I don’t know about you, but the way I eat in the winter is night and day opposite of the way I eat in the summer. In the winter, I’m all about hot and hearty. The way I also tend to eat is to pre-cook a big batch of something over the weekend, and eat it all week, so soup is perfect for that! Soup is also so comforting and full of memories. A lot of these recipes I’ve known and loved from childhood, and eating them is like going home.
Well, bone broth USED to be unusual. These days everyone knows about it. My local whole foods even has hot bone broth you can purchase and sip! If you’re not into making bone broth, there are internet places you can buy it. But it’s honestly not that hard to make. The hardest part is getting the things you don’t have. Like, for instance, a crock pot/slow cooker. You can get one pretty cheap on Amazon, though and boy, does it change your life – highly recommend.
The other tough thing to get is the bones. My local Whole Foods carries them, so it’s super easy to get them. Ask a local butcher if your WF doesn’t carry bones. Don’t be shy! Even if you have no idea about bones, they do and they’ll be super happy to help you out OR direct you to where you can get bones (if they can’t help). Worse case, you can also get bones on the internet.
The last thing to remember is that the healthier the bones, the healier the broth! Since by cooking the broth for so long we are literally leeching out all the goodness in the bones, we want to make sure that’s what it is – goodness, not badness. So make sure your bones are from grass-fed (beef) or pasture raised (chx. At the very least, get chx who have been fed organic grain).
Bone broth is hugely awesome for gut health and it also is chock full of important minerals. If your diet is acidic or your lifestyle is stressful, then bone broth will really help replenish the minerals your body is losing to deal with stress and acidity. It also supports collagen and skin health. I drink this as much as I can in the winter. Ideally, I’d be having a cup a day, but realistically, I grab a cup at Whole Foods here and there and make a honemade batch maybe 3-4 times over the course of winter. 🙂
Here’s the recipe.
This is how we say borscht in Polish, and it is basically beet soup. There are a million variations of how to make this soup, but I found a pretty easy recipe for you (see below). This is a traditional holiday food in Poland and is enjoyed as part of the traditional Christmas Eve meal. In my family, we mix a little sour cream into the soup and serve it with hard boiled eggs and boiled potatoes roughly chopped and added into the soup just before serving.
As you might be able to tell by now, I adore beets. They are sooooo good for you. They lower inflammation, help the liver detoxify the body, and they help support women’s hormonal health. They’re full of antioxidants, nutrients and minerals. Here’s a good article that goes more in depth on the amazing benefits of beets.
And bonus – here’s a recipe for beet kvass, which some more traditional barszcz recipes call for, and which I love to make and drink. What’s better than beet juice? Fermented beet juice!
Green chile stew
I grew up in New Mexico and ate this ALL THE TIME in the winter. This is especially good as a hot lunch when you’ve been snowboarding/skiing all day! I’m very particular about my green chile stew – for it to taste right, you have to use legit roasted green chile from New Mexico.
The basic recipe is just: potatoes, meat, tomatoes, green chile and a stock base. The most traditional meat to use is pork, but if you’re trying to be healthy, then grass-fed ground beef or organic chicken is an good alternative.
In the recipe, feel free to make it vegetarian by omitting the meat, and feel free to sub other meat. Oh, also, the masa harina she wants you to cook the meat in – totally not necessary, just brown the meat. And if you don’t have a crock pot, just cook this on the stove. I like to simmer the meat, chile and tomatoes for a loooong time, but I add the potatoes about 30-60 minutes before I’m done cooking, so they don’t get too mushy.
African Egusi soup
This is a yummy dense soup – more like a sauce. But it’s chock full of REALLY good for you foods – pumpkin seeds (or real egusi seeds, if you can find them), spinach, and your choice of healthy fat – I use a 1:1 mix of coconut cream and ghee. Also, fish – I use fresh salmon (since it’s so high in omega 3 fatty acids), but you could try with other fish or even other meat or no meat. Smoked salmon might also be interesting… Great over rice, sweet potatoes or quinoa. And seriously, so full of superfoods.
Lentil-Butternut Squash Curry
There was NO way this list would be over without a curry – oe of my favorite foods, and awesome over steamed veggies, rice or potatoes. Lentils are unique in that while most beans are mildly acid forming in the body, lentils are alkalinizing. Plus they are full of fiber and protein. Butternut squash features because it’s winter and squash is a must on the menu in the winter and fall! Feel free to try this curry with other veggies and even meats.
For this recipe, pay attention to the comments – I personally make this recipe with coconut cream, NOT with broth and coconut butter as suggested. The variation I use is explained in the comments.
Happy eating! If you have a soup recipe you love, share in the comments!