Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nourishing Winter Soup

It's super cold outside! Time to break out the crock pots and the SOUP RECIPES...

Today I want to share with you one of my go-to recipes for homemade chicken soup.

I use a homemade chicken stock, alongside some tasty nutritious root veggies, with some sprouted lentils for good measure!

And let's not forget a dash of spice and YUM-MY!!!

Okay, so here we go:

So the day before I actually make the soup I begin by doing these two simple steps...

1) I get out my bag of lentils. Rinse them off and then put them in a bowl with pure water until they are completely covered. I put in a tablespoon of a bacteria starter (plain yogurt, kefir, pure lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar). I then put a towel over it and let them soak in that bowl until the next day.

***Note: some of the benefits of soaking--> easier to absorb nutrients, easier to digest, better taste as the legumes lose their tougher exterior, and many health enthusiasts advocate sprouting/soaking all of our grains/legumes to increase the nutrient content overall.

2) I take out my bag of chicken bones. I am going to start my homemade broth. I buy my bones at a local organic farm for only a few dollars. I first put them in a pot of water and let them soak at room temperature with a teaspoon of raw apple cider vinegar (to help break down the minerals from the bones). I leave them for only less than an hour. 
Then I put the bones/water in my slow cooker on high. It's good to let them simmer for about 5+ hours. 

Afterwards I let the broth cool down...strain out all the bones (sometimes pulling off any meat that may be left on the bones) and then place the leftover broth in the fridge over night to chill.

The day of the soup:

-I cook the lentils on the stove top. Should only take 20-25 minutes. Watch that they are nice and soft.

-I skim the top layer of the broth and throw that out. Then I place the remaining jello-like broth back into my slow cooker.

***Note: some of the benefits of homemade chicken broth from the bones--> you increase the mineral content of your broth. Many nutrition advocates believe that this broth has many nutrients that help encourage a healthy immune system. Jewish folklore has always said that homemade chicken broth/soup is even better than penicillin!

-I then cut up my three basic root veggies: celery, carrots, onion 

***Optional Additions--> broccoli, cauliflower, parsnip (and potatoes if you are not trying to keep your carbohydrate intake down)

I simmer the broth including the root veggies. I continue to do this until the veggies are soft to the touch. 

I then pour in the cooked lentils and stir.

Lastly, I season it! Today I added a bit of my favourite sea salt blend, alongside a spice blend.

Season it to taste and then serve it up to your hungry brood. Enjoy it on a nice cold winter day :)

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