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bone broth

Chicken Soup with Lemon & Spinach

TIME: 4 HOURS; SERVES: ~6

This whole-chicken method is super flavorful and relatively quick—perfect if you have an old stew bird lying around. I’ll put the soup on to simmer around lunch, and by dinner, all I need to do is add the greens and lemon!

INGREDIENTS

1, 3 - 4 lb. whole chicken, or chicken parts
1 large yellow onion, unpeeled & quartered
1 entire head of garlic, unpeeled & cut crosswise
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 - 4 large carrots, roughly chopped
Handful parsley, leaves (finely chopped) and stems
1 tbls. peppercorns
Kosher salt
2 bay leaves
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Water, to cover
1 lemon, quartered
2 - 3 scallions, white and green parts trimmed & sliced
2 cups spinach
1 medium zucchini, sliced with a vegetable peeler into long, wide strips

METHOD

  1. Remove the chicken or chicken parts from the fridge an hour before cooking and sprinkle with kosher salt.

  2. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, place the onion, garlic, celery, carrots, parsley stems, peppercorns, bay leaf, apple cider vinegar, and 1 tbls. of kosher salt. If using a whole chicken, separate the breasts (this makes early removal from the soup much easier).

  3. Add the chicken or chicken parts and enough water to cover, about 3 quarts.

  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for about 25 minutes, until the breasts are cooked through.

  5. Remove the breasts and let cool. Remove the skin and shred the meat. Set aside.

  6. Continue cooking the soup over low for another 3 hours or so.

  7. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before straining through a colander over another pot or large bowl. Separate the dark meat from the carcass and add to the reserved breast meat.

  8. Bring the stock back to a boil, and add the zucchini, spinach, scallions, and parsley leaves. Cook for a couple minutes until the greens and zucchini are bright green. Turn off the heat and add the reserved chicken meat. Add the lemon wedges, squeezing the juice into the soup. Season to taste.

  9. Ladle into bowls. I like to top with a dollop of crème fraîche, but it is delicious on its own.

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Creamy Coconut-Broccolini Soup

TIME: 30 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6

This dairy-free soup is delicious in both the Spring or Fall—however, the natural sweetness of broccolini and spinach really shine after a touch of frost. In our Southeastern region of Pennsylvania, broccoli has a very short Spring growing window, since the weather quickly becomes too hot. This is one reason we choose to grow “flowering broccoli” or broccolini—the heads mature faster, and you harvest more than once off each plant.

The tender broccolini stems are especially delicious. If substituting large broccoli heads, make sure to peel the stalks before chopping, because they can be tough and fibrous. If you don’t have spinach, substitute arugula, mizuna, or other tender green—or forego the greens altogether and add more herbs!

*By swapping vegetable broth for chicken, this soup can easily be made vegan.

INGREDIENTS

4 tbls. unrefined coconut oil
1/2 tsp. each: fennel seed, black mustard seed, cumin seed, coriander seed
A dash cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 shallot or small yellow/white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 - 8 scallions or 2 leeks, trimmed & chopped
2 pounds broccolini, or 2 large heads broccoli, chopped
4 cups baby spinach
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1, 14-oz can full-fat coconut milk
1 quart chicken bone broth (or veggie broth, or water)
Juice from 1/2 lime, plus slices for serving
1 tbls. fish sauce (opt.)
Greek yogurt or crème fraîche, for serving (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy bottom soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat.

  2. Add the spices and let sizzle for a minute until fragrant.

  3. Add the alliums (onion, shallot, scallion, leek, garlic…) and broccolini. Cook, stirring often to avoid burning, until the broccolini is bright green and the alliums softened. If the seeds start to burn, add a little broth or water.

  4. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

  5. Turn the heat down to medium-low again, and add the herbs, greens, and coconut milk. Simmer until the broccolini is tender and the greens are wilted.

  6. Remove from the heat. Let cool slightly, then carefully transfer in batches to a high-powered blender, or use an immersion blender.

  7. Return to the pot and add the fish sauce and lime juice to taste. Adjust seasonings.

  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with optional Greek yogurt or crème fraîche. Serve with extra lime slices.

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Spicy Pork Meatballs & Zucchini Ribbons in Broth

TIME: 20 MINUTES; SERVES: 4 - 6

During the summer months, we barter vegetables for pastured pork from our neighbors. All their offerings are phenomenal, but one of my favorites is their “Country Sausage”, which consists of 3 simple ingredients: pork, salt & pepper. Ground pork works wonderfully in these tender, poached meatballs, however, feel free to substitute ground dark meat turkey or chicken.

This soup comes together in less than 30 minutes, for when you’re needing a a nourishing, hot meal ASAP.

INGREDIENTS

1 zucchini
6 cups broth of choice (chicken, pork, veggie…)
Meatballs
1 lb. ground pork (or ground dark meat turkey/chicken)
1/2 tsp. hot chili paste or spicy harissa (or crushed red chili flakes)
2 tbls. shallots or scallions, minced
1 tsp. black garlic paste or 1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 tbls. cilantro
2 tbls. parsley
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric (opt.)
Salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste (check to see if meat is seasoned first)

Cilantro, scallion and chili oil, to serve (opt.)

METHOD

  1. Slice the zucchini into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler or mandolin. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

  2. Mix the meatball ingredients together and form into 12 meatballs.

  3. Bring broth to a boil. If you need to add salt or acid (lemon, sherry vinegar), do so at this point.

  4. Add the meatballs so they are submerged in the liquid. Let simmer for about 7 minutes, until cooked through. Turn the heat off and add the zucchini ribbons. Let sit for a couple minutes before serving.

  5. Ladle into bowls. Top with additional cilantro, scallion, and a drizzle of chili oil.

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Pastured-Chicken Bone Broth

TIME: 8 - 12 HOURS; SERVES: 4+ QUARTS

I’m fortunate enough to share a property with some of the best growers of pastured pork and chicken. This is essential when making bone broth: that the source is the purest one you can find. You’ve probably heard of the benefits of bone broth and its almost “miracle-working” hype. Essentially, it’s the product of animal bones (chicken, beef, pork, etc.), acid (apple cider vinegar) and vegetables/seasonings, cooked on low for many hours. The bones themselves eventually break down into collagen, essential amino acids and necessary vitamins & minerals. This causes the ‘gel’ effect when cooled, similar to a rich gravy, or pan drippings.

After contracting a digestive parasite several years ago, bone broth was the only thing I could ingest without feeling terrible. From this experience, I do believe it has a great capacity to heal and nourish. When I’m feeling under the weather—especially from a stomach bug—bone broth is the golden elixir that brings life back into my being. I love it as a warming mid-day snack with lemon and salt, or first thing in the morning to jump start my digestive system. I also use it as stock for any soup, stew, or gravy. Bone broth is the perfect way to transform kitchen scraps into a nutritious & versatile staple.

If you have a crock pot, this is a great way to put it to use. If you prefer cooking on the stove top, I sometimes leave a pot covered, on the lowest heat overnight, and in the morning have a delicious savory treat to sip on. Make a habit of buying whole chickens (or stew birds!) and saving the carcasses in your freezer. Adding chicken feet is particularly useful in getting the most gelatin & collagen into your broth. Once I have enough carcasses or chicken parts to fill a large soup pot, I’ll make a big batch of broth and freeze it in plastic quarts or bags.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken bones, enough to fill half of a large soup pot (necks, back, feet, etc.). After roasting a whole bird (Buttermilk-Marinated Roast Chicken!) I’ll put the carcass into the freezer for easy prep.
A few glugs apple cider vinegar
A couple bay leaves
1 tbls. black peppercorns
The following veggies are optional:
1 bunch parsley with stems
A few carrots with tops
A few stalks celery with leaves, or 1 - 2 celeriac, chopped
1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half
1 - 2 onions, unpeeled, cut in half
Sea salt, to taste
Fresh lemon juice

METHOD

  1. Place the chicken bones/parts in the soup pot, enough to fill 1/4 - 1/2 way to the top.

  2. Pile all the other goodies in, except the salt & lemon.

  3. Fill with just enough filtered water to cover. Add the vinegar.

  4. Turn the heat on medium-high and let slowly reach a steady boil. It’s important to keep an eye on the broth before it boils to skim off the brown scum that will rise to the top. This scum is filled with impurities and should be discarded.

  5. Once it’s boiling, turn the heat to very low, cover, and let simmer for 8 - 12 hours.

  6. Let cool, then strain. Everything left behind should be very mushy and flavorless. This is okay to compost.

  7. Season with salt and lemon juice to taste.

  8. Let cool completely, and place in glass jars in the fridge, or plastic containers / quart bags in the freezer.

Crock Pot:

  1. Place all ingredients in the crock pot, and set on low for 8 - 12 hours.

  2. Follow the remaining steps for straining and storage.

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