Are you familiar with Rebecca Katz? She’s best known for her cookbook, The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen. Her healing recipes and culinary perspective have been such an inspiration to me. (In fact, we actually went to the same culinary school!) As the weather starts to turn cooler I am pulling another one of her books down off the shelf and you definitely need to know about this one too. This book Clean Soups features “simple, nourishing recipes for health and vitality,” and I highly recommend it.
Soup As a Healing Food
In the chilly, winter months, we’re more susceptible to colds, flus and immune-system overload. As we all know, soup really is the best remedy. Soup has a unique ability to nourish us and heal our body in ways that it’s hard to put your finger on. Filling your bowl with vibrant vegetables, dark leafy greens and full-bodied broth can help you fight off infection, prevent illness and create a delicious one-pot meal you can eat for days! It’s comfort food for the mind, body and soul. Plus, there are countless ways to prepare it to make it unique and personal each and every time.
The gelatin that comes from cooking bones is also a great healer for your digestive system. If you are having trouble with bloating and gas or certain foods are giving you an acidic feeling in your stomach, switching over to soups for a few days may help that calm down.
If you love to invent your own recipes, I suggest reading Rebecca’s article, 5 Ways to Make Your Favorite Soups Even Better. She shares her step-by-step cooking process to layer on flavors and includes a list of her top recipes to try.
Essential Winter Soup Recipes I am Using This Season
I also have my own recipes I go to frequently on these cold days and when I need something a little rich and nourishing. If you want a hearty soup, I just shared my recipe for a Sausage, Butternut and Kale Soup on Instagram.
You can start off your soup recipes with my homemade chicken stock. This recipe is a combination of a rich chicken bone broth and vegetable stock. I use this as the base for all my soups and well as sipping on a hot mug of it during cold winter months. It is full of minerals and nutrients like magnesium, potassium and calcium. Because of the long simmer of the chicken bones, it also contains the bonus of collagen, great for your skin and nails.
This Red Lentil Soup is made with red lentils and creamy coconut milk, so it is comforting and dairy free
Dairy-Free Cream of Mushroom Soup: Inflammation-fighting fungi combined with a rich, dairy-free cashew cream to offer a healthy take on a childhood classic. I like to pair it with braised greens or a slice of avocado toast.
Winter Minestrone from Epicurious: here is a recipe I have been making for clients for years. This version is so full of flavor and vegetables that it makes a hearty meal by itself. If you can eat cheese, this recipe adds a parmesan rind during the simmer to create a unique, tangy flavor. But it’s ok to leave that out if you are like me and have to stay away from dairy. I also change up the beans and use cooked chicken sometimes, and swap out the pasta for a gluten free version.
Side Dishes for your Soup
To make your soup a main course for dinner, try adding some small bites along with it:
Or these Chicken and Zucchini Poppers would make a great side dish at lunch with a bowl of soup. Your digestion with thank you as well.
If you would like to read more about healing foods and culinary medicine, head over here and read about Healing Through Food, another article I wrote about small changes you can start to make in your diet and lifestyle so that you feel better.