18 January, 2013
Bone Broth Soup
I didn’t grow up on bone broth. In fact, I had never heard of it until I started following the Paleo and Primal blogs, and suddenly bone broth references were everywhere. I guess you could say I was raised on a simple diet of foods that were quick and easy to prepare since both my parents worked full time. My mom always made sure that we had a warm, home cooked meal on the table, but it was typically meat loaf, pasta or chicken, often accompanied by canned beans, rolls and a salad. While her intentions were always the best, my mom didn’t venture far from the staples as my brother was a super picky eater.
So here I am, well into my 30’s before I even knew what bone broth was, let alone how amazing it is for us.
Here’s a quick rundown of the many benefits of bone broth which I’ve learned from the many amazing health practitioners I now call friends:
Promotes healing: bone broths have been used in treating gastro-intestinal disorders, such as colitis, Crohn’s disease, leaky gut and diarrhea.
Digestive aid: aids in the digestibility of grains, beans, legumes, vegetables and meats (especially helpful for those of us with weak digestive systems)
Mineral – rich: contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sulfur and fluoride
Gelatin and Collagen: promotes bone and joint healing in addition to supporting digestion.
Protein: adds easily digestible protein to your diet.
Amino acids: glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and lysine are formed, which is important to detoxification and amino acid production in the body.
Joint support: glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and hyaluronic acid are produced in the broth and aid in muscle and joint support.
Immune system: promotes the uptake of vitamins and minerals and helps supports the immune system.
If you haven’t yet read about the many healing properties of bone broth, check out this post from Underground Wellness for a perfect review of why bone broth rocks. Sean from Underground Wellness does one of the best jobs of breaking down why healing our gut is so important, and what has happened to so many of us due to the modern diet and lifestyle.
He writes, “To make a long story short, the intestinal lining is supposed to be permeable in order for nutrients to pass through. However, this lining can become too permeable due to lifestyle factors such as poor diet, stress, long-term contraceptive use, as well as bacterial and fungal overgrowths. Just think of poking huge holes in your window screens at home. Yes, the good air will pass through, but the flies, gnats, and mosquitoes will too.
This is how leaky gut — or gut hyperpermeability — works. Undigested food particles can slip through the gut lining and pass directly into the bloodstream. No bueno! When this happens, the immune system freaks out and starts attacking the very foods you eat — we call these food sensitivities. Over time, this can turn into an autoimmune issue by which your immune system thinks your thyroid — or any other tissue, for that matter — looks like the piece of steak molecule it’s been fighting off for the past few years. In other words, your body starts to attack itself.”
I know first-hand what Sean means; I’ve been diagnosed with about a dozen food allergies, an auto-immune condition called Hashimotos (the one he mentions where our body attacks the thyroid) and recently finished a Candida cleanse to clear up the gut permeability that Sean describes above. I’ve written several posts about my journey with Candida, Hashimotos, and dozens of posts and pages about food sensitivities in case you want to explore them. In fact, these conditions are much of why I started this site; in hopes that I can help you all to figure out why you’re sick, and to feel better too.
As Sean with UW states, according to Dr. Thomas O’Bryan, autoimmunity will soon be the number one cause of death in this country, and gut hyperpermeability is a big reason why. Scary news, folks!
So, on that note, let’s get back to the incredible healing powers of bone broth. I make our broth from the bones and veggie scraps from our meals. In fact, I never throw them away anymore, and always have bone broth in the fridge and freezer. It’s super easy to make if you just follow these simple instructions:
- Throw all bones and veggie scraps in a large pot and fill to the top with water
- Simmer for 24 hours (some people say up to 48 hours is ok too), making sure to keep the pot covered and fill extra water as needed
- Season with salt and pepper
- Turn off heat and strain the broth from the pot
- Let cool and store in glass containers in the fridge, keeping the extra in the freezer*
* Note that bone broth will store in the freezer for several months
I use bone broth as a base for anything that calls for water, meaning I don’t boil it to prepare something, but rather, I add it to something like rice, beans, or a recipe that calls for stock.
So now that you have your bone broth, you can make this recipe, which is one of my favorite soups! I use whatever type of bone broth I have on hand, and my favorite way to enjoy this is to turn on the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a yummy soup at the end of the day. Soup warms my belly and soul, and the bone broth base is life changing for me. I promise you will feel like a million bucks after sipping this broth based soup!
This soup is versatile, and you should make it to suit your individual preference. In other words, if you like it loaded with veggies, you might want to cut back on the broth amount or increase the veggies. In this picture, you can see some rice noodles which I added for our son's benefit.
Have fun with this - there's no wrong way to make it!
- Approx 12 cups bone broth
- 2 lb bag whole, unsliced carrots
- 1 white onion
- 2 zucchinis
- 2 squash
- Bunch of boy choy
- cilantro & lime to taste
- Pour bone broth into slow cooker or large pot.
- Peel and cut carrots into 1 inch pieces.
- Chop onion in thick slices, about 2 inches thick (across).
- Cut squash and zucchinis into thick slices, about 2 inches thick (across).
- Add veggies to the stock and turn pot on to low heat, being sure to leave bok choy out.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Let simmer for up to 2 hours on low heat.
- Add bok choy about 5 minutes before you plan to serve the soup.
- Pour soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
- Note - you can add cooked rice noodles and cooked chicken right before serving to make a delicious noodle soup!
I like to add asparagus too, though you need to add them into the pot about 15 minutes before you plan to serve it so the asparagus doesn't get too soggy.