Soup is Good for Your Soul and Your Recovery Too, Part One

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Soup is a great food for the early part of recovery, when the body’s fluid balance may be depleted and the gastrointestinal tract is often impaired. Soups, be they hot or cold, are an easy way to obtain needed nutrients without stressing the digestive tract or spending lots of time in the kitchen. If you are using organic vegetables, you will get maximum nutritional benefit if you don’t peel them.

Stocks and broths are made by simmering vegetables and/or leftover bones; and are the basis for most soups. While not always essential (the bones), they add a depth of flavor and nutrients that water can’t supply on its own.

Making a stock can be as simple as throwing some greens and bones into a pot or as complex as spending hours roasting and sautéing individual stock ingredients. Prepared stocks are often high in sodium and additives and relatively low in nutrients, so take the time to make your own. We recommend making large batches of stock and keeping it on hand in several containers in the freezer, using a glass or BPA free plastic container (fill your containers only ¾ full or 2 inches from the top to allow for expansion) for later use.

The best stocks start with leftovers—the trimmings of raw organic vegetables, leftover cooked vegetables, and the bones of fish, chicken, or meats. Almost any vegetable will work in stock (but keep in mind that cabbage and broccoli have a strong flavor that can overwhelm the stock and soup made with it).  Bones and cooked vegetables can be stored in the freezer until you’re ready to make stock, while raw vegetable trimmings will keep for up to a week in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. We also recommend adding a piece of sea vegetable such as kombu or wakame to stocks to boost their mineral content.

The following recipes will get you started, but remember, some of the best soups are created from a few leftover vegetables, an herb or two, and a bit of water or stock.

Below you will find some basic stock recipes that you can add to your favorite soup, stew, or grain recipes. I have included a Dashi (mushroom) clear stock for healing, a Vegetable Stock, and a Chicken and/or Turkey Stock (think Thanksgiving leftovers). And in the next blog I will share some of my favorite soup recipes using some of the best foods for recovery.

Health and Happiness,

Mary P. Cheney, CHC

 

Quick Super Stock

This soothing soup stock has been a favorite medicinal preparation for the Japanese for thousands of years. Alone it’s perfect for the early stages of recovery when simple broths are gentle to the digestive system.

The resulting broth is a clear stock called a dashi. Add tofu squares, scallions, thinly sliced carrots, and daikon radish for a light soothing soup. A small amount of alcohol-free soy sauce can be used instead of salt to flavor the broth.

Makes 1 ½ quarts

2 medium dried shiitake mushrooms

1 ½ quarts water

1 three-inch piece kombu or kelp (See Chapter 12)

 

  1. Rinse the mushrooms and cover with the water in a small bowl for 4 minutes. Remove the mushrooms and cut off the stems. Slice the mushroom tops and return to the water.
  2. Remove any sand from the kombu by brushing it off. Do not rinse, as the white powder on the surface, which is high in minerals, would be rinsed away.
  3. Combine the water, mushrooms, and kombu in a medium pot. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

 

Note: Kombu comes in dark green, thick strips. It has a wonderful hearty flavor, making it great for stocks. Kombu imparts an almost beefy flavor when added to beans (a 3-ounce piece per pot), and it also makes the beans easier to digest. Kombu is high in iodine, B vitamins, iron, and amino acids.

Note: Wakame or Kelp is a brown leafy sea vegetable that has a pleasant, mild flavor. It is rich in calcium and B and C vitamins. Wakame is used in soups, stews, grains, and beans. It can be baked and sprinkled on cooked grains or land vegetables. It is a good sea vegetable for the novice because of its mild flavor. When cooked, wakame turns a lovely green color.

 

Vegetable Stock

Vegetable stock is the queen of stocks. Cooks worldwide use stocks to enrich the flavor of soups and sauces. Moreover, this vegetable stock increases the nutritional value of any dish it’s added to. Try using this stock to cook grains in as well.

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts

1 tablespoon vegetable oil, preferably canola or olive

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 cups raw vegetables (do not use broccoli or cabbage)

3 sprigs parsley or 2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

2 whole cloves

2 garlic cloves (optional)

2 quarts water

1 3-inch piece kombu (See Above Note)

 

  1. Rinse and peel all nonorganic vegetables. Rinse the organic produce.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil. Quickly add the onion and cook until light brown, stirring occasionally. Add the remainder of the ingredients except the kombu and cover. Cook 10 minutes on low heat.
  3. Cover with the 2 quarts of water, add the kombu, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Strain the stock and use immediately or refrigerate for future use. If a more intense flavor is desired, return strained stock to stove and reduce the liquid by half.

 

Note: We recommend making large batches of stock and keeping it on hand in several containers in the freezer, using a glass or a BPA free plastic container (fill your containers only ¾ full or 2 inches from top to allow for expansion) for later use.

 

Chicken or Turkey Stock

Chicken or turkey stock is the base for many soups and sauces. It can also be served with brown rice for a soothing simple soup. Use all leftover parts of a chicken or turkey except the skin, which is high in fat.

Makes about 1 ½ quarts

1 chicken or turkey carcass (or 3-4 pounds chicken pieces)

1 large onion, quartered

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped

2 sprigs fresh parsley

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried

2 whole cloves

2 fresh peppercorns or a pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or vinegar (see Note)

2 garlic cloves (optional)

2 quarts water

 

  1. Put all the ingredients in a large pot. Cover with the 2 quarts of cold water.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer 2 hours. Strain and use immediately or refrigerate. When using refrigerated stock, spoon off any waxy (fat) top layer before proceeding.

 

Note: The lemon juice or vinegar helps to extract more calcium from the chicken or turkey bones.

Note: We recommend making large batches of stock and keeping it on hand in several containers in the freezer, using a glass or BPA free plastic container (fill your containers only ¾ full or 2 inches from top to allow for expansion) for later use.

 

 

From: Food For Recovery 4th Edition: The Complete Nutritional Companion for Recovering from Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, and Eating Disorders

Copyright © 2018 by Mary P. Cheney, CHC, Joseph D. Beasley, M.D. and Susan Knightly

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foodforrecoveryblog

Certified Health Coach, Blogger, Author, Speaker, Activist, Nana, Mom, Wife, Daughter & Foodie.

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