and Simple Mills almond flour crackers.
If I could only make one meal for my husband to eat for the rest of his life, he would probably request it to be this soup.
I actually started making it several years ago when we first started dating. I think I found the original recipe in a Food Network magazine. At the time, I was brand new to eating gluten free (and eating dairy-free because my gut was in terrible shape) so the use of rice noodles and coconut milk appealed to me. It was so easy and quick to make and required minimal clean-up (we were both living in teeny tiny apartments with barely any counter space and no dishwasher). On top of that, it was delicious, so we probably made it at least once a week. We made it so often that it got to the point where I knew how to make it without following a recipe.
When I switched to a paleo lifestyle, I stopped making it. It’s not an unhealthy dish, but I was busy trying out new recipes (mostly from Make It Paleo). Since it’s his favorite soup, if not favorite meal, my husband still requested it. I figured it would be pretty easy to paleo-ize.
I eat mine without noodles but my husband does CrossFit and needs more carbohydrates. So after I poured myself some, we added noodles at the end for him. If you are using noodles, use a little more broth (6 cups). If you are not using noodles, you can use less broth and feel free to add a little more chicken.
Thai Coconut Chicken Soup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
In a soup pot, heat up coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until onion starts to turn translucent. Add the curry, broth, and coconut milk, and bring to a boil.
Add the peppers and chicken and bring to a boil. Once chicken has cooked through (about 3-5 minutes), add the rice noodles, if using, and bring to a boil or until noodles are cooked (about 3 minutes). Lower the temperature to a simmer and add fish sauce, lime juice, salt and cilantro. Taste it and add more fish sauce/lime juice/salt if needed (it varies depending on how much broth used/if you used noodles)
'Tis the season for soups! I love making soups. I am very much drawn toward the simplicity of them. In just one pot, you can get the benefits of homemade bone broth, nutrient dense veggies, and properly raised protein. Soups are my favorite way to use up the abundant leafy greens of summer (I keep bags of frozen kale, chard, and bok choy in the freezer from our farm share just to be used in fall/winter soups). Making soups requires minimal preparation and clean-up, makes the house smell great, is easy to put away and reheat to eat later in the week, and also freezes great for when you need a quick lunch or dinner option later on. I love including a soup for dinner parties and holidays because you can make it in advance.
Because I am pretty busy at the moment between working full-time and being in school part-time, I have been making a big pot of soup every Sunday to save me some time weeknight cooking. This particular recipe is one I made several times during the early summer when there was an abundance of cabbage. There was so much cabbage that I froze some in preparation for cold and busy weeks like this.
Prior to making this recipe for the first time, my initial thought was to make traditional stuffed cabbage. I never enjoyed it the few times I had it as a child, but I thought maybe I could come up with a better recipe. Then I realized that no one, including myself, has time to make stuffed cabbage. How time consuming! So I reverted back to my love of the simplicity of soups. My new motto is going to be "If you don't have the time or patience to cook something, turn it into a soup!'
Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage Soup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, cook ground meat and onions until meat is cooked. You can add a couple sprinkles of salt and pepper at this point. Add in tomatoes, sauce, and cabbage; stir and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add in riced cauliflower and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until you are ready to serve. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you so desire, you can add some good quality parmesan cheese to your bowl like my husband does.
How easy was that!?
I hate to burst your bubble but store-bought chicken soup is not going to make you feel better; in fact, it will probably make you feel worse. It's mostly water, salt, a chicken-like substance, maybe some gut-irritating noodles, and a whole bunch of chemicals that your body probably won't like very much.
My chicken soup, on the other hand, could be considered magical; except it's really just a simple matter of feeding your body with bioavailable nutrients. The real star here is the bone broth. You are going to squeeze every ounce of nutrient out of this chicken, including gut-healing collagen and loads of minerals from the bones, which is going to end up feeding you with healthy energy and filling up your nutrient stores so you can take on whatever illnesses this winter has to offer. I'm willing to guarantee that you won't get sick at all this year if you have this soup at least once a week. As soon as the weather changes, make a batch and freeze it; very little nutrients are lost by freezing.
This legit chicken soup is time-consuming to make, but please don't let that deter you; after all it's nothing compared to the amount of time you will lose if you get sick. It's actually very simple, and quite versatile. I prefer mine traditionally with onions, celery, tomatoes, and carrots, but you could certainly add whatever fresh or frozen veggies you have on hand. I've also enjoyed it with chopped up green beans, zucchini, and kale.
This ain't your mama's chicken soup. But it probably is how your great-grandmother used to make it.
Legit Chicken Soup
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 24-48 hours
You will need a large soup or stock pot. Rinse your chicken with cold water and be sure to remove any paper from the cavity (sometimes they wrap the organs up in paper and put them back in the cavity). You can either use the organs in the soup (they have LOADS of vitamins), or save them to cook later. I actually chop some up and give them to my cats--they love it--and throw the rest in the soup. Place the chicken in the pot and fill the pot up with filtered water until it covers the chicken (this should not be all the way, you need room to add vegetables). Add apple cider vinegar, and you can even add a little salt at this point. Cover and bring to a boil, and then let simmer for 24-48 hours.
Note: If you aren't going to be home or feel uncomfortable leaving your stove on overnight, you can do this entire step in a crock pot. Just put it on low for at least 24, but preferably 48 hours.
2nd Note: Some people prefer to wrap their chicken in a cheesecloth and tie that with twine to keep all the bones trapped so they don't have to sift through it later. I don't mind it, but this is fine if you prefer it. They sell Soup Socks for this purpose but I can't vouch for them. If I ever try it, I'll let you know.
Pour your chicken and bone broth through a mesh strainer, being sure to retain the liquid in a very large bowl. Let the chicken caught in the strainer cool.
While it's cooling, in the same pot you just poured from heat up ghee or fat of choice over medium-high heat. Add your onions, celery, and carrots and let cook until onions and celery start to turn translucent. Add tomatoes and cook 1-2 minutes. Pour just the broth back in.
At this point your chicken should be cool. Now you're going to have to get your hands a little dirty so make sure they are clean (this is probably why people like to use the Soup Socks). Mash your chicken down with a wooden spoon. Many of the bones will disintegrate which is exactly what you want in your soup...all those minerals! Separate any hard bones and discard them. Add the chicken meat back into the soup pot, along with the fresh parsley, and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer until you are ready to serve.
Fall is my favorite time of year. The leaves are changing, football is on, and the weather is cool. But the best part by far is the fall harvest and the seasonal produce available this time of year.
Right now we have an abundance of winter squashes from the farm share. Kabochas, acorns, butternuts, delicatas, not to mention pumpkins and spaghetti squashes. Not only do these hearty vegetables look beautiful on display in your kitchen or dining room but can last through the winter without spoiling (hence the name winter squashes). Winter squashes are very high in Vitamin A, and also provide a decent amount of fiber and Vitamin C, which is essential to immune function. Winter squashes are so versatile: you can roast them with salt and pepper, stuff them, toss them in pasta, use them in pies, and roast the seeds. But my favorite way to use them, and a seasonally appropriate way, is in soups. I love making soups because you can make them ahead of time, so they are a great choice if you are having company over for dinner.
I used a kabocha squash for this recipe, but I have also made it using butternut squash. Both are great!
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
With a very sharp knife, cut kabocha squash in half from stem to bottom. Scoop out seeds and guts from cavity. Brush melted coconut oil on to flesh and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place face down in a glass baking dish. Chop up the apples into chunks (quarters will work) and add apples to glass baking dish. Place in oven and roast for 45-55 minutes or until squash is soft.
Take the squash out of the oven and let it cool before you handle it. While you are waiting for it to cool (now is also a good time to make the prosciutto if you are using it--see instructions below), slice the onion. In a soup pot, add the rest of the coconut oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and cook until caramelized.
After the squash is cool, scoop out all the orange flesh and add it to the pot with the onions. Discard the skin. Add the coconut milk and 2 cups of broth of choice. Use an immersion blender to blend all the contents together until smooth (you could also use a Vitamix or a blender but I just love my immersion blender for this type of thing). Add salt and pepper to taste (keeping in mind if you are using prosciutto for garnish it is going to add some salt flavor).
Serve in a bowl with crumbled prosciutto and/or diced green onions or chives. I also like to serve these with the best crackers ever, Primal Palate's Herb Crackers.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 3 pieces of prosciutto on baking sheet and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Let cool and crumble the prosciutto into each bowl of soup.