I could probably write an entire post about how a hot bowl of soup on a cold night is absolutely the best way to stay warm in these frigid winter months. That statement is completely true, however, I am not really in the mood to expand upon what foods I enjoy during specific times of the year…and your probably not in the mood to read about that.
I do want to discuss Nick and I’s recent endeavour into a new way of eating. Diets are great but they are temporary and once one goes off, all the hard work is lost. We are trying to change the way we eat, to create a new culinary lifestyle if you will. It is still “dietesque” with its rules and regulations, but it involves more than just what we can and cannot eat…we also have rules about where and when. The one bright point is that it includes splurge days, which does not mean a trip to pizza hut followed by dairy queen and finished off with pecan pie. It must be reasonable.
For this “new culinary lifestyle” we have taken ideas from a lot of different popular (and even some not so popular) diets out there. The 3 main food groups we are cutting out of our daily diet is Dairy, Gluten and Refined Sugar. Why you may ask…Read On
Why Dairy…Well dairy is made from the milk of animals, mostly cows milk. The Lactose in milk is very difficult for the human body to digest. Our bodies were not designed to produce the enzymes to digest lactose after the age of 4 or 5. This digestive difficulty causes bloating and gassiness. There are a lot more people who are lactose intolerant than you might think. Now I know that milk is a great source of calcium and we need a healthy daily dose of it. There are many non dairy sources of calcium such as dark leafy greens (Kale, Collards, Turnips Etc.), Beans, Peas and Nuts. Also, if dairy is something you just cannot give up, try goats milk and dairy products made with goats milk. The proteins in goats milk are smaller and similar to human breast milk which makes them easier for us to digest. One last thing to think about in this Dairy Debate is that Humans are the only animals to consume other animals breast milk…
Why Gluten…Gluten is also difficult to digest and inflammatory to your digestive system. This inflammation can hinder your body’s ability absorb nutrients from the other foods you are eating. Gluten is the product in wheat and grains that make them stretchy and pliable. It’s in the name GLUten…Glue. Like dairy it can leave you feeling bloated and Gassy. Gluten today is also highly processed making it even harder to digest.
Why Refined Sugar…I don’t think I need to go into too much detail here. We all know that sugar in large quantities is not good for us, especially processed sweeteners. Try honey…or if you want something sweet, eat some fruit.
I just want to clarity that I am not preaching gospel here. The choices we have made in the way we eat work for us. They may or may not work for you, but the key is to educate yourself. Read! And then make your own decisions.
And now for my mushroom soup Recipe…Simple yet absolutely delicious!!!!
Simple Mushroom Soup
2 lbs of chopped Mushrooms (I used a mixture of Crimini, Portobello and shiitake but use any that you like)
4 medium shallots (3 chopped finely and 1 sliced)
4 Cups Beef Stock
2 Cups Mushroom broth
2 Cloves Garlic
4 Sprigs of Thyme
4 Tbsp of olive oil
5 Pieces of Bacon cut into small pieces and cooked until crispy (keep the fat in the pan)
Salt and Pepper
Heat 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil in a large soup pot to medium high. Add the 3 chopped shallots, the sprigs of thyme, lightly salt and pepper, and cook until soft. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil and all the mushrooms. Pepper the mushrooms liberally (I like a very peppery soup but its up to you). Once mushrooms are soft lightly salt and add the Beef stock and mushroom Broth. Bring to a boil.
While waiting for broth to boil add the sliced shallot to the remaining bacon fat and cook on high until shallots are crispy and brown. Pour out on a paper towel to dry for use as a garnish.
Once soup has come to a boil and cooked together for about 15-20 minutes either blend with an emersion blender or in small batches in a blender until it is smooth and creamy.
Ladle the soup into bowls and top with Bacon, crispy shallots and chives.