Soup

Weekend Recap & Soup Sunday

This weekend was used as a total physical, mental, and emotional reset. I like to think I can juggle everything in the world, but I reached the point where I was feeling so overwhelmed and needed to take a step back. Apparently working three jobs, planning a wedding, and getting situated in a new house all while working on my personal goals can take quite an emotional and mental toll. Lucky for me, my fiance spends all of his hours listening to podcasts on every topic imaginable, and he has been especially hooked on The Tim Ferriss Show lately. Ryan summarizes all of the important takeaways for me, and we had a massive whiteboard planning session to get life in check. We broke it down into two main sections: Personal Health/Wellness and Business. We then discussed in detail my goals and current challenges with both and built simple and highly structured frameworks and systems for both. Today was day 1 of the new framework which means 1. I started the day with a new morning meditation routine courtesy of Headspace, and 2. you are getting this blog post (with a lot of other great ones in the works).

The most important takeaways from our collaboration session were: 

  1. Having a plan is always better than not.
  2. Tough love (from yourself and others) can be the difference between achievement and failure.
  3. Finding a partner who will explore the tough questions in life and support you regardless is more valuable than any other achievement.

With all of that in mind, I want to share a great new stew recipe I made last Soup Sunday to prepare for the snow storm. It is super easy, and I made it in my beautiful new Le Creuset pot from that I got as a birthday present from my best friend. There's just the right of love and warmth in this pot of stew. Enjoy! 

BUTTERNUT CHICKEN WINTER STEW

SERVES 6-10, PREP TIME: 15 MIN, COOK TIME: 45 MINUTES

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 lb. chicken breast (or thighs)

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 4-6 cloves garlic, diced

  • 4 ribs celery, chopped

  • 2lb. butternut squash, cubed

  • 14 oz. can diced tomatoes

  • 4 cups chicken stock / bone broth

  • 2 tsp. parsley

  • 2 tsp. oregano

  • 1 bunch fresh sage

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients into a (large!) pot
  2. Bring to a boil
  3. When boiling, cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low for 45 minutes
  4. Remove chicken, shred, and return it to the pot
  5. Remove the bunch of sage
  6. Serve!

* NOTE: 1. You can make this in the crockpot/slow cooker if you prefer by cooking on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours


Cold Weather Hearty Chicken Sausage Stew

Soup season is well underway, and I can't get enough! I have graciously accepted the nickname of the Soup Queen from all of my friends, and that isn't going anywhere for a while. My new cookbook, Bowls of Love: Paleo Soups for the Seasons is doing great! I am nearing 500 books sold in the first two weeks, and I am in talks with a very large organic/whole food market to get my book in stores by January! Between meetings, interviews, TV appearances, and radio interviews, I have been extremely busy. Add that to closing on our new house in six days and a wedding that is less than 5 months away, and my time is becoming more and more limited. It is as important now as ever to focus on meal planning and make large batches of healthy food in advance.

Committing to eating clean is not without significant effort, and I fully understand the struggle. Given the cold, damp weather combined with our horrific heating system and wall-to-wall windows, I am in need of a piping hot dinner every night to warm me up - the space heater and pink furry booties only do so much! My go-to plan is to make a big pot of soup or stew on Sunday afternoon/evening, let it simmer while I'm catching up on book orders and my never-ending to-do list, and then portion it out in a dozen containers so Ry and I have healthy, warming food to eat all week long.

I will warn you -- this recipe makes a LOT of soup. My largest pot was filled almost to the brim, so be prepared. You can easily cut it in half if you don't want as much leftover. Try it out and if you need more soup recipes this winter, be sure to check out my new paleo soup cookbook!

Cold Weather chicken sausage stew

SERVES 10-12, PREP TIME: 20 MIN, COOK TIME: 70 MINUTES

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. chicken sausage, casing removed
  • 2 large onions, chopped (about 2 lbs.)
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled & chopped (about 1.5 lbs.)
  • 7-8 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 lb.)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1.5lbs.)
  • 2 28-lb. cans of organic diced tomatoes (with no added ingredients)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1.5 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 large bunch lacinto kale, stems removed & roughly chopped

Instructions:

  1. Add chicken sausage to a large stock pot, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often until mostly cooked through (about 15 minutes)
  2. Add onions and garlic to the pot with a dash of salt, and cook until soft, about 15 minutes
  3. Add carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes, and cook for another 5 minutes
  4. Add diced tomatoes, water, and seasonings, and bring the pot to a boil
  5. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until veggies are soft
  6. Add the kale, stir well to combine, and cook another 5 minutes until wilted
  7. Eat while steaming hot, and then package up the LOADS of leftovers for some healthy lunches