Articles and Media

Soups and Steak

by Ana L. Palles

Hot Soup It's that time of year when we see lots of red, runny noses and boxes of tissues come out. From Colorado to the UK, many of our friends are fighting off the seasonal cold and flu. Health food store displays are featuring both the tried and true elderberry syrups, vitamin C, echinachea and zinc, along with some of the newer approaches such as Umcka. This new cold remedy is made from the roots of a species of South African geranium roots and is reputed to assist the body in recovering. Reports are that it became popular in Germany as a result of successful clinical trials. Interest has reached our shores and we will follow its performance.

Many medications on the market today are designed to alleviate symptoms rather than support recovery. What we haven't forgotten is that we all have a few tricks up our sleeves when it comes to helping sick children and adults get better. We didn't always know why these homespun remedies worked, we had to wait for the research to tell us, but our grandmothers always knew they were effective.

You will find a heavy-handed approach with garlic and onions in the recipes below. Both garlic and onions have been found to have infection-fighting properties. They are also thought to help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and help fight cancer. The George Mateljan Foundation cites scientific research on the benefits of onions and garlic. They write: 

Both onions and garlic contain compounds that inhibit lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase (the enzymes that generate inflammatory prostaglandins and thromboxanes), thus markedly reducing inflammation. Onions' anti-inflammatory effects are due not only to their vitamin C and quercitin, but to other active components called isothiocyanates. These compounds work synergistically to spell relief from inflammation. In addition, quercitin and other flavonoids found in onions work with vitamin C to help kill harmful bacteria, making onions an especially good addition to soups and stews during cold and flu season. ..In addition, allicin, one of the sulfur-compounds responsible for garlic's characteristic odor, is a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent that joins forces with vitamin C to help kill harmful microbes. In research studies, allicin has been shown to be effective not only against common infections like colds, flu, stomach viruses, and Candida yeast, but also against powerful pathogenic microbes including tuberculosis and botulism ...

As always, please remember to consult with your doctor before starting any health regimen and check for contraindications with any medications you may currently be taking.

With winter's chill upon us, it's a good time for a hot pot of soup! Healthy eating!

Healing Chicken Noodle Soup

2 pieces of free range chicken, skinless (my family prefers the meatier pieces)
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
saffron or about 1/8 tsp of turmeric
1 head of garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
2 quarts organic vegetable or chicken broth
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups water
angel hair noodles, crumbled

In a large stockpot, heat the oil on medium heat and brown the chicken. Add onions and garlic and stir. Add broth and water to the chicken and onion mixture. Add parsley, bay leaf, salt, pepper and saffron. Cook over medium heat until the chicken begins to fall apart. If using pieces with bones, pull out the chicken at this time and separate the bones out. Discard the bones and place the chicken meat back in the soup pot. Add the potatoes and carrots. Turn up the heat enough so that the soup comes to a boil. Add the noodles and let boil about 5 minutes. Lower the heat back down to simmer and serve.

Beef Noodle Soup

This soup actually makes 2 dishes, the soup and the meat entree that follows. It is a traditional and delicious Cuban dish.

1 grass-fed beef flank steak
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
6-8 large garlic cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 quarts organic vegetable broth
1 leek, finely sliced
saffron or 1/8 tsp of turmeric if no saffron available
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 cups of water
angel hair noodles
fresh limes

In a large stockpot, heat olive oil. Brown flank steak and set aside. Saute onions, garlic and leek, then add water and broth. Add parsley, bay leaf, salt, pepper and saffron. Simmer until the meat begins to fall apart. Pull the flank steak out of the pot and set aside. Add potatoes and carrots and bring to a boil. Add the angel hair noodles. Simmer until vegetables are tender and noodles are done. Serve with wedges of lime.

Cuban Flank Steak

Flank steak from soup
About 3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, sliced thinly
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tablespoons dry sherry or dry cooking wine
1 Medium bell pepper, finely sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
lemon wedges

Take the flank steak and pull apart into shreds. Since it was already cooked in the soup, it will fall apart easily on its own. Heat oil in a large skillet. Saute onions, peppers and garlic until the onions become transparent. Add the shredded meat and sprinkle with the dry sherry. Add the pepper, cumin, oregano and salt. Continue cooking until the meat is hot and a little crispy towards the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat. Serve over white rice with lemon slices and a fresh tossed green salad.

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