In a matter of days, lunch all over the United States shifted from salads to soups, courtesy of an arctic front delivered via an ocean storm that hit Alaska’s Aleutian Islands over the weekend. Shades of polar vortex to come, perhaps? I submit that this phenomenon has existed here in Texas long before the term was coined last year, where it is not unusual to see a 40 degree temperature drop from one day to the next.
As a result, our morning walks became all about thermals, a not-so-stylish fleece neck gaiter (that I pulled up over half my face), and some very cold ground underneath Hiro’s four feet. I don’t know how he tolerates the cold so well, but he obviously has an internal heating system that works a lot better than mine. As someone who’s spent my life living in sunny southern climates, the only thing I like about cold weather (which for me means anything below 40 degrees outside), is how cozy it feels to be in a warm kitchen.
So, here in my cozy, warm kitchen, Tuesday became soup-making day. I re-visited my recipe for roasted garlic, broccoli & potato soup, updating it to an autoimmune paleo-compliant version. Although I love the original recipe, that version has white potatoes and smoked paprika, and I’ve not yet added nightshades back to my diet. To make an autoimmune version, I replaced the white potato with a large turnip, and added a little bit of apple to offset the possibility of the turnip being less sweet than the potato. For the spices I used ground cinnamon to replace the smoked paprika and doubled the amount of turmeric. Though you don’t get the strong smoky overtones from the smoked paprika in this version of the soup, the cinnamon works well in its own way, providing a very subtle, sweet warm undertone to the sum of the other ingredients.
These days, since I cook a lot, I’m all about shortcuts and making things go as far as possible between cooking sessions. For instance, on a regular basis, I make a large batch of coconut cream (also known as coconut butter), pour it into an ice cube tray, and let it harden in the fridge. Then I dump the solidified cubes of coconut cream into a quart mason jar and store them in the pantry for later use. Instead of going through the additional effort of making coconut milk for this soup, and since I don’t buy the canned stuff due to additives, I used the coconut cream cubes instead. To replace the 1/4 cup of coconut milk, I used 2 tablespoon-size cubes of coconut cream. Another part of my regular cooking routine is making bone broth on a weekly basis. Local healthy grass-fed bones can require extra effort to source, and it also takes time and effort to make a big batch of bone broth, even with my fabulous 10-quart pressure cooker. To stretch my liquid gold a bit further (and so I can make even more soup), I used half bone broth and half filtered water for the liquid in the soup.
Cooking at home and keeping real, nutrient-dense food on your plate is a daily juggle of time and resources, so whatever simplifies the process is a good thing. Find the process that works best for your kitchen, and get some of this hot soup in your cold tummy.
- 1 large turnip, about ¾ lb., cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 1 lb. broccoli florets (about 4 cups)
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ large onion, about 5 oz., diced
- ½ medium apple, such as a Fuji or Gala, diced
- 2 cups bone broth (you can also use four cups of broth if you prefer, and omit the filtered water)
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream (or ¼ cup coconut milk)
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Scrub and peel the turnip. Cut into approximately 1-inch pieces. Peel the cloves of garlic and trim the tip off the stem ends. In a medium bowl, toss the turnip and garlic with one tablespoon of the olive oil, and a generous sprinkle of salt. Place both on a large baking sheet, and roast on the center rack of the oven for twenty minutes.
- While the turnip and garlic roasts, rinse the broccoli florets and let drain in a colander. In the medium bowl, toss the pieces of broccoli with another tablespoon of the olive oil, and a generous sprinkle of salt . After the turnip and garlic have roasted for twenty minutes, remove them from the oven, scrape into the same bowl as the broccoli, stir gently to mix up everything together, and place the everything back on the baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with a little more olive oil, and roast another twenty minutes.
- When the vegetables have finished roasting, remove from the oven. In a 4 quart stockpot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Heat over medium-high heat until the oil begins to shimmer, then add the spices and heat for several seconds until fragrant. Add the diced onion and sauté for several minutes. Add the diced apple and sauté until both the onion and apple are softened and the edges are just beginning to brown slightly. Add the roasted vegetables and stir to mix together. Add the stock and water, bring to a boil, then cover, and reduce heat to a simmer for ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove from the heat, uncover, and let cool slightly.
- Scoop about half the mixture into a high-powered blender. Purée the mixture for several seconds until it is fairly smooth. Pour the puréed mixture into a large separate heat-proof bowl. Repeat for the remaining mixture, this time also adding the lemon juice and coconut cream to the blender. Once everything is puréed, mix it all together it a large heat-proof bowl. Add up to 2 cups of warm filtered water until desired thickness is reached.
- Season with salt to taste. If your stock is unseasoned, you may need to add up to two teaspoons of salt; if your stock is seasoned, you may need to add less. Taste as you go so you don’t over-season the soup. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.