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Gina's Cabbage and Beef Miso Soup

photo This soup has a deliciously interesting flavor.  It has the comforting richness of beef, the sweetness of cabbage and the mild saltiness of miso.  It contains many of the 5 elements of the Chinese philosophy (energy fields), so it brings a very well balanced meal to the table.  The miso acts as a probiotic, and the shiitake mushrooms and cabbage have cancer preventing properties.  I made homemade beef stock and included the recipe at the bottom, however, you can use any kind you like (organic recommended). Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 large or two small onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms (optional)
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 savoy cabbage, cored and chopped or sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbs miso paste (I used white)
  • pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
Saute onions, garlic and mushrooms in butter until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add beef stock and cabbage.  Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a low simmer until cabbage is partially wilted, about 15 minutes.  While soup simmers, take two tablespoons of miso and add about 1/4 cup of the broth in a bowl.  Mix the miso and broth together until it forms a loose paste, then stir into the soup, a little at a time until you've reached the desired taste.  Some prefer less miso than others due to the saltiness.  Add the parsley and desired amount of pepper.  Serve warm. Beef Broth Recipe I cooked the beef broth in the pressure cooker because it only takes one hour to get a rich, meat of the bone broth.  This recipe calls for a conventional pot. Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs beef shanks
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 large onion or two small, quartered with skin
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
Add water to stockpot, bring to a boil and add all ingredients.  Partially cover and simmer on low for 2 1/2 hours until meat falls of the bone.  Set the cooked beef shanks and meat aside in a bowl while you strain the stock.  Discard the vegetables and bones.  Shred the meat and add it back into your stock. The stock can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or stored in the freezer for up to 4 months.  

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Gina's Garlic Bean Soup with Wilted Greens

bean soupSo tonight I was craving bean soup.  I didn't have tomato paste on hand for my usual recipe, so I improvised.  I added a little bit of this and a little bit of that and BAM, I couldn't believe that I actually created this delicious dish without the assistance of a cookbook or the internet.  This soup is heart healthy, yummy and easy to make.  I added the nori sheet for an extra boost of minerals, the kale and parsley for it's nourishing and cooling effects, and the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for it's rich salty flavor.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups soaked navy beans, rinsed and drained (soak for six hours or overnight with 1 tbs lemon or apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 sheet Nori seaweed
  • 1 tbs Sea Salt
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed (or diced for a milder flavor)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
Saute onions in olive oil on medium heat until translucent (about 5 min).  Add drained beans and stir for 10 seconds.  Add water and nori sheet and stir again.  Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer or about 1 1/2 hours until beans are very tender.  In the last 15 minutes of cooking add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes longer to blend the flavor.  Serve with shredded cheese on top.  Enjoy!! Variations:  If you want a richer flavor, you can cook the beans with a pork or beef bone. Make sure the bone has some meat on it.  Also you can sauté the onions in butter instead of oil.  Another variation is to sauté the onions with some bacon.  

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