Tag Archives | soup

A fall favorite – basic beef stew

Beef stew screams fall. Just the THOUGHT of beef stew has me thinking cozy fires, comfy blankets and fuzzy slippers. I used to think making beef stew was something only my mom could make. Why? Because it seemed very complicated and labor intensive. Plus, I was afraid it would never taste as good as hers. That can be a big stumbling block! Even though my mom doesn’t live far away I recently realized that if I want beef stew, it’s up to me to make it.

After a brief call to mom I dove in and made a very simple but amazingly delicious beef stew. That was about 6 weeks ago and Mr. Wes has requested beef stew two more times. I would offer him pizza and he would ask “do you have any more of that beef stew?” Yeah, it’s that good!

As the title suggests, this is a very basic recipe. Don’t be afraid to add different veggies, herbs and seasonings. You could throw in turnips or even cubed butternut squash for a nice sweet/savory dish. I like to double the recipe and then freeze it in small jars for great single serving lunches and dinners.



Basic Beef Stew

Serves 4-6


Olive oil
1 ¼-1 ½ lbs organic beef roast, cubed (you can also by already cubed beef if you like)
1 pound of leeks, washed and roughly chopped. Whites and some of the pale green parts (if you don’t have leeks use one large white onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 medium carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
4-5 medium potatoes (yellow or redskin will work), cut into bite sized pieces
4-5 cups of water or homemade stock
1 bay leaf
sea salt and pepper to taste
dried herbs of your choice. I like savory and thyme.


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven heat a generous glug of olive oil over medium heat. Add the beef cubes and a pinch of salt. Brown the meat about 8-10 minutes until it becomes nice a caramelized and juices start releasing. Give it a stir every few minutes so it cooks pretty evenly.
  2. Place the partially cooked meat in a bowl along with the juices. Set aside. Put your pot back on the stove over medium heat and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add your chopped leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook the leeks, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften a bit, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, carrots and potatoes to the pot and continue cooking the vegetables another 5-6 minutes, giving them the occasional stir so they cook evenly. If they start getting stuck to the bottom of the pot add a splash of water. This will help prevent sticking and release delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  4. Once your veggies have cooked a bit and become slightly softened add your meat and juice back to the pot along with the water bay leaf, a generous pinch of salt and herbs of choice. You want your ingredients to be covered by about an inch of water. Cover the pot, raise the heat to medium high and bring the stew to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook the stew for about 30 minutes, checking occasionally and giving it a stir. Your veggies should be soft but not mushy and your meat cooked through.
  5. Before serving, taste the broth and add salt and pepper and needed. Enjoy!
Comments { 0 } · Posted on October 22, 2013 in General, Healthy Recipes

Kick Out Cancer with Cabbage

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this weeks fall soup recipe is packed with a food that can help us kick cancer in the kitchen. By cooking and eating whole, unprocessed foods you are taking a huge step towards preventing and recovering from cancer and many other diseases. True health really begins in your kitchen!

The American Cancer Society’s key recommendation to reduce the risk of cancer is to eat cruciferous vegetables on a regular basis. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage. This group of vegetables contains more phytochemicals (mostly in the form of glucocsinolates) with demonstrable anticancer properties than any other vegetable family. Popular studies have shown that the higher the intake of these vegetables the lower the rates of cancer, particularly colon, prostate, lung and breast cancer.

Cabbage is “king” of the cruciferous vegetable family because of its extra-special health powers. The glucocsinolates in cabbage work primarily by increasing antioxidant mechanisms and improving the body’s ability to detoxify and eliminate harmful chemicals and hormones. That means keeping cancer out and inviting health in!

If that wasn’t enough, cabbage also has more vitamin C than oranges. A weakened immune system doesn’t just open you up for the common cold but also creates a more hospitable environment for cancer.

Fall is a great time to fill up on cabbage and all its amazing nutritional benefits. The market has beautiful tender cabbage that is sweet, crisp and perfect for a warming soup. Stop by the demonstration tent between 3-5 pm this afternoon to see how this delicious soup is made and get the first taste. You’ll never look at cabbage the same way again!

Curried Cabbage and Potato Soup

Serves 4-6


½ head green cabbage (about 16-20 ounces)
1 tablespoon coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
4-5 medium potatoes, unpeeled, cut into smaller than bite sized cubes
2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste (you can also use Indian powdered curry)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cups of water or vegetable broth
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. Remove any ragged leaves from the cabbage. Halve the cabbage (so you have two quarters) and remove the core. Slice the cabbage into thin strips about as thick as a pencil. You can do this with a knife or on a mandolin. Cut the long strips in half once.
  2. Warm the coconut oil over medium heat in a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Add the potatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes until they start to become tender and brown a bit. They may stick a bit but don’t worry. The water will help get those stuck bits off the bottom. Stir in the curry paste (or powder), garlic and onion. Cook for another minute or so.
  3. Add the water and chickpeas. Raise the heat and bring the soup to a simmer. Add the cabbage and cook for another 3-4 minutes until it begins to soften. Don’t worry if it looks like there’s a lot of cabbage. It will collapse quite a bit.
  4. Taste your broth and add salt and pepper as needed. If you want a stronger flavor you can add more curry paste or a few shots of tamari. Enjoy!

Serving Suggestion: This soup is delicious on it’s own but I really love it with a splash of coconut milk which gives it a very distinct Thai flavor. Or, you can add less water and put in a whole can of coconut milk – also delicious! You can also add a cup of cooked brown rice or millet to make it even heartier and filling.

Comments { 0 } · Posted on October 15, 2013 in Healthy Recipes

Meatball Soup with Fried Garlic and Greens

It’s week 2 of the Fall Soup Series! Last week I shared a delicious and warming Tuscan Bean Soup. This week I’m beefing it up with a super simple, crazy fast meatball soup.

 Eating a clean, wholesome and nutritious diet is not just about loading your plate up with heaps of vegetables. Don’t get me wrong you should still do that! But, if you are a carnivore it’s REALLY important to eat clean meat. Here are a few reasons why:

1)   CAFO’s: Also called Concentrate Feeding Operations, CAFO’s are where animals are kept and raised in confined situations. Feed is brought to the animals rather than the animals grazing or otherwise seeking feed in pastures, fields, or on rangeland – their natural habitat. Much of the meat we consume in the U.S. comes from animals raised in CAFO’s.

2)   Stress and Inflammation: Animals living in CAFO’s are understandably stressed causing their stress hormones like cortisol to be very high. These stress hormones are very inflammatory for the animals and us when we consume their meat.

3)   Antibiotics: 80% of the antibiotics that drug companies sold in 2011 was used on animals. We are starting to see a strong connection between this high use of drugs on animals and humans suffering from antibiotic resistant infections.

Recent studies have shown that grass fed meat is higher in omega 3 fatty acids – important anti-inflammatory fats that are cardio protective than meat raised in stressful, nutritionally poor conditions.

Reading labels for meat can get a bit confusing. Ideally, you want to buy meat that is “grass fed.” Stores are carrying more and more organic and grass fed meats. However, when you look closely those meats are shipped in from another country whose organic and grass fed farming practices may not be what we imagine. Visiting the farmers market and talking to your local farmers is the surest way to get meat from happy, disease and antibiotic free animals. For more information on meat labeling check out the Environmental Working Groups Meat Eaters Guide (http://www.ewg.org/meateatersguide/).

Meatball Soup with Fried Garlic and Greens

Serves 4-5

5 cups of stock (if buying, choose organic vegetable stock from Pacific Naturals)
1 pound grass fed beef (you can substitute with turkey)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
4-5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon tamari
1 teaspoon fish sauce
2-3 handfuls of spinach or 1 bunch of Swiss chard, ribs removed and roughly chopped
2 green onions, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put stock in a pot over high heat so it can come to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, place beef in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and fry until it just starts to turn golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place garlic on a paper towel to absorb some of the oil.
  4. Once the stock comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium-high so it continues a strong simmer. Use a small spoon to scoop out little meatballs from the beef, about two tablespoons at a time, and drop them into the boiling stock. You can lightly form them by pushing the spoon up against the side of the bowl. They don’t have to be perfectly round, just make sure they are all generally the same size. The meatballs should cook for about 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add the tamari and fish sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Shortly before serving add the spinach or Swiss chard and garnish with green onion. Enjoy!
Comments { 0 } · Posted on October 4, 2013 in Healthy Recipes