October is the perfect time of year to start making soup a part of the weekly meal rotation. What I love about soup is how much it yields, because then I can get away with no cooking for 1 or 2 nights following. I just can't believe that I used to think making soup was hard-- let me tell you, it is pretty much my go-to dinner for Monday nights, which tend to be the night I want to cook the least. Soup is a great meal to empty out the veggie drawers in the fridge and create something hearty that doesn't require much planning.
I recently made this simple soup with my crockpot bone broth (see recipe) and a few vegetables I had in the fridge. To give the soup a little protein, I added in a few baked meatballs right at the end, and my family loved it. There is something fun about getting a different assortment of ingredients with every bite.
And, for any of you with children around, I finally figured out how to get our little one to eat all of the veggies in the soup: dice them small! Our girl loves her veggies, but found tiny diced carrots and parsnips much more appetizing. They were a little more labor-intensive than what I usually pull off for a weeknight, but it was completely worth the extra chopping time.
1 CROCKPOT FULL OF BONE BROTH (APPROX. 5-6 QTS)
4-5 LARGE CARROTS, DICED
3 THIN SLICES OF FRESH GINGER ROOT, CHOPPED FINE
3 TBSP REFINED COCONUT OIL
1 TBSP SEA SALT
1/4 TSP GROUND TURMERIC
1 TSP DRIED OREGANO
AND FOR THE MEATBALLS
2 LBS GROUND PASTURED BEEF
1 TBSP HAWAIIAN BLACK SALT
2 TSP THYME
1. To create the broth, follow my recipe for crock pot bone broth, and start the broth the night before to use the following day.
2. To begin the soup, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
3. Start peeling and chopping the carrots and parsnips, tossing them into the soup pot as you go. Add in the fresh ginger, and place on the stove over medium-low heat to gently soften them.
4. Add in 3 tablespoons of refined coconut oil, salt, turmeric, and oregano, and stir until everything is incorporated.
6. Remove the ground beef from the package, and place in a bowl (or pie plate as it were). Sprinkle in the Hawaiian black sea salt and thyme, then, using clean hands, gently mix the herbs and salt until blended. If you don't have that kind of salt, regular sea salt or kosher salt will do.
8. Place the meatballs in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until they turn slightly brown. They will be added to the soup, so there is no need for them to be well-done. Our family likes them a little pink inside, so I usually cook them for about 10 minutes.
9. Start building your bowls. We had leftover cilantro rice and a big container of fresh arugula, so we used those as our pairings, but experiment with what your family likes best. We also love to mix in squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower or broccoli, and other types of greens.
The carrots and parsnips were tender, the raw greens wilted under the hot broth, and the meatballs were so flavorful and hearty. All of this prep work allowed us a full dinner, lunch the next day, and dinner again that night for a family of 3 with Italian appetites. I'd call that a win!