My favorite breakfast, my nearly everyday go-to is vegetable soup. It seems that every food book, diet or research paper I have found on food and disease, calls for more vegetables (especially the leafy green ones.) My husband and I have experimented with this soup for five years, adding and subtracting different spices and vegetables, trying different cooking methods. After all that experimentation, with small variations in spices, vegetables according to the season, and toppings, this is our daily soup. It might not look as glamorous or sound as sumptuous as other breakfast options, but this simple soup is satiating, satisfying and leaves us feeling amazing all day.
This soup has three main ingredient groups and three phases of cooking. I (or my husband who cooks most mornings) always start with fresh, whole, and as much as possible organic, ingredients.
There is a lot of chopping to do, you can do this ahead of time, or see it as a bit of a morning meditation.
It seems obvious but wash everything thoroughly, there is nothing worse than getting bits of grit in your last spoonful of soup.
The first group of ingredients to go in the pot are the spices. Heat up the pot, add a bit of oil, then add the spices. This will allow their aroma and flavor to bloom. This morning I’m using ginger and garlic, but often I’ll add red pepper flakes or dried herbs. The next ingredient group to go in in the pot is the mirepoix (a French term for finely chopped onion, carrot, and celery). This morning I’m using onion, carrot, celery, and shitake mushrooms along with several good pinches of salt and pepper. The final ingredient group is the vegetables. This morning I’m using kale, chard, and bokchoi.
Once my pan is hot, my spices bloomed, and my mirepoix added I give everything a couple minutes to start cooking. Soon all these ingredients begin to caramelize creating the fond (the fond is made up of the reduced vegetable juices and brown bits in the bottom of the pan.)
When the juices on the sides of the pan become golden brown, I add the bone broth, along with enough water to cover the mirepoix with about and inch of liquid. When this comes to a boil I add the final ingredient group, the greens, and cook down for a couple minutes.
Once the soup is cooked, I sometimes throw in an egg to poach in the broth or add a little pre-cooked chicken or fish, fresh pesto or even fax crackers. This is our favorite way to start the morning, and while sometimes I make vegetable frittatas or even salads with poached eggs, my husband and I make our seasonal vegetable breakfast soup at least five days a week.
RECIPE: makes 2 hearty bowls of soup.
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or your favorite healthy oil)
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh Ginger
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes *optional
1 tsp dried Oregano *optional
1/2 cup diced Onion
1/2 cup diced Celery
1/2 cup diced Carrot
3/4 cup sliced Shitake Mushroom
1 cup Bone Broth (or stock, just make sure it is low sodium)
1 cup Water
2 cups chopped Chard
2 cups chopped Kale
2 cups chopped Bokchoi
1/2 tsp each Salt & Pepper *this is a good starting amount, but of course, season to your taste
Heat a good sized pot over medium-high heat, add Oil, then Garlic, Ginger, Pepper Flakes, and Oregano. Let this sauté until you can smell the spices, about 2 minutes. Now toss in the Onion, Celery, Carrot, and Mushroom. Let cook until the onions are translucent and the celery and carrots are softened about 5 minutes. Deglaze pot by adding the Broth and Water. Bring to a boil, then add Chard, Kale, and Bokchoi. Turn heat down to medium and let everything simmer until done, about 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!