When advised by a physician to, for the time being, continue to refrain from the simple fruits of our sweet Earth, in the form of wheat, dairy, and eggs, you have two choices: you can cry or you can cook. I have tried the former more times than I care to admit, so I’m ready now to get cooking.
My goal is rather simple: I want to show others, while I show myself, that having to forgo certain foods does not mean having to forgo beautiful food.
Months ago when I started this journey to get to the bottom of the symptoms I’ve faced for too long, I was completely puzzled and saddened by the options that lay before me: rice, frozen fruit (courtesy of dead-winter), more rice, nuts, potatoes, beef, frozen vegetables (for the same reasons as aforementioned fruit)…you get the idea. In my mind, the options were dismal, and monotony was the only way. Over time, I’ve realize this is simply not true. There are so many beautiful, local, seasonal natural foods out there just waiting to be brought into the kitchen and transformed into something delicious and healing. One is this soup.
Very slightly adapted from Mimi Thorisson’s recipe in her beautiful book,
A Kitchen in France, this soup is my soul mate for the season. It’s grain-, dairy- and gluten-free; none of these absent ingredients having any negative impact on the rich flavor. I use a pressure cooker, but you could certainly leave it in a dutch oven or crock-pot, letting it cook low and slow for about 3 hours. The best way to heat the house at this time of year.
Note: you really can’t go wrong with any variation of vegetables you have on hand. Squash would be lovely here, or extra portions of carrots + parsnips
-1-2 T olive oil
-2 1/2 lb grass-fed chuck roast
-1 onion, chopped
-1 leek, chopped
-2-3 celery stalks, chopped
-3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
-3/4 lb each of Idaho potatoes, carrots, and turnips, all washed, peeled, and diced
-1/4 large green cabbage, chopped
-small bunch of seasonal herbs to suit your taste, I used a combination of bay leaves (2), rosemary (2 sprigs) and oregano (2 sprigs)
-salt and pepper
Optional (for serving):
-fresh tomatoes, if in season, chopped
-fresh parsley, chopped
Note: I didn’t realize until the beef was already in the pressure cooker that the pot (about 6 qt) was too small for everything. Keep this in mind. If that’s the case, it worked out perfectly to split it up into two pots: beef, onion, and leeks in the pressure cooker, and the rest of the ingredients in a large stock pot or dutch oven.
1. Prepare the vegetables (give yourself a little bit of time, there’s a lot of chopping).
2. Heat pan over medium heat and add olive oil. Sear meat until browned on each side.
3. Add vegetables and herbs then add enough filtered water to cover (This is where the panic set in for me, but now you know what to do :) Separately the vegetables is also a great option if you like firmer vegetables).
4. Lock pressure cooker and turn to high/setting 2. Bring to temperature and cook for 40 minutes (If you’re cooking vegetables separately, cover with water, bring to a boil, then a simmer, and cook for 40 minutes, as well).
5. Remove from heat and let it release naturally
6. Meanwhile, if you wish, combine chopped tomatoes with parsley and toss with olive oil.
7. Once released, carefully remove meat from soup and bring to a cutting board. While it cools for a minute, add salt and pepper to soup to taste. Next, Cut meat into into thin slices. Serve soup into bowls then top with meat followed by tomato garnish.