Tag Archives: soup

Brussel Sprout Soup

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As you know I am totally and completely focused on seasonal eating, but for some reason I got a massive craving for brussel sprouts this week and had been wanting to make Brussel Sprout soup ever since I got the inspiration flipping through a cookbook at Le Pain Quotidien where I visit my friend Lauren when I need some solace from office. Okay, I guess it’s really not all that surprising considering I could eat an entire pound of brussel sprouts in one sitting if I didn’t control myself. I didn’t mind the warm hearty Fall and Winter flavors in this delicious creation since we’ve been experiencing some June Gloom here in LA this week. But if you are totally opposed to hot soup in the summer, store this away for later this year and you will not be sorry. It would be a great twist on the classic Brussel Sprouts dish to start off Thanksgiving dinner! In fact, I may add this to my second-annual Fall dinner party menu.

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Brussel Sprout Soup (Difficulty-Easy; Serves 4)

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 organic scallions, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 lb. organic brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved (or quartered if they are exceptionally large)
  • 2 large organic parsnips, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs organic thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 4 c. water, veggie, or chicken broth (I used water but would opt for organic chicken broth next time)
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried mustard
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 c. aged cheddar cheese, plus more for topping
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

In a large dutch oven, saute the onion and scallions in butter until slightly translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, brussel sprouts, and parsnips and continue cooking until the sprouts have slightly changed color, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, nutmeg, lemon pepper, dried mustard, salt to taste, and water or broth. Simmer until sprouts are cooked through, about 10 minutes.

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Remove half of the soup mixture from the pot, add 1/2 c. cheddar cheese (Do yourself a favor and buy Trader Joe’s aged goat’s milk cheddar–pictured below! It is divine and our bodies actually process goat and sheep’s milk products much better than cow’s milk), and puree remaining veggies in the dutch oven using an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, simply transfer the mixture to a regular blender. Spoon about 1/2 cup of whole veggies into soup bowls and ladle the pureed liquid over the top. Season with salt and pepper and top with grated cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles (if using–I highly recommend Trader Joe’s Applewood Smoked Bacon that comes from a local Woodland Hills butcher). Enjoy!

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Short Rib French Onion Soup

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Why didn’t I think of this?! Enhancing the already rich decadent flavor of french onion soup with braised full-flavored short ribs- genius! And this dish is easily made primal by leaving out the bread topping, and if you like, you can still have the oozy bubbly cheese on top-just make sure to use a crock or bowl that has a more narrow opening than the size of your cheese slice. Really, you probably wont even notice there’s no bread since you’ll be too focused on the fact that this soup is loaded with flavors that will scintillate your umami taste buds. It really lifted my spirits when I was on the couch sick all weekend.

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I halved the original recipe since I wasn’t cooking for a crowd, but it is easily doubled to serve 6. I also added more liquid since the broth cooks down quite a lot in the oven.

 French Onion Soup with Braised Short Ribs (Adapted from Food Network Magazine) (Difficulty-Intermediate; Serves 4)

  • 1 lb. organic free-range bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 Tbsp. arrow root powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. organic cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ribs of organic celery, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 organic leek, chopped
  • 4 sprigs organic thyme, plus 1/2 Tbsp. thyme leaves
  • 1 organic bay leaf
  • 1/2 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 Tbsp. organic tomato paste
  • 1/2-3/4 c. dry red wine
  • 4-5 c. organic low-sodium beef stock
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 organic Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup dry sherry or Marsala cooking wine (sherry is the traditional ingredient for this soup, but I only had Marsala at home and I really loved the flavor it added)
  • 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 4 slices organic sourdough bread, toasted (optional)
  • 4 slices high-quality gruyere or swiss cheese

Braise the short ribs: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Toss the short ribs with the arrow root powder and season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the short ribs and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

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Add the celery, chopped onion and leek to the pot and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Return the short ribs to the pot and stir in the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, garlic and tomato paste. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, then cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and return to a simmer. Cover, transfer to the oven, and braise until the short ribs are falling off the bone, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

IMAG0459'IMAG0463IMAG0466 Meanwhile, caramelize the onions: Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sliced onions, reduce the heat to low and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, about 2 hours, 30 minutes. (Add a splash of water and scrape up any browned bits from the pot, if necessary.)

IMAG0464 When the short ribs are done, remove from the broth with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Strain the broth, discarding the solids. Shred the meat, discarding the bones, and toss with 1 cup of the broth. Reserve the remaining broth.

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Add the thyme leaves and sherry to the caramelized onions. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes; add the reserved broth and cook 30 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Skim the fat from the top of the soup. Stir in the sherry vinegar.

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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Divide the soup among 4 ovenproof bowls; spoon about 1/3 cup shredded meat into the center of each, then top each with a slice of the sourdough toast, trimming the bread if necessary. Top each with a slice of cheese, letting the cheese hang over the side of the bowl. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

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Caribbean-Spiced Beef Stew

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This may be shocking to most people, but the first time I ever tried beef stew was in college (I didn’t really eat red meat as a child), when my dear friend Kim made her grandmother’s recipe for me–it was delicious! So when I saw this island-inspired beef stew in the Food Network magazine I thought it would make a great high-protein meal and would easily become primal with a few minor adjustments. I simply replaced the flour with a more natural thickening agent, arrow root powder, and replaced the starchy potatoes with flavorful parsnips. I added zucchini in replace of half of the carrots, although you could cut them out completely if you’re really serious about being low-glycemic. The fire roasted tomatoes I used gave the stew a wonderful spice for a cold winter day!

Caribbean Beef Stew (Adapted from the Food Network)

(Difficulty-Easy, Makes 4-6 Servings)

  • 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 c. arrow root powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 lbs. beef stew meat (I love Trader Joe’s all natural stew meat!)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 lbs. parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 zucchini squashes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1  10 oz. can Mexican-style diced tomatoes with green chiles

Combine the thyme, arrow root powder, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl. Add the beef and toss to coat.

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Heat about 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large stock pot, and add sliced shallots stirring until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the beef, reserving any excess seasoned arrow root powder in the bowl, cooking the beef fo about 3-4 minutes on each side.

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Whisk 1/2 cup water and the Worcestershire sauce into the reserved seasoned arrow root powder, then add to the pot. Dice the  parsnips, carrots, zucchini, ginger and garlic, and add to stock pot. IMG_3920

Pour the tomatoes on top. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cover. Cook on low 1-2 hours.

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Broccoli Canellini Soup

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I found this delicious and amazingly easy soup on Pinterest. I know canellini, or any beans for that matter, are not ‘primal’ approved, but I also don’t think its the worst thing you could eat so I made it anyway–I know, I’m a rebel. You won’t regret it. It is smooth, creamy, hearty, satisfying and a great warm meal for rainy days, which we’ve had several of in LA the past few days. Great for soup eating and holiday movie watching!!

Broccoli Cannelini Soup (courtesy of Whole Living)

  •  1 head organic broccoli (1 pound), cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • One 15-ounce can organic cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 1/2 cups organic, low-sodium chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 ounce shaved Parmesan, for serving
  1. Steam broccoli florets and stems until tender
    and bright green, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly.
    Reserve 1/2 cup florets for garnish.
  2. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until translucent, about 6 minutes.
    Add beans and stock and bring mixture to a simmer.
    Remove from heat and add broccoli; puree in batches in a blender until smooth, or use an immersion blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish each bowl with broccoli florets, toasted pine nuts, and shaved Parmesan.

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Curried Coconut Carrot Soup

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This soup was inspired by my visit to the most beautiful and delicious Polynesian restaurant on the Northern shore of Maui a few months ago called Mama’s Fish House. If you are on the island, this is a must-visit! It is traditionally-designed Polynesian gem tucked away on a private beach. The restaurant has an entire wall of open windows closest to the beach and each table faces the beautiful Pacific ocean. And the food is perfect down to every last detail! It is definitely pricey, but worth every penny. This soup wasn’t even a menu item, but a complementary starter brought to each table in little ceramic soup shooter glasses. It took me all of 2 gulps to finish it off, but it was a mouthful of buttery, spicy, sweet heaven! I replicated it using this recipe I found online. I know that carrots are not generally part of the primal diet for their higher glycemic index, but this soup was worth the exception and full of nutrients and great spices. Definitely a winner!

Curried Coconut Carrot Soup (slightly adapted from the  The Whinery)

2 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil

1 onion, chopped

4 organic roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 habanero pepper

6-8 medium organic carrots, peeled and chopped

3 1/2 cups organic vegetable stock

1 15oz. can organic coconut milk

1/2 tsp. powdered ginger

1 Tbsp. curry powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large soup pot and add the onions, sweating on medium heat, about 7 minutes. Add tomatoes, pepper, and carrots and cook another 6 minutes. Add vegetable stock, coconut milk, ginger, curry powder, and salt and pepper. Cover the pot and cook on medium-high for 10-15 minutes, or until carrots are tender. Blend the soup using an immersion blender or transfer to a stand blender. Easy as that and so comforting and warm!