1

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Make my yummy nutrient-dense paleo soup even better!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 30, 2012 at 7:40 PM

These days many of my meals are soups and look like this:

  1. Sautee some sulfur-rich veggie (e.g. broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts) in coconut oil or butter along with some onion and/or garlic and/or mushroom) in a pan.

  2. Add some bone broth and sea salt to the pan. Cook the veggies a little bit longer.

  3. Add some grass-fed ground beef to the pan, or cook some grass-fed meat separately.

  4. Add some mineral-rich dark greens (e.g. kale, collard greens, or chard) to the pan and cook briefly.

I serve the soup with a small side dish of home made sauerkraut (typically shredded and fermented carrots+beets+cabbage). (No, I'm not worried about the carbs in the ferment.)

What would you add to my soup bowl?

This soup is not all that I eat so I'm not neglecting eggs, organs, or other nutrient-dense foods. But, it is becoming a staple so I'd love input on making it even better!

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on April 01, 2012
at 04:26 PM

I did mention garlic and onion in the question. I love them and I cook with them!

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on April 01, 2012
at 04:25 PM

Great suggestions. I just bought some chili flakes and ginger. Garlic and onion I've been adding already.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on April 01, 2012
at 04:24 PM

I like the idea!

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on March 31, 2012
at 09:34 PM

You're very welcome, and bon appetit :-)

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on March 31, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Milla, those are incredible suggestions. Thank you!

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10 Answers

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2
B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on March 31, 2012
at 06:15 PM

Hey Sol,

  • Add an egg, whole or whisked; it will both make the soup more nutritious and richer. You could also make a creamier soup by tempering the eggs (i.e., pour some of the broth, whisking, into the eggs, and then slowly add the egg mixture to the soup, stirring well)

  • Garlic - grate it in for pronounced garlic flavour, or simply add bruised cloves if you want it milder. Roasted garlic will impart a different flavour! Garlic is a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial.

  • Ginger - you can add this along with garlic, with a spritz of lemon or lime juice, perhaps a splash of real fish sauce (fermented anchovies+salt should be the only ingredients. Red Boat is good.) for an Asian-inspired hot & sour soup. Ginger is also anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, as well as anti-microbial. Ginger + garlic, in fact, are a superb combination if you're fighting off a cold.

    Onions are also great in soup, especially if you let them caramelise in butter before!

  • Shrooms! They make you see beautiful pictures and talking [grassfed] cows! Going to nirvana has been shown to reduce cortisol, by the way! Just kidding. Mushrooms have B-vitamins, a lot of selenium, and actually are the only plant sources of vitamin D! They also go really well in soups - brown them first in some butter before adding; oyster and shiitake would really go in a more Asian-inspired soup with ginger and garlic. Be careful, though, they cook really quickly, so add them at the last few minutes! Especially shiitake!

  • Herbs - most have anti-inflammatory properties as well as some, such as rosemary, offering cardiovascular benefits.

    Classic herbs that go well in soup include parsley, dill, thyme, rosemary (use sparingly, too much can give a soapy flavour), oregano, marjoram, and sage (goes particularly well with pork of any kind, if you use it in your soup);

    Stinging Nettle (which is rich in minerals and helps nutrient absorbtion) and sorrel (a sour herb that looks like, and complements, spinach; it's quite high in certain minerals such as Iron and potassium, similarly to nettles, and also has a lot of vitamin C) are used a lot in soups in Russia; a classic soup, in fact, called Schi consists of bone broth, meat, eggs, sorrel and sometimes nettles and spinach. Use sorrel sparingly as it is quite sour, and also has a lot of oxalates (similar to spinach).

    For an Asian variant, try lemongrass, lemon thyme, thai basil, vietnamese mint.

  • Tomatoes - I don't necessarily mean large quantities of tomato paste (unless you like that); chop some cherry tomatoes and saute with some onions in butter until they release their juices before adding. Cooked tomatoes are very rich in lycopene, an antioxidant.

    If you add tomatoes, an Italian herb mix would marry very well with the soup (oregano, thyme, rosemary and marjoram- it gives it that 'pizza smell'...;-))

  • Carrots - add faint sweetness to the broth; high in fat-soluble vitamins and carotene. Use whole baby carrots (will impart minimum flavour to the broth itself), chopped carrots, or shredded carrots. Carrots and onions go very well together; saute some shredded carrots with onions and some parsley and add to the soup. This is called zazharka in Russia; in Italy they call it soffrito!)

  • Marrow - very dense source of fat-soluble vitamins. You can roast some marrow bones, or make broth with it for later use, and simply add the marrow to the broth for a creamy soup. The French pot-au-feu uses marrow bones alongside the meat.

  • Organs - if you're up for it, you can make meatballs by grinding up the meat you use before, and mixing in some egg yolks, and some offal such as liver. Add some sage and a pinch of allspice, form into meatballs and plonk into your bubbling broth. You can also make liver 'quenelles' by blending some liver with some egg yolks and just dropping spoonfuls of this mix into the hot broth.

  • Sour Cream/Creme fraiche/Greek yoghurt - you say you use butter so I assume you do dairy. Raw & grassfed is best. Its a fermented food, with beneficial bacteria, and high in CLA, as well as vitamin K2 which plays an important role in calcium utilisation by the body. I make my own soured cream by putting a spoonful of raw whey (or a spoon of yoghurt; anything with a live culture is fine - even if its pasteurised) in raw cream and leaving it in a warm place overnight. In Russia, we always serve soups with sour cream.

    If you're going Asian, coconut milk is a great addition - you can also make coconut milk yoghurt by inoculating it with a spoonful of a cultured dairy product and leaving it in a warm place overnight, and then straining it in a cheesecloth - and you've got coconut soured cream you can spoon on top of soups!

  • Pickles (especially if they're lacto-fermented - true, you're putting them in hot broth and killing the bacteria, but lactofermentation enhances nutrient availability in foods; also, they're a way to eat vegetables that aren't in season/vegetables you'd normally not eat in fresh form, e.g. cucumbers [I hate fresh cucumbers; I eat pickles!]). Try it before you knock it! Soup with pickles is popular in Russian and Scandinavian cuisine (especially in Finland) - its called Solyanka. In Finland its usually made with fish; in Russia meat solyanka is also popular. It includes any kind of meat (pork lends itself best to a soup with sour pickles, especially sauerkraut!), capers, pickled (or fresh) mushrooms, and tomatoes. You don't need to make it complicated, and can add tomatoes & pickles to your present soup template.

Here are some ideas, I hope I helped! Just don't add all of them at once!

Happy cooking, soup is the best food ever!

Milla

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on March 31, 2012
at 09:34 PM

You're very welcome, and bon appetit :-)

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on March 31, 2012
at 06:19 PM

Milla, those are incredible suggestions. Thank you!

4
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on March 30, 2012
at 08:35 PM

How do you feel about butternut squash or pumpkin puree in soups?

I also think garlic and onions are always amazing in soups!

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on April 01, 2012
at 04:24 PM

I like the idea!

2
07c86972a3bea0b0dc17752e9d2f5642

on March 30, 2012
at 08:41 PM

Add some tempered eggs. They'll make your soup thick and creamy and of course more nutritious. An easy way to temper that I learned from "Cooking for Isaiah" (not a paleo book, but gluten and dairy free) is to blend a little of the hot soup up with the eggs in the blender and then add them to the soup.

Crumble some chips on top if you eat such things. I love carrot chips!

2
85178e006119b00322a2401c494dd3a4

on March 30, 2012
at 08:05 PM

  • Sliced up zucchini, lightly cooked so it's still a bit crunchy.

  • Beat a few eggs together in a mixing bowl, then slowly pour them into the cooking soup while stirring.

  • If you eat cheese, you can also mix some finely-grated Parmesan cheese into the beaten eggs before pouring it in - my Mom does this when making Italian wedding soup at Christmas time.

1
0d3873eb2dd0447baf06139e75c10252

(600)

on March 31, 2012
at 05:14 PM

Mix it up and make borscht once in awhile by adding yellow or red beets. You can't 'beet' the nutrition and beets are possibly the tastiest item to add to hot water. They are the new dumplings.

Also, it is a little known fact that garlic improves the flavor of every item known to man, and it is impossible to add too much garlic to soup. I leave the cloves whole and treat them like another veggie.

Maybe try making seafood broth once in awhile and substituting shellfish or cod/salmon/haddock for the meat. Adding fennel to a shellfish soup is a good way to get a balanced flavor.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 30, 2012
at 11:42 PM

I'd personally stick with what you have but add chili flakes, garlic and ginger. Maybe a squeeze of lemon or rice wine vinegar.

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on April 01, 2012
at 04:25 PM

Great suggestions. I just bought some chili flakes and ginger. Garlic and onion I've been adding already.

0
F2b854f65de6621f5ecb6ec9ba14eb49

on March 31, 2012
at 02:00 PM

Stir in a spoonful of animal fat or coconut oil to boost fat intake.

0
Fd1c5e35538fbe2ea5eccb8acd7ae546

(496)

on March 31, 2012
at 07:37 AM

Astragalus root for immunity,Chinese use it all the time in soups

0
F524eaa9d58e5cd2d2368ff7bfffda9c

(480)

on March 31, 2012
at 01:03 AM

I would cut up a sweet potato, cook it in the soup and then blend half of the broth with the sweet potato before pouring it back in.

Add some canned Tomatoes.

0
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 31, 2012
at 12:05 AM

How is there no onion or garlic in there? If not for their nutrition, but at least for their flavor!

35b2cb4d450e5288895c255dfdfff35d

(5828)

on April 01, 2012
at 04:26 PM

I did mention garlic and onion in the question. I love them and I cook with them!

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