The Easiest Quick Broth

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I always save the bones from our meat and scraps from our veggies for making a quick broth, and with a lot of soup happening over here lately, it has been so handy.⁠

Could I just go buy broth for soup recipes? Sure could. ⁠
Can you use regular broth in your recipes if you don’t want to save your bones and make your own? Absolutely. ⁠

BUT, I like to make my own because it reduces food waste, and honestly, I think the flavor of fresh broth is just so much better than store-bought! Plus, if you typically whip up soup on a whim like me and not always prepared with store-bought broth on hand, it helps to be able to somewhat quickly make some.

So start saving your bones and veggie scraps and give this a try for your next batch of soup!⁠

One thing to note — feel free to use any other spices you want to season your broth. I like to use spices that are easily strained and won’t accidentally pass through (I’m looking at you, whole peppercorns). I just like it to be easy when it comes time to strain!

Have you made this? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE (Makes approx. 16-20oz)

INGREDIENTS:

  • A handful of bones (I used beef and venison)⁠
  • 4 cups water⁠
  • Scraps of 1 medium onion⁠
  • Peelings of 1 large carrot⁠
  • pinch of salt and pepper⁠
  • 1 bay leaf⁠
  • 1/2 rosemary sprig

DIRECTIONS:

Put everything in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, then let simmer for about an hour. Remove from heat, strain, and store. ⁠


Personal Butternut Squash Soup

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Some days, you just need a personal bowl of soup, amirite? And yes, it is a little labor-intensive just to make one bowl of soup, but maybe that’s what we need today to get our election jitters out?⁠

So by now y’all know that I get a produce box delivered each week, and I absolutely love it, but sometimes things come very much NOT as expected. The other week I ordered some butternut squash, and instead of getting one 1-lb squash like I would have picked up from the store, I got these two teeny tiny squash.

Admittedly, they sat there for a while before I did anything with them because I didn’t want to deal with the whole peeling/skinning process with two squash. And then one day I was inspired to make some soup for lunch, and I thought these would be perfect! No peeling involved since I just sliced them and roasted them before turning into a soup.

Again, is it a little labor intensive for just one serving of soup? Sure. But sometimes that’s just what we need, and man did this cozy, comforting bowl of soup absolutely hit the spot.

Anyhow, if you have a toddler-sized butternut squash and are wondering what the heck to do with it, I got you covered with this easy personal butternut squash soup!

Have you made this? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE (Serves 1)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small butternut squash⁠
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced⁠
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil⁠
  • 12oz. broth (can use any kind based on preference)⁠
  • 1 tbsp. oregano⁠
  • 1 tsp. salt⁠
  • 1 tsp. pepper⁠
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)⁠

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix 1 tbsp. olive oil with oregano, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Cut your butternut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Brush your mixture evenly over both sides of the squash. Roast the squash halves for about 30 minutes, or until fork-tender. Once done, remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, scoop the squash flesh (aka remove the skin), and place in a medium-sized pot on the stove. In the same pot, add the diced onion and broth, and stir to combine. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, bringing to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, making sure the onion is tender. When ready, blend your soup by transferring to a blender or using an immersion blender. Serve, and take your time to enjoy!


Lightened up Ham and Potato soup

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It’s soup season, y’all! Ham and potato soup is a total comfort food for me, I remember my mom making it ALL the time growing up! But I’m sure there was a ton of cream in her version, so I decided to create my own lightened up, veggie-packed version, and dare I say I like it even more than what I remember eating growing up?!

My in-laws raise pigs on their ranch, and we regularly get some meat from them when they butcher one. And sometimes in those batches we get some random cuts that I’m like what the HECK do I do with this?? In this case, we got a pork leg steak. A pork leg steak from a 500+lb pig is…large. So, I knew I needed to incorporate it into a dish where we could have it for dinner and it would make enough leftovers to keep for a while.

Since I’m quite pregnant – 3rd trimester! – and have been prepping a lot of freezer meals, soup seemed like the perfect vehicle! And I keep hoping I can will this 80 degree California weather into turning into Fall, so I decided to recreate the Ham and Potato soup I remember eating growing up.

Potatoes act as the base in this soup, giving you no need for any cream, and the carrots and celery give it a super satisfying crunch. While you can absolutely incorporate some dairy into this if you want the extra creaminess, we tend to stay away from it as much as we can because it causes a lot of “depressurizing”, shall I say, in this house.

If you don’t have any ranch ham or wild boar on hand, absolutely buy pre-diced ham from the store. It will still be just as delicious!!

One thing to note — I have had friends try this without adding ham, and have reported that it is good, but ham definitely makes the meal. So, if you make this, be sure to add some protein because that is what ties it all together!

Have you made these? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE (Serves 4-6)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, diced into 1 inch cubes⁠
  • 2 cups cubed ham⁠
  • 4 cups water⁠
  • 2 large carrots, diced into 1/4 inch cubes ⁠
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped ⁠
  • 1 small white onion⁠
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil⁠
  • 2 tsp thyme⁠
  • Salt and pepper⁠

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a large pot on the stove on medium-high heat. Add your olive oil, and onion, and cook your onion until it starts to brown, about 3-5 mins. Add in your potatoes and your water, and let it heat to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer, and let simmer for about 20 mins, or until potatoes are fork-tender. Blend in the pot using an immersion blender (if you don’t have one, you can transfer to a blender then add back into the pot). Stir in your thyme, salt and pepper, ham, and veggies, and let the soup cook another 5 mins so the mix-ins heat through. ENJOY!⁠


Dairy-Free Fall Kabocha Potato Soup

It’s fall, which officially means one thing – it’s squash season!

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The transition from Summer into Fall this year is a little crazy because of all of the smoke in the Bay Area from the California fires. While it LOOKS like it is cloudy and fall-like outside, it is just the smoke and it is really 90+ degrees! I want it to be Fall so bad that I just crank up the air and turn on the fireplace to give me all the fall vibes and just pretend. And this soup is the perfect meal to top off a Fall day, even if it is a wannabe Fall day.

I chose to use Kabocha squash because it is one of my all-time favorites. It is sweet, yet warm, and everyone in the family likes it. While Butternut is oh-so-popular, my husband isn’t a big fan of it because he says it reminds him of the smell of skinning a deer (aka, gross), so I don’t use it often. Bruce is also a huge fan of Kabocha – it was one of his first foods, since he started eating solids in the Fall!

The one bummer about Kabocha is that it IS a little more difficult to dice if you are using a whole squash. The rind is tough to cut through, but once you get through it and get the ‘guts’ scraped out, it’s not too bad to skin, slice, and dice. That being said, if any of you have any hacks for dicing a Kabocha squash, help a sister out and send them my way!

You’ll notice that in addition to the squash, there are also two yellow potatoes in this soup. Now this is because I like my soups creamy and hearty y’all. I wanted the soup to have a creamy texture, but without the actual cream. And with no coconut cream or dairy-free creamer on hand, I decided to throw in a couple potatoes instead and they completely did the trick. The soup still has great texture and taste, seems light, but it fills you up for sure. Who needs creamer when you have potatoes?

While I used coriander and thyme to spice, you can switch these out with your favorite fall spices if you would like to make the soup more savory or sweet. I went savory, but if you want sweeter, you can consider cloves and cinnamon.

So, if you are looking to celebrate the beginning of Fall with a cozy squash soup like me, give this one a try!

A couple things to note – to save your hand from some serious cramping, you can also use pre-cubed kabocha squash if you can find it; I can find it sometimes at Whole Foods! Using frozen kabocha squash isn’t the best idea, as it will add moisture from being frozen that will thin out your soup.

Also, when blending your soup, I 1000% recommend an immersion blender, as it is SO much easier than transferring to a blender. A cheap one works just fine – I have this one and love it.

Have you made this? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium kabocha squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/4 yellow onion, cut into slivers
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

DIRECTIONS:

Heat a pot over medium-high heat, and add olive oil. Once the oil is heated, add onion slices and saute until the onions are translucent (about 3-5 mins). Add the cubed squash, potatoes, broth, and salt and pepper. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil. Once there, cover, and turn your heat down to low to simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until both the squash and potato cubes are fork-tender. Add your coriander and thyme. Now, you will blend the soup either in batches using a blender, or in the pot using an immersion blender. Blend until smooth. Let cool, and enjoy!


Dairy-Free Creamy Heirloom Tomato Soup

A dairy-free version of this comfort food favorite.

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The end of summer is here, and that usually means garden tomatoes will soon be fleeting. It also means if you grow tomatoes in a garden yourself, you probably have a HUGE bounty right about now!

My mom has been growing heirloom tomatoes, and when she said she had a ton of extras, and would I like any, it was a very quick yes from me. I knew we wouldn’t eat them all by the time they went bad, so I decided to whip up a batch of tomato soup.

I wanted to make my soup dairy-free, as all of my family’s tummies just feel that much better without dairy. I used soy creamer, which makes this recipe dairy-free, but not Whole30 compliant. If you want to make this recipe Whole30, I would recommend you use a nut milk-based creamer, like Nutpods. The flavor may change slightly (soy tends to have a bit more of a vanilla taste to it), the creaminess will not.

I also used heirloom tomatoes in this recipe, and I prefer to use heirloom, as they are naturally a bit sweeter than other varieties. You can ABSOLUTELY use whatever variety of tomato you have (or want), just note that you may need to add a bit more balsamic vinegar if you want to sweeten it up a bit more.

Now, with a toddler around, you know we served this with a grilled cheese. But if you want to forego that staple, serve with some roasted or steamed broccoli, and/or some sliced sausages of your choosing.

One thing to note — In this recipe, I do not peel my tomatoes. I like my soup a little chunky, so don’t mind any peel remnants that add some texture to the soup. That being said, if you DO want to peel your tomatoes, this how-to from Mean Green Chef is a great recipe to follow for that.

Have you made this? Let me know what you think or any questions you have in the comments below!


RECIPE (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 2 lbs heirloom tomatoes, cored
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly diced
  • 3/4 cup soy creamer
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • Oregano to top

DIRECTIONS:

Heat your oven to 500, or the highest temperature it will go, and move your rack to the top rung. Place parchment paper (a Silpat works just as well!) on a sheet pan, and put your tomatoes on the pan. Roast for about 10-15 minutes. Some char is okay on the tomatoes, but you don’t want them to be black.

Once the tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven, and place them in a stockpot on medium-high heat. Add in the onion, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and turn the heat down to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes.

After the tomatoes are simmered, add the balsamic vinegar and hot sauce, and stir. Then, blend the tomatoes until smooth, or your desired consistency. Once blended, add your soy creamer and stir. Taste test your soup – if it needs more sweetness, add more vinegar. If it needs more of a kick, add more hot sauce. If it needs a little “more”, add some more salt and pepper. Tailor to what you like best!

Lastly, SERVE!