My Chicago Winter Brew with Healing Turmeric

January 14, 2015

Let's be honest. Winter in Chicago is no joke. Sure, you can claim it's like the East Coast (where I grew up), but the issue is that it's a longer and just plain colder one most years. 

This year, this is how I'm getting through it, with bowls and bowls of this...

Aren't you warming up just looking at this? I know you want to dive into it like I did this week. What I want to stress? It literally took me 8 minutes. 

The catch is having your broth made ahead of time. Making it is super easy and makes weekday lunches and dinners a snap. The best part? It's completely plant-based and great for your New Year's goal to eat better. Use it as a base for a soup like above, or heat it and sip between meals or before you head out to manage your appetite. 

Chicago Winter Brew: Easy Vegetable Soup Broth

1 large onion, chopped
6 large carrots, chopped (no need to peel) *
1/2 head celery, chopped
1/2 head garlic, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped (optional)
1 - 2 large knobs ginger, chopped or sliced (no need to peel)
8-10 small knobs fresh turmeric, chopped (no need to peel), optional **
21 cups water (yes, really)
4 cups spinach
1 bunch parsley
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1. Boil everything except spinach and parsley in a large pot with the water. Some tips here. I use a pasta pot with a straining insert basket. This way, all the veggies can be easily whisked away in the end by just pulling the insert out and draining as you would pasta. Also, to ensure the least evaporation, put a lid on the pot and leave it slightly ajar. Turn heat down and simmer for 1 hour. 

2. Add spinach and parsley. Simmer for another 5 minutes. 

3. Remove the veggies and discard. Store broth once cooled in a glass or metal container in the refrigerator to use during the week. Reheat, add salt and pepper, and sip in between meals or make a soup out of it. Finely dice some parsley flakes, add some red chile flakes, and more black pepper if you wish. 

Granted, this will make quite a bit of broth, but I like it that way. If you want less, just reduce the amount of vegetables and water. You can also freeze your broth in glass containers or in ice cube trays to be used within three months of freezing. 

Try This! For my soup pictured above, I boiled a little gluten-free ramen (found it at Whole Foods) in a little water, drained, and added about 3 cups of broth. Once it came to a boil I added some chopped extra firm tofu, Enoki (Japanese mushrooms), snap peas, and chopped celery. Cook another minute or two until the veggies are just cooked and serve immediately. I squirted in a little Sriracha as well. I like to add it in the beginning for presentation. 

* There is no need to peel your produce before it goes into your brew. But, you should clean it well. I use a vegetable brush to really scrub everything down. 

** Fresh turmeric can be found in many markets these days including Indian grocers and even Whole Foods. If you can't find it, substitute 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

Full disclosure, I found this recipe in the now no more Whole Living magazine in 2014, but added ginger and turmeric to the original recipe, both of which add healing properties and a more robust flavor to the broth. Experiment with other vegetables as well. This is just the start...

01.15.15: Here's our soup today. I added all the veggies I had in the fridge including thinly sliced daikon (white radish). Hands down - a hit! 


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