Chances are you have some leftover turkey lying around from last night’s Thanksgiving feast. Amirite? Unless, of course, you’re Canadian like me. In which case your leftovers are long gone from our October celebrations.
Sure, you can get busy shopping for Black Friday deals and stuff all that leftover turkey meat into some sandwiches. Maybe pile on some nice slices of Havarti cheese while you’re at it? I won’t judge!
But in the off chance you want to get back to eating clean and feeling great, this Leftover Turkey Soup with Sweet Potatoes and is just the thing you need. It’s loaded with vegetables, easy to make and super satisfying.
Truth be told, I made this one with leftover roast chicken. But that’s only because our Canadian Turkey Day was a month ago and I’m not really in the habit of roasting 20lbs turkeys on the regular.
Leftover Turkey Soup is ideal for, you guessed it… leftovers! The trick is to shred the meat into long ribbons and add it to the soup at the last minute. This allows for the meat to be quickly reheated and soak up as much of the delicious broth as possible.
The best part of this leftover turkey soup is the fact that it only takes around 30 minutes and is fully customizable. Feel free to use what you have on hand and get creative. You can start everything off by sautéing some bacon, maybe using regular potatoes or squash, and flavour with your favourite fresh or dried herbs. You’re the boss, applesauce.
The most important thing is to follow the technique. First, sauté the aromatic vegetables (carrot, celery, leeks or onions, and garlic). Next, deglaze with stock and/or water (I like to use equal parts). Add whatever starch you’ll be using (sweet potato, potato or squash) and cook until tender. Then add any softer vegetables that don’t take long to cook (such as zucchini) and leafy greens (such as kale). Finally, add your shredded meat and taste for seasoning. Adjust with salt and pepper as required and you’re all set to serve.
By following the above steps, you’ll ensure maximum flavour and texture. For example, if you add the zucchini in with the aromatic vegetables when sautéing it will turn to mush by the time your soup is ready. Likewise, if you skip sautéing the vegetables altogether, you’ll miss out on so much extra flavour!
Leftover Turkey, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup
Make the most of your leftovers with this Leftover Turkey, Sweet Potato and Kale Soup. Quick, easy, healthy and works just as well with Turkey.
¼ tsp dried thyme (substitute fresh or dried herb of choice, such as oregano or rosemary)
2 bays leaves
¼ cup fresh parsley – finely chopped (for garnish)
kosher salt and black pepper – to taste
2-3 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 litre chicken stock (substitute turkey stock)
1 litre water
Add EVOO to a stock pot or large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add carrot, celery and leeks. Season with a pinch of salt and sweat until leeks are soft and translucent (approx. 4-6 minutes). Add garlic and chili flakes and cook an additional 60 seconds.
Add chicken stock, water, sweet potato, thyme and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a steady simmer, cover with a lid and cook until sweet potato is fork tender (approx. 10-12min).
Add zucchini and kale and cook until zucchini has slightly softened (approx. 3-4 minutes). Add chicken and stir through. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as required.
Remove from heat, finish with parsley and ladle into individual serving bowls. Optional: finish with a drizzle of EVOO and some freshly-cracked black pepper.
This Cream of Mushroom Soup is Whole30, Paleo and every bit as delicious (possibly even more so) as traditional versions loaded with heavy cream and butter.
The secrets to a delicious Cream of Mushroom Soup truly lie in the ingredients and technique;Mushrooms
First and foremost, the type of mushrooms and amount you use will have a noticeable difference on the finished product. Personally, I like to use a variety because I think each mushroom brings something different to the table.
I tested this soup with all cremini, all button and a variety of cremini, button and shitake. The last assortment was the one I was happiest with in terms of flavour and colour. If I’m being honest, I only used the white button mushrooms as a filler because they are the least expensive of the bunch and allowed me to achieve a much thicker consistency.
If, however, money was no object, I’d opt for a healthy mix of cremini, shiitake, portobello, porcini and/or even chantrelles! Wild mushrooms are noticeably stronger in flavour than the prepackaged stuff you buy at the grocery store so if that’s an option and you are certain the mushrooms are safe for consumption, I say go for it!
While on the topic of money, if you want to really take this soup to the next level, try finishing each bowl with a drizzle of truffle oil just before serving. Even a tiny amount goes a really long way and compliments the mushroom flavour really nicely!
I also found that a good-quality, homemade beef brothmakes a world of difference. You can make this with chicken broth as well, if desired, but the mushrooms can stand up to the stronger flavours of beef stock so you might as well go for it!
If you want to take things to the next level, try using beef bone broth. Bone broth has a much more concentrated flavour as well as added nutritional benefits. You can click here for my Beef Bone Broth recipe.
Not all coconut milk is created equally so be sure to use one that you like. I recommend using a full-fat coconut milk (at least 60-70% coconut extract) rather than coconut cream because it can be reduced down and is a bit less forgiving to cook with.
Coconut milk should be made with nothing more than coconut extract and water.
Things to avoid in all coconut milks: guar gum, xanthan gum, starches, colouring, etc.
Personally, I like Arroy-D brand, which comes in tetrapaks. Also good, Savoy brand. If you are lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s in your area, their full-fat coconut milk is about as good as it gets.
If you are in the Greater Toronto Area, Arroy-D brand can be found at certain T&Ts and Frescho locations. Savoy can be found at certain Sobeys.
Do not be fooled by “Organic” labels, which are often twice the price as regular varieties and loaded with fillers and junk.
In terms of technique, there are actually a few things to consider:
Do Not Wash Mushrooms
In general, if using whole mushrooms, do not wash them before chopping. Instead, wipe any surface dirt with a damp paper towel.
Mushrooms are like sponges and will absorb just about any liquid they come into contact with. In fact, most fresh mushrooms are already full of water anyways. Washing them will just load them even further. All of that liquid will get released into the pan during cooking and cause the mushrooms to steam, rather than brown.
Sautéing (cooking while adding colour) the mushrooms is a crucial step in developing and concentrating flavours so the last thing you want to do is prevent that from happening.
In the case of this soup, it should be noted that your mushrooms will most likely release liquid before they brown regardless of whether you wash them or not. The reason is because we are using so many mushrooms that some steaming action at the bottom of the pan is inevitable.
DO NOT DRAIN THE MUSHROOM LIQUID: As tempting as it may be to speed up the process of browning by draining any rendered water, I urge you to be patient. This water will eventually concentrate and evaporate. Not to mention the fact that you’ll also be discarding valuable olive oil and ghee.
Reduce the Coconut Milk
Just about every Whole30 and Paleo cream-of-something-or-other-soup does not mention this step and it is truly a shame.
I assume it’s because people think coconut milk or cream are interchangeable with regular milk or cream, and I understand the confusion. Traditional Cream of Mushroom soup, for example, is finished by adding cream at the very end. However, regular cream is not nearly as strong in flavour as coconut milk and, therefore, doesn’t need to be cooked to change its flavour profile.
The question I am most frequently asked for any recipe with coconut milk is, “does it taste like coconut?” In the case of this Cream of Mushroom Soup, I’d say only a little but it’s very mild because I take the time to cook the coconut milk with the mushrooms, leeks, shallots and garlic. If I was to simply add the coconut milk at the end, I assure you the coconut flavour would overpower just about everything.
This is an optional step and you don’t have to heat the broth in a separate sauce pan before adding it to the soup, but it does save you some time since you will have to wait for the cold broth to reach a simmer before moving on to the next step.
Also, I have found that adding cold broth to hot coconut milk can sometimes cause it to separate. Heating the broth before hand does not require tempering the liquids and results in an emulsified finished product. But I think this depends a lot on the quality and fat content of the coconut milk to begin with.
Cream of Mushroom Soup – Whole30, Paleo
This Cream of Mushroom Soup is Whole30, Paleo and every bit as delicious (possibly even more so) as traditional versions loaded with heavy cream and butter.
3 x 227gr assorted mushrooms – roughly chopped (cremini, shitake, button, or portobello)
2 shallots – thinly sliced
2 leeks – thinly sliced, (green tops removed)
4 cloves fresh garlic – finely chopped
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1.5 liters beef broth or beef bone broth
1 tbsp fresh tarragon (substitute thyme or oregano)
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil (EVOO – plus extra, for garnish)
fresh chives – finely chopped (for garnish)
Truffle oil – optional (for garnish)
Preheat a Dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat. Add beef broth to a separate sauce pan and set over med-low heat so that it warms up.
Add EVOO, ghee, and mushrooms to the Dutch oven or stock pot. Season with a pinch of salt and sauté 12-15 minutes. Set aside 1/4 cup sautéed mushrooms for garnish. **Note: it is normal for mushrooms to release their moisture during cooking. Sauté until water has evaporated.
Add shallots, leeks and another pinch of salt. Cook an additional 8-10 minutes or until leeks have softened.
Add garlic and 1 tsp black pepper and cook an additional 1-2minutes.
Add half of the coconut milk and stir to coat. Scrape and brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining coconut milk and simmer until reduced in volume by half (approx. 4-5min).
Add half the beef broth and stir to coat. Scrape and brown bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the remaining beef broth and tarragon and bring to a simmer.
Use an immersion blender to blend soup until smooth and creamy. Alternatively, transfer soup to a traditional blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Return soup to Dutch oven and taste for seasoning. Adjust salt and pepper as required.
Serve in individual bowls, garnish with sautéed mushrooms, fresh chives and a drizzle of EVOO or truffle oil.
Beef bone broth is not only packed with valuable nutrients, it’s an ideal cooking liquid.
Beef bone broth can help improve skin quality, repair torn cartilage and damaged joints, fix ‘leaky gut’ syndrome, build stronger teeth, raise your immune system and improve your overall health.
I’ve touched on the differences between regular broth and bone broth before (see here), but it’s worth quickly mentioning the key points again.
It boils down (pun intended) to ingredients, cooking time and nutritional profile.
Bone broth is usually made with more bones than regular broth (or bones exclusively), it is cooked for a longer period time and, therefore, yields a more nutrient dense finished product. The increased cooking time allows for precious collagen and gelatine to release from the bones into the broth.
Beef bone broth requires the exact same cooking process as chicken bone broth (or turkey, pork, or other meats for that matter). However, when making beef bone broth, I tend to start with raw bones, as opposed to the pre-roasted ones I salvage after making my Emergency Roast Chicken, for example.
Marrow bones are ideal for making beef bone broth. They are packed with collagen and are loaded with delicious flavour. You can purchase these from your butcher or try looking through the meat freezer of a local Whole Foods, if one is in your area.
Another fantastic alternative is to use beef or veal shanks (the same cut used to make Ossobuco). Not only will you get plenty of nutrients and flavour out of the bones and cartilage, but you can also save the meat after boiling the broth and add it to a tomato sauce for a quick-and-easy ragu. Shank bones usually cost more than marrow bones but you get the added bonus of having edible meat.
Bone broth can be made on the stovetop, in a slowcooker, in a traditional pressure cooker, or in an electronic pressure cooker, such as the Instant Pot.
I prefer the Instant Potfor convenience but nothing beats the flavour of a low-and-slow braise. Therefore, if you have the time, simply follow steps 1-3 listed in the recipe below before adding everything to a stock pot or slow cooker. Then cook on the lowest heat setting for 24-72hrs. Yes, it’s a commitment. But it’s one worth making!
Beef Bone Broth Golden Rules
There are two steps I think everyone should follow in order to achieve maximum flavour:
1. Blanch and Skim
Blanching (or quickly boiling) the bones in plain water will help draw out so-called impurities in the bones themselves, which float to the top as a foam or ‘scum’ and can be skimmed with a spoon.
I’ve read a wide variety of theories as to what these impurities are and whether you should bother skimming them. Personally, I skim because it’s the way my mother and grandmother taught me to do it. If you don’t skim, you’ll likely end up with a cloudy broth that isn’t as visually appealing.
As for what the impurities are, they are most likely amino acids that coagulate and rise to the surface. One reader suggested the scum arises from marrow being pulled out of the bones, but I find it hard to believe that would happen after only a few minutes of light blanching.
Clearly, I have some more research to do.
2. Thou Shalt Roast Thy Bones
If you are starting out with raw beef bones, which is most likely the case, you should definitely consider quickly roasting them in the oven before boiling, but after blanching. While you’re at it, thrown some aromatics on the tray next to them. Roasting the bones and aromatics will help develop and concentrate flavours.
Like blanching, it’s not a mandatory step but I think it makes for a much more interesting flavour profile, which is important if you’re drinking this stuff by the glass or adding it to soups and stews.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Almost every single bone broth recipe I’ve encountered calls for adding a splash of apple cider vinegar to the pot. Many people say the vinegar helps draw out the collagen in the bones.
Personally, I’m not convinced. My parents have been making bone broth before the invention of the internet and never added any such thing. Nevertheless, they easily made freakishly gelatinous broth.
Contrary to popular belief, I actually don’t think this is an essential ingredient for achieving a gelatinous broth. Instead, the secret seems to be using the correct bones. As mentioned, look for ones that have a lot of marrow and connective tissue!
I’m sure adding apple cider vinegar doesn’t hurt. But I’m just not a fan of the flavour it imparts. I tend to leave it out but have included it in the ingredients as optional for those who would like to try it.
Can You Freeze Mason Jars?
If you’re already going through the trouble of making beef bone broth from scratch, you might as well make as much of it as possible and freeze whatever you don’t need.
Personally, I like freezing in mason jars and ever since I shared the process of making and freezing my Chicken Bone Broth recipe on my Instagram Stories, my inbox has been flooded by readers in disbelief.
Rest assured, you can indeed freeze mason jars. HOWEVER, there are some caveats!
1. Let Broth Come to Room Temperature
Make sure your broth has come to room temperature before placing it in the freezer. The drastic change from a hot to cold climate will likely shatter the glass.
Note: Unless your mason jars are cold to begin with, you don’t have to wait for the broth to come to room temperature before pouring it into the jars. In fact, I recommend portioning the broth into jars immediately after cooking because it will help speed up the cooling process. The bigger the pot of hot broth, the longer it takes to cool.
2. Use Tempered Glass Jars
Tempered glass is much stronger than regular glass, which will allow it to withstand sub-zero temperatures.
They are made with tempered glass and the wide mouth is very practical. The larger tops make them more stackable, easier to pour liquid into and I can actually fit my giant hand into the jar when cleaning with a sponge.
Pro Tip: if you’re in the Greater Toronto Area, you can purchase Ball Wide-Mouth Mason Jars at Creative Bag.
3. Leave Headroom in the Jar
This is usually where things go wrong for most people!
It is imperative toleave at least a few inches of headroom in each jar. In other words, don’t fill the jars all the way up with broth. Unlike other liquids, water actually expands by about 9% when frozen and if there’s no room for it to do so, it will crack the glass. Bone Broth is, after all, made of water.
The last piece to the puzzle is using your frozen broth after it’s been frozen. To do so, simply defrost in the fridge until completely thawed. The time it takes to thaw depends on the volume of the broth. A larger jar will take longer.
I do not recommend microwaving bone broth frozen in mason jars for the simple fact that it will likely shatter. Again, a drastic change from cold to hot temperatures will crack the glass.
To speed up the process, you can try submerging the mason jar in a bowl of room temperature water. This will gradually warm up the broth in the jar. Just be sure to change the water in the bowl every so often since it will likely cool down before the broth warms up.
Instant Pot Beef Bone Broth – Whole30, Paleo
Homemade Beef Bone Broth is a wonderful addition to your daily health routine. Thanks to the Instant Pot, making a batch is easier than ever before.
2-3 lbs Beef Bones – preferably with marrow
2 bunches Leek Tops (the dark green parts) (- rinsed)
2 medium Carrots (- rinsed)
2 stalks Celery (- rinsed)
1 medium Red Onion – cut in half (- rinsed)
1 medium Parsnip (- rinsed)
1 head fresh garlic – top trimmed (- rinsed)
fresh ginger root – approximately the size of your thumb (- rinsed)
Fill Instant Pot halfway with water. Set to sauté mode and bring to a simmer. Add raw beef bones and blanch 15-20 minutes. Use a spoon to remove any foam that rises to the surface. Transfer blanched bones to a bowl of cold water or rinse under the faucet.
Preheat oven to 450F.
Meanwhile, pat blanched bones dry with a paper towel. Add to a parchment paper-lined sheet pan or roasting tray along with the onion, carrot, leek tops, garlic and ginger. Drizzle everything with a small amount of avocado oil. Transfer to oven and roast 15-20 minutes – flip everything halfway.
Add all roasted ingredients to an empty Instant Pot along with celery, bay leaves, parsley, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Fill Instant Pot with water up until the ‘max’ line.
Set Instant Pot to Soup mode, high pressure, for 180-240 minutes (or longer). Close lid, set valve to sealing and let cook.
Once cooking time has elapsed, depressurize manually or naturally.
Set a fine mesh sieve overtop of a pitcher (I use my blender’s canister). Pour broth through sieve and discard everything but the liquid.
To store, pour broth into tempered mason jars. Be sure to leave at least 2″ of headroom if freezing. Alternatively, freeze in large, silicon ice moulds. Once broth has frozen, transfer ice cubes to a freezer-safe bag for easy storage. Repeat process until all broth has frozen.
This Kicked-Up Manhattan Clam Chowder with Cholula Original Hot Sauce is super easy, comforting, and gets cooked in a single pot. Aside from love, the secret ingredient to this classic soup is Cholula Original. Everything from the briny clams, sweet peppers and acidic tomatoes gets elevated with a healthy amount of the good stuff! Think of Cholula as a conductor directing a symphony of delicious flavors! This is no ordinary hot sauce and just a little goes a long way!
Kicked Up Manhattan Clam Chowder with Cholula Original | ad - YouTube
The first place I ever tried Manhattan Clam Chowder was, ironically, in Florida. The only reason my family went to Florida in the first place was because my grandparents retired there after living in New York for 20ish years. I was very young when they lived in Queens and we only visited them once.
I don’t remember much about it. I have vague images of concrete steps leading up to the entrance of their apartment and a long, narrow corridor once inside. That, and a piercing memory of eating wonton soup at a hole-in-the-wall, Chinese restaurant. My grandfather absolutely loved Chinese food, and soup for that matter! Funny how that’s what I’ve held on to. My food memories are always the strongest.
After they retired to south Florida, specifically Miami, we visited my grandparents often. Anywhere from two or three times a year. It was paradise. Sun, sand and long days spending time with my favorite people on earth. The entire family was ecstatic when they made the decision to become permanent snow birds. Before long it was our second home.
Perhaps the best part of their migration was getting out and exploring the Miami restaurant scene. The food was fresh, flavorful and colourful. Not to mention the grandiose portions! There was no shortage of delicious places to eat. It was heaven!
There was one restaurant, in particular, a seafood joint perched right along the Intracoastal Waterway off of NE 163rd St (near Collins Ave) that we went to quite often. It was a short 5-minute drive from my grandparent’s condo. I wish I could recall the name but I’m drawing blanks. Unfortunately, it had a short lifespan and was gone just as quick as it came. Can’t imagine why, though. The view was great, the prices were right and the seafood was fresh. The best thing on the menu? The Manhattan Clam Chowder!
I remember the first time my grandfather and I both ordered a bowl. The soup was rich, chunky, and absolutely studded with clam meat! We sat overlooking the water and ripped into the packets of saltines it came with. We took turns plunging our crackers into the steaming bowl. Dunk by dunk we soaked up the hearty soup. Seagulls along the dock eagerly waited for us to throw crumbs at them. Clearly, they didn’t know who they were dealing with!
Up until that point, my only experience with clam chowder was the New England variety. Equally delicious but different. Whereas New England clam chowder is cream-based, Manhattan clam chowder is tomato-based. They both have their merits! I guess it just depends on your mood that day.
As mentioned, this recipe for Manhattan Clam Chowder is easy, delicious, and made in a single pot. Thanks to the canned clams and jarred clam juice, it’s even more hassle-free. Of course, feel free to use fresh clams if they are available.
The secret ingredient, and the element that puts my version over the top, is the addition of Cholula Original, which kicks the soup up to a whole ‘nother level. Rather than overpowering flavors with heavy spice, Cholula Hot Sauce elevates and enhances all of the profiles in the Manhattan Clam Chowder.
This recipe for Kicked-Up Manhattan Clam Chowder is an ode to my fond memories of eating bowls of the stuff with my grandfather! I’d give anything to relive those days and every time I help myself to a bowl, it feels like he’s right there beside me.
This recipe was created in partnership with Cholula Hot Sauce. As always, all opinions and ideas expressed are mine alone.
Kicked-Up Manhattan Clam Chowder with Cholula
This Kicked-Up Manhattan Clam Chowder with Cholula Original Hot Sauce is super easy, comforting, and gets cooked in a single pot.
3 strips bacon
2 large carrots – diced
2 stalks celery – chopped
1 large white onion – diced
4 yellow potatoes – peeled (cubed)
1 green bell pepper – diced
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 10oz jar clam juice plus 4 jars water
2 5oz cans clams – with brine
1 28oz can chopped tomatoes – with juice
1 6oz can tomato paste
fresh parsley – finely chopped
1/3 bottle Cholula Original Hot Sauce – plus extra for serving
Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
Add bacon to a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Place over medium heat and cook until bacon is crispy. Add onions, carrot, celery, and green pepper. Season with a pinch of salt and sweat vegetables until softened.
Add garlic and cook 60 seconds. Add tomato paste, stir everything to combine and cook 1-2 minutes. Add clam juice, water, clam brine, tomatoes, potatoes, thyme and bay leaves. Season with ½ tsp black pepper. Note: you may use all clam juice or a combination of clam juice and water.
Bring everything to a steady simmer, reduce heat to med-low, cover with a lid and cook until potatoes are fork tender.
Add clam meat and cook additional 8-10 minutes for flavors to develop.
Season with 1/3 bottle of Cholula Original Hot Sauce and ¼ cup fresh parsley. Taste and adjust salt, pepper and Cholula Original as required.
Ladle into individual serving bowls and add a few more dashes of Cholula Original for a Kicked-Up Manhattan Clam Chowder!
I’m guessing you’ve heard someone tell you that you need some bone broth in your life! Maybe it was a friend, family member, social media influencer, random stranger, bone broth brand, or even your naturopath.
They’ve likely claimed that bone broth can improve skin quality, repair torn cartilage and damaged joints, fix a ‘leaky gut’, build stronger teeth, raise your immune system, and is great for your overall health. Better yet, they’ve called it the ‘fountain of youth’ or ‘liquid gold’.
Truth is, they’re probably right!
Bone broth is rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, collagen and gelatin. The last two aspects are what really set it apart from regular broth.
Nevertheless, you sat there scratching your head trying to figure out why the Starbucks barista was trying to convince you to drink stinky cups of soup for breakfast!
What is Bone Broth and How is it Different from Regular Broth?
Ever wondered what the difference is between bone broth and regular broth? Rest assured, you’re not alone. On paper, it can all get a bit jumbled so I’ll do my best not to add to the confusion.
Though bone broth and regular broth are very similar, there are a few things that tend to set them apart.
Bone broth and regular broth are made with nearly identical ingredients. Everything used to make bone broth can also be used to make regular broth.
The differences might lie in the larger amount of bones used to make bone broth and the fact that the bones are often roasted beforehand.
Roasting the bones is not absolutely necessary, but it will yield a broth with a more concentrated flavour. Here again, roasted bones can also be used to make regular broth.
The length of time the broth cooks for is the deciding factor and separates bone broth from regular broth. The larger the bones, the longer the cooking time.
Bone broth needs to cook for much longer than regular broth because the bones need to have a chance to break down and release their nutrients into the liquid.
Beef bones, for example, are much thicker than chicken bones and require longer to breakdown. This is especially true if cooking over low heat, which is your best option when cooking on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Some recipes call for cooking the broth for upwards of 24-72 hours. After all, the last thing you want to do is leave your stovetop on full blast throughout the night.
Using a stovetop or electronic pressure cooker, such as the Instant Pot, will significantly speed up the process. My chicken bone broth, for example, takes on 3 hours to cook over high pressure.
If you plan on making bone broth at home on the stovetop or in a slow cooker, it is important not to rush the cooking time since this is where the magic happens. The longer the bones have a chance to cook, the more likely you will extract their coveted collagen.
In addition to the nutritional benefits provided by the vegetables and aromatics, bone broth has the added benefit of being rich in naturally-sourced collagen and gelatin.
The below is less a recipe then a set of guidelines since I make my bone broth almost exclusively with scraps, which are hard to measure unless weighed.
A few years ago I got into the habit of making freezer ‘broth bags’ to collect and store odd bits of scraps that can be used to make homemade broth and bone broth.
Things I put into my broth bag:
leftover chicken carcasses (raw or roasted)
odd garlic cloves
odd pieces of fresh ginger
carrot peels, tips and tops
celery stems and tips
herb stems (such as parsley or dill)
full vegetables that are starting to turn (such as soft carrots and celery)
When it comes time to make bone broth or stock, I simply dump all the contents of the bag into a pot, fill with water, add salt, pepper and bay leaves, and cook. It helps reduce waste and makes for an easy process.
Since measurements are never precise, the bone broth always tastes a little bit different, which I don’t mind.
If making bone broth, I discard everything but the liquid since I have made the broth using scraps to begin with. If, on the other hand, I don’t have any scraps but have a fridge full of fresh produce, I’d likely make my Mama’s Chicken Soup. Though, here again, scraps can be used.
One thing I do like to add to my bone broth is Chayote Squash, which is a secret ingredient my mother uses in her soup. It adds a subtle sweetness to the broth and is rich in vitamin C.
The same method and ingredients can be used to make beef bone broth, though the cooking time should be increased to account for the larger bones.
If cooking on the stovetop, set pot over lowest heat on a back burner and cook for 24 hours.
If cooking in a slow cooker, cook over low heat for 24 hours.
Homemade Chicken Bone Broth – Whole30, Paleo
Homemade Chicken Bone Broth is a wonderful addition to your daily health routine. Try drinking it on its own or using it to make delicious soups or stews.
1.5-2 lbs assorted Chicken bones – previously roasted or raw
1 Chayote Squash
fresh ginger root
3 bay leaves
fresh parsley – stems and/or leaves
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 tbsp kosher salt
Add all ingredients to Instant Pot. Add water up until the ‘max’ line. Set to sauté function and bring to a simmer. Use a spoon to discard any foam that rises to the surface of the water.
Cancel sauté function and switch to Soup mode, high pressure, for 180 minutes. Close lid, set valve to sealing and let cook.
One cooking time has elapsed, depressurize manually or naturally.
Set a fine mesh sieve overtop of a pitcher (I use my blender’s canister). Pour broth through sieve and discard everything but the liquid.
To store, pour broth into tempered mason jars.
Notes: If freezing, leave 1.5-2” of headroom at the top of each jar to prevent them from bursting. Alternatively, freeze in large, silicon ice moulds. Once broth has frozen, transfer ice cubes to a freezer-safe bag for easy storage. Repeat process until all broth has frozen.
This is my Mama’s Chicken Soup (AKA Jewish Penicillin). It is the best chicken soup in the entire world. It can and will cure any ailment under the sun, including a broken heart. This isn’t up for debate. This is fact. It is science. It is Math. 1+1= Mama’s Chicken Soup! Are we clear?
Growing up, my mother made Chicken Soup at least once a week. We ate it so often that at one point I never wanted to see it again. In addition to meeting her weekly Chicken Soup quota, she also made it (and continues to do so) on every single holiday – Jewish or otherwise. I would know it’s a holiday when I saw that she used the Chicken Soup as a base to make her Matzo Ball soup (something I will never get tired of!).
The recipe I’m sharing below is a codified version of something that is intangible. Chicken Soup, my Mama’s included, is an organic, living thing. It changes a little bit every time and doesn’t need to be made by following any specific measurements.
Chicken Soup is something you can feel your way through and improvisation is a part of the process. It is the Jazz music of the culinary world.
Of course, this is not something that comes easily to everyone. It takes practice and a great deal of trial and error. I have probably tried to recreate my Mama’s Chicken Soup no less than 2 dozen times and it still doesn’t hold a candle to hers. What can I say? She has that touch!
But, that shouldn’t stop anyone, myself included, from trying! I’m happy to say that with the below recipe, you can come very close to tasting a big part of my childhood.
But you might need a few of Mama’s Chicken Soup pointers to help you along the way:
Raw vs Roasted
You don’t have to use raw chicken quarters. You can use a roasted chicken carcass. Roasted bones have a concentrated flavour that gets released into the broth as it slowly cooks. It’s also a great way to reduce waste!
Fresh vs Scraps
Likewise, using whole, fresh, beautiful produce to make the stock is a waste of money. Instead, you should be using vegetable scraps saved from other recipes you make throughout the week. I keep a ‘stock bag’ in the freezer for precisely this purpose. I continuously add to it every time I peel an onion or carrot, trim celery or have odd cloves of garlic.
However, it is virtually impossible for me to quantify carrot trimmings and onion peels. It’s also very hard for me to explain how to cook without a recipe.
Therefore, I recommend sticking to the ingredients and measurements below so that you have a reference point.
Stock vs Soup
My Mama’s Chicken Soup is, for all intents and purposes, a recipe for making stock. The only difference is that the we usually treat the stock as a meal in itself.
When making with raw chicken, we shred the poached meat and eat it with the flavourful broth.
If using roasted bones, we use the liquid as stock for other things.
You can use it however you please. It will undoubtedly make everything taste better.
Use Kosher or Halal Chicken:
If you are going to use raw chicken parts, such as legs and thighs, or even an entire bird, I recommend purchasing Kosher or Halal. Unlike non-religious butchering practices, one of the requirements in both Kosher and Halal laws is for the blood to be drained from the animal.
Religious considerations aside, this will result in a less cloudy stock. Not to mention the fact that the animals must be slaughtered in a humane way or the meat is considered inedible.
If, however, you are using the bones or carcass of a roasted bird, this is less of a concern since most of the blood will have been cooked and/or drained after carving. On the other hand, many roasted chickens are first seasoned or marinated in any number of spices, etc., and these will inevitably colour your stock.
I once made stock from the remains of my Cajun Roast Chicken. While incredibly delicious, the stock was noticeably darker and more red than usual.
Clean vs Cloudy
A cloudy stock occurs when you do not skim the foam that rises to the surface of the water when boiling the meat. The foam is the result of solidified impurities in the meat.
Personally, I don’t get too fussy with how clear my soup/stock looks. I do my best to skim as much foam as possible but if there are flecks floating around, all the better, I say! More flavour!
But if you want a less cloudy finished product, you can try one of the following techniques:
Simmer the chicken on its own in water for 10 minutes. Skim any foam that rises to the surface before adding in all of your vegetables and aromatics. One thing I’ve noticed is that while adding everything at once results in a more flavourful broth, the vegetables and herbs trap some of the foam and make it harder to skim, which later solidifies and lingers in the stock.
Follow the recipe below, as outlined, but transfer the the remaining stock through a fine-meshed sieve or cheesecloth. This will ensure maximum flavour and a cleaner finished product.
Keep the Schmaltz
Although you should skim any foam that rises to the surface, you should definitely leave the fat globules. Those beautiful, shiny bubbles that dance across the surface of your soup are rendered chicken fat (AKA Schmaltz). This is the holy grail of Jewish delicacies and is pure, unadulterated flavour!
You will notice significantly more schmaltz when using raw chicken that is skin-on, since this is where most of the chicken fat is stored.
Thus, there is a case to be made for using raw chicken as opposed to roasted bones.
Mama's Chicken Soup
This is my Mama’s Chicken Soup Recipe (AKA Jewish Penicillin). It will cure any ailment under the sun, including a broken heart.
4 chicken legs – preferably Halal or Kosher
2 celery stalks – cut in half
2 yellow onions – unpeeled
2 large carrots – cut in half; plus 2 more – peeled and cut into discs
1 parsnip – cut in half
1 chayote squash – cut in half
1 knob ginger – roughly the size of your thumb
1 head garlic – stem trimmed
3 bay leaves
1 small bunch fresh dill – plus extra for garnish
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
Add all ingredients to a 7.5qt stockpot or Dutch oven. Add enough water to reach the brim of the pot.
Set over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for a total of 75 minutes and use a spoon to scrape any foam that rises to the surface of the water.
Use a large, slotted spoon or wire strainer to remove the vegetables. These are edible but I am not a fan of the texture so I discard.
Transfer chicken to a tray and let cool. Use your hands or a set of forks to shred the meat from the bone. Discard bones, skin and cartilage. Reserve meat and set aside.
While the chicken cools, add sliced carrots and cook until fork-tender (approximately 10-12 minutes).
Return shredded chicken to pot. Taste soup for seasoning and adjust salt as required.
Serve in individual bowls. Garnish with fresh dill and freshly-cracked black pepper.
I submit this Sausage, Potato and Kale situation as evidence that I’ve fully committed to soup season. Especially true considering I just made some Roasted Acorn Squash soup last night! If you’re reading this somewhere hot and sunny, I envy you. Perhaps you’re even still drinking iced coffee! Jealous! Then again, you’re also missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures… the loving embrace of a warm soup on a cold day.
Who am I kidding? I gladly eat soup year ‘round. Even during the hottest of months!
I didn’t set out with any specific recipe in mind today when I made this Sausage, Potato and Kale soup, though it does recall rustic versions ofCaldo Verde.
On the contrary, it was born like most weeknight meals: with a deep dive into my fridge to see what I had on hand and what was going bad.
Vegetables? The first thing I noticed was a lonely leek lying in the crisper drawer. I could hear it whisper, “make me into soup.” This led me to check on the carrots and celery, both starting to wilt ever so slightly. OK, I thought, we’re almost in business!
What’s this I see? A bag of pre-washed kale that Catalina bought for her morning smoothies? Too bad, so sad. Into the soup it will go! She’ll thank me later.
A quick rummage through the pantry and I discovered a handful of red potatoes, most starting to grow spuds. No worries, I thought, these will do just fine!
Protein? Surely, I needed something to sustain my hunger as the weather dips. Alas, I always keep a well-stocked freezer for exactly such occasions. Italian sausages were sitting in the top drawer! Thank you, past Ronny!
Seasoning? As luck would have it, there was some fresh thyme and parsley in the fridge. I could pair them with some dry bay leaves for earthy tones and some heat from paprika and chili flakes.
So far, so good, I thought. What about liquid? No homemade stock, I’m afraid. I did have a carton of store-bought stuff though.
Boom! We’re off to the races! Happy to report this tasted even better than expected, which is why it often pays off to set the bar low, and everything is Whole30 to boot!
Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup – Whole30
This Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup is the ultimate bowl of comfort food during the colder months. It’s easy, delicious and makes for great leftovers!
4 Italian sausages ((spicy, medium or mild – removed from casing))
2 celery stalks – diced
2 carrots – diced
1 leek – roughly sliced
1 head kale – roughly chopped into ribbons
5 red potatoes – cubed
2 cloves garlic – finely sliced
2 tbsp fresh parsley – roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1.5 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
1 tsp dried chili flakes (optional)
1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil ((EVOO))
1 litre chicken stock
Preheat a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Using a paring knife, make a shallow incision along the length of the sausage. Peel back the casing and discard. Add the sausage meat to the pot along with EVOO.
Using a wooden spoon, break the sausage into large chunks approximately 1” thick, or smaller if so desired. Brown sausage on all sides (approx. 8min total).
Add celery, carrots and leeks. Cook until vegetables have slightly softened (approx. 10-12 min). Add garlic and cook an additional 60 seconds. Then add paprika and chili flakes and cook 60 seconds more.
Add stock, potatoes, thyme and bay leaves. Stir and bring everything to a steady simmer. Cover with lid and cook until potatoes are fork tender (approx. 12-14 min).
Add kale and cook 3-4 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt as required. *Tip: if the soup is too salty or thick, simply add water ½ a cup at a time until desired consistency and taste is achieved.
I’m not in the habit of making promises I can’t keep so rest assured when I say that this Roasted Squash Soup is as easy and delicious as it gets! You’ll need only a handful of readily available ingredients and just a bit of time.
I think this recipe is best made with acorn squash, but you can substitute butternut if preferred. Just be sure to factor in the yield of each variety since they are different sizes. In other words, one butternut squash does not equal one acorn squash.
No matter which squash you choose, you will want to roast it in the oven for maximum flavour. The flesh will get beautifully caramelized and infuse the soup with an amazing depth that you otherwise miss out on.
To keep things extra easy, I simply cut the squash in half and roast them flesh side up with the skin on. I then scoop out all of the flesh once it has finished cooking. Not only does this save you the time and hassle of peeling tough squash skin, but it also results in more yield.
As written, this Roasted Squash Soup is paleo friendly. For an unexpected hit of flavour, I like to drizzle a few swirls of maple syrup overtop of each bowl right before serving. The maple goes so well with the squash. To keep things Whole30, simply omit the maple syrup swirls. It’s still delicious.
One last note on flavouring: I strongly encourage you to use spicy, Spanish smoked paprika in this soup. This makes a world of difference and it’s best to use a high-quality spice here. After all, aside form salt and pepper, this is the only thing that’s going to enhance the flavour of the roasted squash soup so make sure you’re using something that tastes good from the get go! Look for one that’s made in Spain and comes in a metal tin. La Chinata makes great paprika.
You don’t necessarily have to drop buckets of money on spices (the tin I use costs $3). In most cases, you just have to know where to look. Personally, I buy my all of my Spanish paprika (smoked, spicy, sweet and spicy smoked) from Home Sense here in Toronto. Home Sense is a housewares store and beside selling discounted rugs and candelabras, they happen to stock a good selection of paprika! Who woulda thunk it?!
Easy Roasted Squash Soup – Whole30, Paleo
This Easy Roasted Squash Soup is a classic version of one of my favourite fall comfort foods. It’s smooth, creamy and delicious!
1 acorn squash
1 carrot – diced
½ yellow onion – diced
1 leek – finely sliced, (green tops discarded)
2 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1.5 litres chicken (or vegetable stock)
1 tbsp spicy (smoked Spanish paprika)
3 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil – plus extra ((EVOO))
100 % pure organic maple syrup – for garnish ((omit for Whole30))
kosher salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Slice squash in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out seeds. Drizzle the flesh of each half of the squash with a bit of EVOO and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Place squash halves on a roasting tray, flesh side up, and roast 40-45 min or until fork tender.
While the squash roasts, chop the carrots, onion, leek and garlic. Then, preheat a large stockpot or Dutch oven over med heat. Add three tablespoons EVOO along with the carrots, onion, and leek. Season with a pinch of salt and sweat veggies until they are soft (approx. 12-15min).
Add garlic and cook an additional 60 seconds. Add paprika and cook 60 more.
Deglaze the pot with stock and bring everything to a steady simmer.
Remove squash from oven and carefully spoon out all of the flesh from each half – discard the skin. Add the roasted squash flesh to the soup and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Transfer soup to a high-powered blender (or use an immersion blender) and purée the soup until smooth and creamy. Return soup to pot and taste for seasoning. Adjust salt and pepper as required.
Ladle Roasted Squash Soup into individual serving bowls, season with an extra crack of black pepper and garnish with swirls of EVOO and maple syrup.
I am a bit obsessed with Pho (pronounced Fuh). Just ask anyone who knows me or has sat down to eat a bowl with me. It is a ritualistic experience, almost meditative. I am completely devoted to the soup and all of its contents. To properly eat a bowl of pho requires all of your senses. You gaze upon its beauty, admiring the complexity of its colour, lines and composition. You smell its intoxicating aroma as it perfumes the air around you. You handle the chopsticks and spoon, which can be foreign to some but old friends to others. You can hear the sound of the noodles swirling through the broth – it’s as peaceful as a gentle creek on a spring morning. Finally, you raise a generous gathering of steaming noodles to your mouth. You give them a quick blow in the hopes of cooling them down a bit. It doesn’t work but you don’t care. You gently shovel them into your mouth and close your eyes. At first you taste the texture of the individual strands of noodles, each one has been perfectly cooked and is still a bit springy. Then a bit of the flavours from the broth permeate through your palate. It’s faint, so you go in for some more. The broth is complex, to say the least. Sweet, earthy, salty, spicy, and bitter. Cinnamon, clove, roasted ginger, beef, anise, fennel, coriander and maybe even some secret ingredients are all playing together in every nook and cranny of your mouth. It’s truly magical, surreal even. The next 10-15 minutes are spent analyzing the flavours of the soup, contemplating the process of its creation. By the end of it you’re on a sensorial high and you don’t want to come down.
In fact, I still remember the first time I ever tried a bowl of this delicious, steamy, beefy, noodle-y goodness. For about 10 years or so I worked as a part-time valet parking attendant. It was a great gig that let me drive some cool cars, meet some cool people and helped offset some of my university tuition. One night, after an event that went late into the evening, a bunch of the guys were hungry. The problem was nothing was open! One of the guys suggested we hit-up a Vietnamese noodle house in Markham. I had no idea what to expect but I was game! We arrived at the restaurant and ordered some bowls of noodle soup. Everyone got the same thing: #207, Rare Beef Pho. If you’ve ever been to a Pho house, you know what I mean about ordering by the numbers! The soups arrived piping-hot and loaded with rice noodles, thinly shaved slices of rare beef, and some bits of scallion, white onion, and cilantro. Bean sprouts, Thai basil and lime wedges were served on the side. The beef broth was dark-brown and cloudy with some glistening droplets of fat on the surface. It looked like everything my dreams were made of! Let’s just say I slurped down every heavenly drop of it, except for what I managed to get all over my shirt. Within a few hours I began feeling fairly lethargic and extremely thirsty. It was a familiar feeling in my pre-Paleo days. So, I settled in for my food-coma.
The next morning my mouth was dry and pasty. I was extremely dehydrated so I chugged a few cups of water. I didn’t realize it at the time, but the broth was obviously very salty. I wasn’t sure what else was in the cloudy broth, but it didn’t sit well in my system either. In full disclosure, I haven’t stopped eating Pho, but I have cut back. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Catalina and I will usually go for a bowl once in every two weeks or so on our cheat day.
It wasn’t until very recently that I decided to make it myself. Any good Pho worth its weight takes at least 12 hours to create. It starts with some good beef bones, preferably with marrow. Then a variety of spices and aromatics are added and it’s all left to simmer for the better part of the day. But I didn’t have the time or patience to be true to the traditional recipe. I needed a bootleg version, and I needed it quick. So I devised a solution using prepared stock and a few of the key spices and herbs.
The result was not as complex in depth or flavour as slow-cooked pho. However, it was very tasty and you might even fool the non-expert into thinking you made the whole thing from scratch. The best part is that I controlled the ingredients and the amount of sodium. The most important part of this recipe will be the stock so be sure to use a high-quality one with no artificial ingredients. I like to use low-sodium chicken stock since I prefer to season things myself. Progresso is good and you can purchase it on Amazon, or you can get your friend to smuggle some back from the States for you! No matter what you use, make sure it is free of things like yeast, wheat starch, potato starch, sugar, MSG, and a host of other things you don’t want in your body. You’d be surprised what kind of stuff companies will put into packaged stocks so please read the ingredients list. Obviously, it would be best to use homemade stock that you can prepare and easily freeze in some mason jars ahead of time.
Instead of rice noodles I used mung bean noodles. Mung beans are a legume and are not 100% paleo – full disclosure. However, unlike rice noodles, I don’t crash after a bowl of mung bean noodles. They are very high in carbohydrates so eat them sparingly and during the day so that your body has an adequate amount of time to digest and utilize their energy. You could just as easily use sweet potato noodles here (which are great in otherrecipes like this Jap Chae). Or you can go with some zucchini noodles for a truly Paleo experience!
If you’re a vegetarian, you can make the exact same thing using Vegetable stock (Progresso makes a good one as well), and use mushrooms instead of beef. Any mushroom will work but I would recommend shiitake, oyster, portobello or enoki.
No matter what, I’m pretty sure you’re going to love this Pho, especially if you’ve never had it before.
Give it a go and let me know what you think in the comments below!
1L Progresso Chicken stock – (substitute beef or vegetable)
4-6 ounces thinly shaved ribeye – ask your butcher to shave the beef for you as opposed to slicing it yourself!
3 pods star anise
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp all spice
1” cube of ginger – left uncut
1 package mung bean noodles – cooked according to package instructions
Fresh bean sprouts
Fresh Thai Basil
Fresh Coriander – thinly sliced as garnish
Fresh Scallion – thinly sliced as garnish
Thai Bird Chili – thinly sliced as garnish
White onion – thinly sliced as garnish
Enoki Mushrooms – entirely untraditional but I love them!
Lime wedges (optional)
In a large stockpot, add 1L chicken stock, 3 pods star anise, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp all spice, 1” cube of ginger and a handful of Thai basil. Bring everything to a boil.
In the meantime, cook the mung bean noodles according to package. If no instructions, boil them for 3-5 minutes in water. Drain, rinse under cold water and portion them into individual serving bowls.
Once the stock has come to a boil, reduce the heat to a high simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.
Lay a few slices of the shaved rib eye in each bowl of noodles and ladle in the cooked stock. The stock should be hot enough to cook the raw beef if it has been sliced thin enough!
Garnish with more Thai basil, fresh coriander, fresh scallion, raw onion, thai chili, enoki mushrooms and bean sprouts. Some people like to add some freshly squeezed lime, but I’m not one of those people!
Serve with chopsticks, a spoon, and a pile of tissues.