I was inspired today while reading the book Eat Fat, Lose Fat by Dr. Mary Enig & Sally Fallon. This fascinating book takes an in-depth look at good fat (animal fat, nuts, whole dairy, anything from the coconut, etc.) and the positive effect it can have on our weight and health!
Halfway through page eight the idea for a delicious new soup struck me and I immediately jumped up and rushed off to make it The following is the recipe for that soup (along with a few adjustments that I came up with along the way):
1 large onion (white, sweet or yellow will work fine), half a stick of butter (about 1/4 cup), spoonful of coconut oil (about 1 Tbsp), 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp yellow curry powder, 16 oz chicken stock, 1/4 – 1/2 cup coconut milk, a few pinches red chili flakes
Melt the butter and coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Finely dice the onion and add to the saucepan. Cook on medium heat until the onion begins to caramelize (about 8 minutes). Once the onions have caramelized slightly, add the curry powder and salt and stir to combine. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. (At this point the soup can be pureed if desired – either in a blender or with an immersion blender.) Take soup off the heat and ladle into bowls. Spoon some of the coconut milk into the center of each bowl and lightly swirl in with a spoon. Sprinkle the red chili flakes on top of the soup and serve immediately! (Makes enough for 2 large bowls or 4 appetizers.)
This soup is rich and satisfying, the perfect thing for a rainy day like today I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Meal number eight – Friday dinner
For dinner tonight I just thickened up last nights beef stew by throwing in a couple of handfuls of flour as I reheated it. Then I made some easy cheddar biscuits that I baked in a dutch oven on top of my beef “stew” – to create an instant… Beef Pot-Pie!
For the biscuits just mix together:
2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/3 c butter
1/2 c grated cheddar
1/3 c milk
Mix together until just blended.
I pretty much just tore pieces of dough off and flattened them into biscuit shapes that mostly fit together to cover the pot-pie. Then I baked the whole thing in the oven at 400 for about half an hour. Everyone loved this impromptu pot-pie!
This ends “the challenge”. My dad is home now so he and Rosie will be taking care of feeding the kids tomorrow! Rosie has plans for breakfast that involve using up a bunch of frozen berries and some spinach…
Keep an eye out for my next “mini series” – Why Fat IS Good For You!
Meal number five – Thursday dinner
This soup was made up almost entirely of freezer stuff!
I used up:
2 qt bags chopped asparagus
1 qt bag carrot “coins”
one large container of “mystery” soup (turned out to be mostly beef and mushrooms from a crock pot roast)
the rest of the rump roast from yesterdays dinner
the rest of the large can of cream of mushroom soup from yesterdays lunch
leftover broccoli and rice soup from earlier this week
some other random leftovers that just happened to contain broccoli, beef and rice
In an attempt to do more then just dump it all in a pot, I diced up the rump roast, tossed it with some flour and salt and pepper, and fried it in some hot olive oil. It gave the meat a nice crunch even after it was added to the soup! But after that – I literally dumped everything in a big pot, added a few cups of water and just let it bubble away. I have to say – I thought it turned out to be pretty good. And these leftovers are going to make a fantastic beef pot pie tomorrow!
Dessert is in the oven – although it looks like we might be having some more soup. I’m attempting to make a kind of rhubarb strawberry crumble to use up some more freezer stuff. Only problem in we’re missing some of the key ingredients for a crumble… and there is way to much liquid since everything was frozen. If I leave it in there long enough it might turn into something that doesn’t have to be eaten with a spoon! I’ll keep you posted…
Meal Number Two – Wednesday Dinner
I found a rump roast, dried and canned beans and a couple of forms of canned tomatoes. What does this make??? Chili!
2-3 cups dried pinto beans, cooked with a handful of dried minced garlic
1/2 of a large beef rump roast, diced and browned
1 can black beans
1 can garbanzo beans
2 cans red kidney beans
1 can peeled tomatoes, crushed before adding
1 can tomato paste
1/2 can “onion and garlic” spaghetti sauce
a handful of crushed dried red chili peppers
salt to taste
cheddar cheese, grated (to sprinkle on top)
After cooking the pinto beans I diced up the meat and browned it. I combined all of the ingredients, including any liquids in the cans or from the cooked meat, in a large soup pot and heated until it was bubbling. I served this nice thick Chili with grated cheddar cheese. All of the kids loved it! (Even the little one with a loose tooth who started dinner by complaining about not being able to chew even a banana…)
From Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon – on fish sauce in soup
“Another excellent addition to soup is fish sauce. You can make this yourself (see below), or buy a Thai or Vietnamese variety (called nam pla or nuoc mam). These clear brown fermented sauces, made from small whole fish including the head and organs, are rich in iodine and other substances that benefit the thyroid gland. On heating the fishy taste disappears but the nutrients remain. You may add fish sauce to any heated soup instead of salt.”
Fermented Fish Sauce – makes about 2 cups
1½ lbs small fish, including heads, cut up (sardines work well)
3 Tbsp sea salt
2 c. filtered water
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tsp peppercorns
several pieces lemon rind
1 Tbsp tamarind paste (optional)
2 Tbsp whey
Toss fish pieces in salt and place in a wide-mouth, quart-sized mason jar. Press down with a wooden pounder or meat hammer. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over fish. Add additional water to cover fish thoroughly. The top of the liquid should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and leave at room temperature for about three days. Transfer to refrigerator for several weeks. Drain liquid through a strainer and store fish sauce in the refrigerator.
Doesn’t this just sound so good?! I found this recipe in a book that makes me feel like I really CAN eat the way God intended me to… Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
Now, I have yet to make this soup – but I’m going to the first chance I get! (If you try it before I do – let me know what you think…)
Coconut Chicken Soup
1 qt chicken stock
1½ c. whole coconut milk
¼ tsp. dried chile flakes
1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
juice of one lemon
sea salt or fish sauce (more later on fish sauce)
several green onions, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
Bring the stock to a boil, skim any foam that rises to the top and add coconut milk, lemon juice, chile flakes and ginger. Simmer for about 15 minutes, Season to taste with salt or fish sauce. Ladle into soup bowls or mugs and garnish with onions and cilantro.
The original recipe for this soup calls for prawns – I made it with chicken… I’m sure either would taste wonderful! Original recipe from “Thai – the essence of Asian cooking” from Hermes House.
This recipe serves 4 to 6
1 lb raw chicken (or jumbo prawns)
4 c. chicken stock
3 lemon grass stalks
10 kaffir lime leaves, torn in half
8 oz can straw mushrooms, drained
3 Tbsp Thai fish sauce
4 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped green onions
1 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
4 fresh red chillies, seeded and thinly sliced
salt and ground black pepper
-Cut the chicken into bite size pieces (or if using prawns – peel and save the shells, then devein and set the prawns aside).
-Put the stock in a large pot and bring to a boil (if using prawns, rinse the shells and add to the stock).
-Slightly crush the lemon grass stalks and add them to the stock along with half of the lime leaves. Simmer gently for 5-6 minutes, until the stock is fragrant.
-Strain the stock, return it to the clean pan and reheat. Add the drained mushrooms and the chicken (or prawns), then cook until the chicken is cooked through (or the prawns turn pink).
-Stir the fish sauce, lime juice, green onion, cilantro, chillies, and remaining lime leaves into the soup. Salt and pepper to taste. The soup should be sour, salty, spicy and hot.
This is a great soup to make ahead of time and keep hot in a crock pot or on the back of the stove until time to serve.