Last night, I dreamed about soup.
There’s a reason for that and we’ll get there in a few minutes. For this morning, though, I fixed my first cup of lemon tea and pulled a quart of mixed pork and chicken broth (Brodo misto, if you’re feeling Italian!) and a quart of “veggies and meat for soup” from the freezer for lunch.
This particular lunch plan, however, began somewhere “in the way back machine”.
Years and years ago, at an outlet mall in north Georgia, I bought a stock pot. A massive stock pot. Stainless steel. The gallons-upon-gallons size. Complete with a spigot at the bottom so you can drain the broth off without having to lift the whole thing when it’s full.
It is, without a doubt, my most prized kitchen “gadget”. And it just got even better.
It seems my friend, who is recovering from a major brain aneurysm, needs soup.
Let the record show that I made a couple of gallons while I was in Florida. Now, according to a phone call last evening, we need more.
I’m honored. And a little blown away.
I’ve been making soup for quite a while. Good soup that starts with really good bone broth. It’s an oddly creative process for me. Alchemical, even.
I love the scent of simmering broth in the house.
I love the process of honoring the beings who feed us by using all the random bits to make food for as many meals as possible.
And, in this moment, I have a sense of coming full circle. Of why I’ve been learning broth for so long.
Today, calls to local farmers and artisanal butchers.
Farmers Market lists.
I have three varieties in mind.
We need a lot of healing.
Onions and garlic. A bunch of both. Fresh bay leaves and thyme. As many veg as possible.
Roast chicken carcasses, plus necks and feet and other healing parts.
Halibut broth imported from the west coast, because I’m still learning this one. Delicious and healing.
Years ago, I bought a magic wand in a mystical sort of store in Black Mountain, NC. It’s a useful coaching tool but it doesn’t seem to make soup.
Somehow, I never imagined that this would be my particular magic.
It seems to be me. A gift.
And yet, not just mine.
Each pot of my broth is midwifed by sustainable local farmers. People who believe we can feed ourselves and our neighbors, and support the planet.
I still remember the day I bought my first pasture raised local chicken, standing in a parking lot behind an anonymous sort of box truck, maybe 10 years or so ago. Complete with a hug from the farmer!
It was kind of a scrawny little thing…no growth hormones there!
And, compared to the supermarket variety, it was pretty expensive. I decided to see how far I could make that chicken go.
When I was growing up, a whole chicken was one meal for our family of four. Sadly, necks, hearts, gizzards, and most of the bones ended up in the trash.
My experimental farm chicken wound up being the protein in 13 entre’ servings of delicious, clean food before I decided it was ok to quit counting and just be amazed.
Most of that was possible because of a stock pot.
I was hooked!
I’ve had many teachers along the way. I’ve even become one of the teachers!
My third book, Let’s Boil Bones…Grammy’s guide to bone broth and other yummy things! is available in Kindle books, with the paperback due out this fall.
For today, a bowl of leftover soup. Broth. A bit of pulled pork from a local event. Good, southern-style green beans. Some cabbage and a few tiny Bunapi mushrooms. Roasted cauliflower saved from dinner last night. All served over a bowl of finely shredded romaine lettuce, which is a great way to add healthy bitter greens and texture to soup. (Arugula, collards, turnip greens, etc. all work, too.) Spritz with a bit of fresh lemon juice and finish with good sea salt as desired. A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes would not be amiss.
Love, hope, and healing in a bowl!