Tag Archives: homemade broth

Soup (Book) Week: Clean Soups


Welcome back to Soup Week, where I review the 5 latest Soup Cookbooks I’ve read.  Let’s get right to it.

But in case you missed it:

Clean Soups:
Simple, Nourishing Recipes for Health & Vitality
by Rebecca Katz (cookbook) – worth a flip

I really prefer soups made with real food. That is one of the reasons I chose to check this book out from our local library. What I didn’t know was that this book is really about how to do a soup cleanse! I feel they didn’t go with a title indicating such because the soups in this book are worth enjoying even if you aren’t doing a cleanse. The cleansing is a mere suggestion. The author just wants you to incorporate more healthy, revitalizing soup into your life!


Katz states that once you make your own broth, you’ll never go back.

I have, but based only on suggestions on the interwebs to use up any leftover veg, bones or carcasses and throw in some herbs, spices and salt. I’ve never found my versions quite as flavorful as the box stuff. I think I know why. Katz’ recipes for broths are detailed – very detailed! I think the hardest thing about these broths for me is knowing that the ingredients to make them are then discarded and, in mind, WASTED! I guess I’m going to have to get over that. 🙂

That being said, there are still a number of ingredients in these broths I would never buy {like in this soup book}. Of her seven broth recipes, I could see myself making two of them. Her Magic Mineral Broth requires an 8-inch strip of kombu <–what? and 4 whole allspice or juniper berries. They aren’t listed as optional. I don’t know why, but whenever there is an ingredient listed that I’m not intrigued enough to venture out and try, I either need:

  1. The author’s extra encouragement to really give it a try because the ingredient will make it amazing or
  2. Their permission to skip it and it’ll still turn out lovely.

Otherwise, I shy away from the recipe completely.

She also indicates earlier in the book, which broths work best for which soups, but that they can usually be interchanged. I find this difficult to believe when her Thai Coconut Broth requires a coconut milk! I’m either going to have to suck it up and go find some lemongrass and kaffir leaves to make this broth or just skip the soup recipes that suggest it as the base. Or perhaps I could just add a can of coconut milk at the end? Hmm…


She describes soups as blended or traditional. Blended soups are when all or part of the soup is put in a blender to create a creamy paradise. She goes one step further to call these velvety concoctions cashmere soups. I love that! I giggle now because I think about the time when I learned that my father-in-law prefers traditional soups. When we were on a family trip to Ireland, by the third or fourth lunch, he said, “Sure, I’ll try your vegetable soup, but you guys tend to pulverize the hell out of them!”

I know a lot of the soups in this book I’m shying away from because I don’t think I’ll ever make their accompanying broth base. Maybe it’s my intimidation that actioned me to put this book on my wish list at PaperbackSwap and Thriftbooks {<–referral links}. The photos really are alluring and taunting me with all that comforting goodness that comes with the warmth and aromatics of a good soup. It seems the chicken soups are the ones I marked most and the clean-out-the-fridge soup might be a staple in a pinch.


Here’s the thing… I did give one of the recipes a shot using regular boxed broth anyway: Provencal Lentil Soup. I pretty much already had the ingredients for it and instead of making the Many Herb Drizzle recipe listed in the back of the book, I substituted some deli pesto. Let me tell you, this soup was divine! This was supposed to make 6 servings, but since it was so low-cal, I divided it into 4 and the portions were very generous. I gave my husband a half-serving, just to taste… He wasn’t sure if he could eat lentils… and HE ATE THE ENTIRE BOWL!

I’ve since returned this book to the library. But it’s still on my wish list. I might have to give some of the other soups a try…

Have you made your own broth?
If so, what method do you use to ensure something flavorful?



Cooking, Running & Things I’m Lovin’


What is this blog coming to?!

Most of my posts lately have been about the imbibing I’ve done this summer. Well, that’s not all I’ve been doing! This blog has kind of evolved into a record of where we eat, drink and travel. It really helps us remember what we loved {or hated} and what we’d like to try or do next time when we return.

Yet, I’ve been doing a lot of cooking of beef or pork dishes from our Recipe Arsenal during the week.

In addition, if you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you may remember that when my husband goes out of town, I start to cook up a storm! And most often, I’m making all of the dishes that Rob cannot have!

I had two long weekends back-to-back when Rob was gone and had a lot of dishes I wanted to action!


What I’m Loving Right Now!

First off, I need to give a shout out to my new favorite brew. No, it’s not beer. It’s cold press coffee! I’m a little late to the cold press game. A few years ago I tried an Iced Americano. Despite my love of the original, I learned that I did not like cold coffee at all, which is what I thought cold press was!

It is not the same.

To make cold press coffee, grounds are steeped in cold water for at least twelve hours. After filtering the result is something much smoother than regular coffee!

I discovered Chameleon Cold-Brew on my ibotta app: 


The ibotta app offers rebates on specific items {including items you already buy like milk, bread, eggs and produce}! The rebate was $2 for the Chameleon Cold-Brew and the item was on sale at Target. Not only was that a win; but I also fell in love with it. It did wonders on the those humid weekend mornings we had a few weeks back!

Something else I fell in love with over those weekends? This Roasted Garlic Parmesan Shrimp {now in my recipe arsenal!} aka Death Row Shrimp. After making these shrimp, I decided that there must be a bag of shrimp in my freezer at all times.

My life has been changed.



On those Saturday mornings while the cat was away, I got some long runs in. I haven’t talked a lot about running lately on my blog. That’s because I haven’t been doing races or working toward any particular running goals. I’d like to think I’m practicing Intuitive Running. I think I just made that up.

What I mean is that after my back surgery, it took me a lot longer than expected to run comfortably again. So instead of trying to achieve a goal or new PR, I just run the way it feels right on that particular day. I generally stick to shorter, faster {for me!} runs during the week and do a 5k on Saturdays. If something is feeling off, I walk instead. I don’t want anything to set me back like that back pain and back surgery. I am grateful I can run now and know that I’m still benefiting if I stop to walk!



After my Saturday morning 5k during those weekends Rob was out of town, I’d walk down to the local Farmers Market and get a haul of goodies:


I just might start munching on those cucumbers right away…


And my pooches just might beg for those cucumbers right away while I’m munching!


All that zucchini had me desperate to try to make this Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup. After some chopping, into the pot it went.IMG_3918 (1)

It came out a little less silky then I’d hoped; but maybe I can just use less water next time.

IMG_3921 (1)

There is a really nice hint of spice here. But it still had me questioning how Melissa can possibly eat it for breakfast. I decided to give it a shot one morning with my other array of beverages!


Magic Green Smoothie, Ice Water, Hot Lemon Water, Chameleon Cold Press Coffee, Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup

It really did work! And it’s very filling, despite the little calories a small bowl contains.

Another morning, I attempted to make Cloud Bread for the first time. This is a “bread” made of eggs, cream cheese and cream of tartar. I was warned that it’s not exactly like real bread.


I also read that it could be crumbly if you eat them the same day, even after cooling. The trick is to put them in a ziplock bag and they will stiffen up overnight. It did look like nice toasted bread, though. {Note: I added chives!}


However, it did taste pretty egg-y. This might matter if you are using cloud bread as hamburger buns. This didn’t matter so much with my morning eggs!

The next morning, I made one of my favorite 90 Second Egg Sandwiches with the Cloud Bread. Still tasted Just Fine.


I did freeze one piece of Cloud Bread and tried to toast it the following weekend; but I wasn’t paying attention and it sort of burned. For the effort, I’m not sure I’d make Cloud Bread again.

In other breakfast news…

I also learned that this Gluten-Free Breakfast Casserole freezes really, really well. I made it a few weeks ago when I was having the girls over for brunch. I had so much leftover that I attempted to freeze it. It worked! It was an easy go-to breakfast during the work week. I would totally bring this dish for a work lunch, too!

Speaking of lunches…

My farmers market hauls aided me in using up other items in my freezer and pantry to make some scrumptious salads, like my fave Big Mac Salad and this random chicken salad:


Another day, for lunch, I made a double batch of a favorite of mine – Mini Salsa Turkey Meatloaves –  so that I could freeze a few for future lunches!


That side of green beans was made with this seasoning that I once received from a Foodie Penpal:


Yum! is the verdict on that one. I made a few other random things, too, like these Hot Fudge Brownie Larabars.

Yes, the mix looked like fertilizer:


And I’ll spare you the photo of what they looked like after I formed them into bars {or, with my talent, oblong shapes}. I’m sure you can picture that one for yourself.

I also made a few of my own spice blends. I was out of Italian Seasoning, which was needed to make my Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs, which were needed in my Mini Salsa Turkey Meatloaves, so I made an easy version.

Which got me to thinking, I really needed to somehow replace the Pampered Chef Rosemary Herb Seasoning I like to put on my popcorn, now that it is discontinued. I found a few recipes online and tried this version. Verdict? Not exactly the same, but still very good. It’ll do!

Rosemary Herb Seasoning

  • 2 tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. dried grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp. dried leaf oregano crushed
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 2 tbsp. onion powder
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. salt

I omitted the dried grated lemon peel because I didn’t have it.

And lastly, after another Farmers Market haul the following weekend…


I made my first ever Homemade Vegetable Broth based on this and this recipe.

I now have several cups of low-sodium frozen vegetable broth in my freezer! In fact, this past weekend, I’ve filled up our entire freezer with lots of meats and crockpot-ready meals for this fall.

What I didn’t have time for, but wish I did was to make a batch of this flavorful homemade chorizo {it has been a while!}. I also want to take a shot at making this homemade merguez.

What are your favorite things to cook when you have extra time?

What things do you like to cook for yourself when you don’t have to worry about anyone else’s likes or dietary constraints?

What do you stock in your freezer?