My Soup Philosophy & "Souper" Powered Healing Chicken Soup

a bowl of my homemade Thai Chicken Veggie Soup

I love to cook. I don't love following recipes. This is strange considering I am a typical first born rule follower. What I usually do is look at recipes for inspiration and guidelines and then make up my own version from there.  

If you told me I was going to a deserted island with a great kitchen and all the ingredients I wanted...but could only cook one thing ... it would be soup. I love the creativity and variety of tastes, textures, and colors soup allows. I love listening to my body, hearing what she craves. I love setting a big pot on the stove, adding this and that, tasting and refining,  until what I envisioned is reality.

The problem is, I'm a coach and want to help all of you make the delicious meals that I love so much.

Let me tell you making exact recipes and food videos is much harder than it looks! I am trying to find a balance of providing general instructions and ideas of how to go about making something without always giving an exact recipe. Which reminds me, I'd love your feedback on anything I send out.

When it comes to soup I realize I use a philosophy. The good news is if you follow along, you can make pretty much any soup without a recipe. The challenge is it requires a little bravery to step out of the box. Will you give it a try?

My Philosophy of Soup

The first step is to listen to what your body is craving. What ingredients jump out? Is it a meat based soup, or just veggie, pureed or chunky?

Pretty much every soup I make starts with sautéing onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil. These are often called a mirepoix. Sometimes I saute them until they are caramelized, sometimes I leave them chunkier. Follow your heart.

Next I add the other vegetables. If I'm  pureeing the soup I rough cut and don't worry about size. Next I add stock (not broth) and bone broth. I use both because bone broth is healthier but more expensive. Use whatever you can afford. I often add water about half of the amount I used in stock.

If I add meat, sometimes it is cooked already sometimes raw. It doesn't matter.

This is the fun part. I think about how I want it to taste and begin adding flavorful ingredients. A little at a time so if I can get the balance just right.  

If you want more carbs or fiber you can use beans, potatoes (any kind), rice, barley, pasta etc.  

I add salt before other flavors to make sure they balance and taste right. Salt brings out other flavors.

Some of my favorite flavorizers (is that a word?) are: Thai fish sauce, coconut aminos, lemon juice, coconut milk, garlic, tons of herbs, and bay leaves.

For chicken or veggie soups I am a huge lemon fan. I think it brightens any soup.

Bring it to a boil, then turn it down to let it simmer. If it's a pureed soup, I usually puree it in the pot with an immersion blender. If I want to thicken I use arrow root powder (corn starch is fine too).  

I re-taste and often end up adding more salt to finish. I do love my sea salt.

My Soup Philosophy in a Nutshell

Listen to your body for the cravings. Imagine the finished soup. Be brave and creative but add small amounts of anything you are not sure of. Most importantly if you like what you did, write the ingredients down at the very least. You or your family will want it again.  

Thai Chicken Veggie Soup:

The soup that heals and detoxes

Let me give you the list of ingredients and steps for my Thai Chicken Veggie Soup this week.

  • Saute olive oil, lots of onion, celery, and carrots
  • Add chopped garlic and ginger. I used 1 large garlic clove and a few tablespoons of chopped ginger (because I love ginger)
  • Add chunks of red potatoes (I usually use sweet potatoes but I had a request from a family member. Either are great)
  • Add chicken stock, chicken bone broth, water and 1 can full fat coconut milk (not the box kind)
  • Add cooked chopped chicken breast
  • Bring it all to a boil and lower to simmer until everything is soft and completely cooked.
  • Add a few fresh squeezed lemons and zested the peel into the soup
  • Add 1 bag of frozen organic kale
  • Bay leaves, Thai fish sauce, coconut aminos, salt, pepper
  • Lots of fresh basil and if you want a kick add red pepper flakes
  • Simmer away tasting and adjusting until it is just the way I want it
  • Don't like an ingredient? Skip it or change it. You do you!

Why is this so good for you?

  • Soup is very good for healing the gut.
  • Soup is detoxing and immune boosting especially with these ingredients: garlic, ginger, lemon, coconut milk, and bone broth
  • Soup is nutrient dense. All the nutrients stay in the pot.
  • Soup is easily digested and perfect when the body needs rest.
  • This soup is a good source of protein and fiber.
  • Soup is easy to adapt for people with dietary issues. This one is: dairy free, gluten free, grain free, and can easily be made vegetarian.

Will you try it? If you do, I would love to hear back from you as to how it turned out.

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