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Posts Tagged ‘thyme’

Chicken (& Kale) Soup for Your Soul

In Nutrition, Recipe on December 19, 2014 at 12:32 am
sunset

Sunset at Windansea Beach, December 16, 2014

So there is this couple that lives a block away from me and I see them walking down to the water each night at sunset with their hands in each others back pockets. They are the same height, have the same sun-bleached blonde hair and tanned skin. I think they are in their early 50s but I don’t know them well, they seem so satisfied and filled up with just each other, that I don’t even dare introduce myself. And I admire them from afar, thinking that they must have it all. Just last week a beautiful, mint condition, Airstream trailer appeared on their street with the CA license plate: 2HOBOS. Not thinking of them at all, I suspected it must be the two hipsters with the perfect beards I see watching the waves at sunset these days. But, alas, it belongs to the golden couple and not for glamorous reasons. He has a brain tumor and a year to live. They’ve sold their house and are embarking on an adventure together for however long they have…

jung and dylan quotes

Just do it already!

And now I’ve digested that information and I’m sitting on the floor of my kitchen with a bottle of wine and my laptop while the chicken (and kale) soup simmers. Pearl Jam’s “Black” comes on the sound system and the melancholy envelopes me while thinking that I STILL envy this couple. With all the dramatic doom and gloom of a terminal diagnosis and the romance and passion of selling it all and driving off into the sunset. Why? Is it because I fear that, if tomorrow, I was given a year to live, there is no one who would leave their current life behind and join me on an adventure until the end of my life? Or is it because I am thinking of all the things that I DON’T do because I am fearful?

I’ve been making a lot of chicken soup lately. It nourishes me – body and soul. But it also worries me that I make a lot of soup when I’m not physically ill – I am rarely sick – because this means that I am in fear mode. The antidote for fear is massive action (Tony Robbins said that). This mantra has worked for me in the past; however, right now my “massive action” is half-assed. There are 19 unpublished drafts in my list of posts for this blog. Why? I get a burst of action and I write and cook and take pictures and then completely freeze when it comes to publishing.

chicken stock

Making your own chicken stock makes for REALLY good soup

Really good chicken soup starts with really yummy, homemade broth. I usually roast a 5 to 6 lb chicken using this recipe and, since our household is only 1 adult and 2 children (50% of the time), those extra pounds are used for stock and soup. Take that extra chicken carcass (and whatever meat is left on it), put it in a crockpot, cover with water, and simmer on low for 24-48 hours. Your home will smell amazing. Leave the whole lemons and garlic and thyme that stuffed the bird with inside – these will disintegrate into full flavor for your stock. Drain your stock through a colander into a soup pot (not the one you will be using to make soup) and pick out the bones – this is an exercise in finger-burning and super tedious but well worth it. Let it sit there and cool for awhile, if needed. Meanwhile…make sure you have the following ingredients:

64oz organic, free-range, chicken broth

water (maybe)

2 sticks salted butter

1 head of celery – chopped

garlic – as many cloves as you like – smashed with the back of your knife

2 onions – chopped

1 bunch carrots – chopped

salt n pepa – to taste – don’t be afraid to pile it on

crushed red pepper, depending on your audience

fresh thyme – LOTS

Baby kale leaves (boxed or bagged)

chicken & kale soup

Serve over baby kale or egg noodles or brown rice or anything at all, really…

Melt butter in soup pot and add the smashed garlic. Chop all the veggies and sauté with garlic in butter. Add plenty of salt and pepper. Sauté until veggies are a bit soft. Then add broth from the crock pot creation. Bring to a boil and simmer until veggies are super soft. Add additional (store-bought) chicken broth and more seasonings, if needed. Bring to a simmer and then add reserved chicken from broth-making adventure. Separate thyme leaves from stems (I use an entire container of fresh thyme) and mix into soup pot.

When ready to serve, place a handful of baby kale leaves in the bottom of a bowl and ladle hot chicken soup over the greens. They will wilt to bright green perfection. This soup is so nourishing and soul-stirring that you will eat nothing but this for days and feel warmed and satisfied to your very core.

Cold-Busting, Flu-Fighting Garlic Soup

In Nutrition, Recipe on November 4, 2014 at 10:40 pm
Immune-supporting Garlic Soup

Immune-supporting Garlic Soup

So you think you’re about to get sick.

Stop. Sit down. Breathe. And check your calendar. What previous commitments are you going to cancel?

You don’t have wait until you are full-on sick to rearrange your calendar. Being bed-ridden is not the only good excuse for not following through on a coffee date or volunteer time-slot or swimming with your kids or dinner with your loved ones.

And, by the way, you don’t need an excuse. Ever. For anything. If you’ve changed your mind about something, you are allowed to state that with no explanation necessary – but that is another discussion.

Sickie Defense Arsenal

Sickie Defense Arsenal

If you start to have even the slightest bit of sniffles, sore throat, or achey-ness, it’s time to clear your calendar and break-out the Sickie Defense Arsenal: throat sprays, herbs and minerals, neti pot, and citrus juicer and make a pot of nourishing, immune-supporting soup. Traditional chicken soup is always a winner. You can also try Quinoa Chowder or Cleansing Soup. Or, if you want to go BIG, try the recipe for Garlic Soup below.

An electric citrus juicer (and 10lb bags of oranges and grapefruits) is a winter-time necessity. Once November rolls around, the apples are starting to get old and citrus is the only local, seasonal fruit left (at least in Southern California). Indulging in fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juice during the cold, dark winter months keeps you hydrated and full of antioxidant, immune-supporting vitamin C.

Vitamin C is quite fragile and quickly loses it’s effectiveness once exposed to heat, light, and oxygen – geez! It’s found in most FRESH fruits and vegetables but the longer your food has been transported, displayed, and stored, the less vitamin C it contains. Citrus, with it’s trusty, protective peel, locks in the vitamins until it’s juiced and then straight into your belly!

Head to the market for the following ingredients for GARLIC SOUP and other necessities:

grocery cart

Garlic Soup ingredients & Vitamin C-rich citrus

garlic (52 cloves, yes, 52!)

olive oil (2 TBSP) and sea salt (for roasting garlic)

ginger (1/2 cup)

onions (2 yellow)

butter, grass fed (1/2 stick)

cayenne (2 tsp or more!)

fresh thyme (lots)

coconut milk (1/2 cup)

3 1/2 cups veggie stock

If Garlic Soup sounds scary, think how scared that random virus will be and how stoked your body will be.

Sickie Defense Arsenal and Strategy:

1) Neti Pot 2x/day w Varcho Veda Neti-Wash Plus (zinc drops)

2) Throat Sprays 3-5x/day (2-3 sprays each time): Echinacea/Goldenseal/Propolis and S-Clear

3) Wellness Formula 2x/day – 3 horsepills (they suck but are so worth it)

4) TONS of fresh-squeezed orange juice (or grapefruit). Even better – try a carrot-orange-ginger juice

5) Make a HUGE pot of soup. Eat it all day long for days. Garlic Soup directions below (ingredients in list above).

To Make Garlic Soup:

Preheat oven to 350F. Get pumped for the job with positive warrior affirmations (and maybe a few warrior poses) to kick this sickness to the curb. Now put that awesome energy into your soup.

roasted garlic

Roasted garlic – olive oil, salt, 350 for 45 minutes

Place 26 garlic cloves (UNpeeled) in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes.

While garlic is roasting, take a bubble bath.

While garlic is cooling, melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions (sliced), thyme, ginger (peeled and chopped) and cayenne powder. Cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.

Onions, garlic, ginger, butter, cayenne

Onions, garlic, ginger, butter, cayenne

Meanwhile, squeeze cooled garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Lick your oily, salty, garlicky fingers. They are delicious.

Add roasted garlic and 26 raw garlic cloves (peeled this time!) and cook 3 minutes. Add vegetable broth, cover, and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Puree soup with a hand blender, add coconut milk, and bring to simmer.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon on top and feel better soon!