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Turkey Tracks: Winter Soup for Health

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Turkey Tracks:  February 9, 2015

Winter Soup for Health

The snow has stopped!

And the sun is very weak in the cloudy sky, but one can feel its warmth and see the brightness.

I went out this morning and had no problems getting out to Hope to pick up chicken food, mealy worms (my chickens are ecstatically digging for them out in their coop and cage), and more black-oiled sunflower seeds.  (The turkeys are totally famished in this desert of snow.)

I don’t have to cook today because I cooked yesterday, so I will be able to get Bonnie Hunter’s mystery quilt on the long arm and to start quilting it.

I made a winter stand-by–a beef bone broth soup.  Look at the color and jellyness of this broth which I made earlier in the week.  Remember that I cooked this broth with the bones and added carrots, onion, garlic, a bit of celery, some salt, and a dollop (1/4 cup) of vinegar which helps leach the minerals out of the bones.  (If I had leftover wine, I would have used it.)


Beef Bone Broth

Beef Bone Broth

I removed the solid layer of fat (beef tallow) from the top of the cooled broth–it all came up in one round piece.  I rinsed it, warmed it in a pot, and poured it into a jar.  While I cooked, the tallow softly jelled, and I spread some on a piece of toast, salted it, and YUMMO, what a treat.  (It jells a creamy white, and I had some this morning too.)  People used to routinely save the fat drippings from a roast and spread them on toast for breakfast or lunch.  It’s delicious and good for you.  I will eat it and use it as an oil to sauté…whatever.

beef tallow

beef tallow

I have been yearning for a French onion soup, but decided to upgrade that a bit.  I started with 6 or so BIG onions–sautéing them SLOWLY in my enamel/iron pot in a mixture of coconut oil (UNREFINED–I get my oil from Wilderness Family Naturals) and raw butter.  I also added two whole garlic heads–after I smashed and roughly cut the cloves.  (Garlic is a GREAT immune system builder, and both onions and garlic contain sulfur, of which we all need more.)

sautéing onions

sautéing onions

I cooked these onions for about 40 minutes on low heat–until they were golden and the onions were starting to stick to the pan.  At the end you have to lower the heat and watch and stir often.  If they start to burn, add the broth immediately.


After adding the broth, I threw in several handfuls of the kale I dried all last summer and stored in Mason jars:

dried kale

dried kale

Taste now to see if you need more salt.  I used a local salt dried in Maine in hoop houses–it comes in different coarseness.  This one was fine.  I keep different kinds of good sea salt–some are coarse, some are flaky, some are lovely colors of pink or are grey and moist–depending from where they have come.



I wanted a bit of thickening, so I added two handfuls of short-grain organic rice.  (My pot was rather large so this isn’t too much rice–it will swell to about 2 cups when cooked.)


I let the broth with the rice simmer slowly for about 30 minutes to cook the rice, then turned it off and let it sit UNCOVERED on the stove.  It’s not going to spoil in the few hours before I ready to eat dinner.  If you cover it, that’s trouble as the trapped heat can grow bacteria.

Meanwhile, I made a meatball mixture using the defrosted grass-fed hamburger I keep in my freezer.

I added two of my eggs to one pound of hamburger:


I grated a carrot into the mixture.  Look at these pretty rainbow carrots.  They are so sweet.



I tore up some of the gluten-free bread heels I had leftover, added some salt, added some Penzy’s herbal spice (a Provencal mix I keep on hand), and made meatballs.




I put the meatballs in the refrigerator–not even bothering to cover them–until I was ready to reheat the soup gently.  The meatballs cook in the hot simmering broth in about five minutes.  Don’t boil them please.  They float to the top when done.

I grated some raw milk Swiss cheese and put it in the bottom of my soup bowl, where the hot soup melted it.  I could also have used a cheddar or somesuch and added it to the meatballs instead of in the bottom of the bowl.  But I wanted the French Onion Soup feel of the cheese melted into the soup.


It was a delicious dinner–eaten with a few crunchy organic, GMO-free tortilla chips.

The broth just screams healthy, healthy, healthy, and it goes down so, so easily.

You cannot, cannot, cannot get the taste and health of this soup using a boxed or canned broth.

And today I don’t have to cook!

Tonight I will add some of the lacto-fermented sauerkraut on the top of the soup as a condiment, which will add some lovely probiotics and enzymes for digestion.


Written by louisaenright

February 9, 2015 at 2:12 pm

One Response

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  1. sounds easy enough and delicious! you go girl 🙂

    Margaret-Elaine Jinno

    February 10, 2015 at 8:21 am

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