Soup’s On

Rebecca Katz’s new collection of healing recipes provides nutrients to soothe the body and soul.

In her introduction to Clean Soups: Simple, Nourish­ing Recipes for Health and Vitality (Ten Speed Press, 2016; $22), author Rebecca Katz says, “This book is dedicated to the proposition that everyone can enjoy making soup, whether their goal is a full-blown, two-day, nothing-but-soup cleanse, or a more general commitment to in­corporate soup into their lives on a daily or weekly basis.”

Why make the effort to put the soup pot on? As Katz notes, soup is the ultimate healing food—“from the Baha’i to the Bud­dhists, the Christians to the simply curious, using soup to help the body detoxify and renew itself is as old as man.”

Having spent more than 20 years as a consultant and chef for some of the country’s premier healing institutes and retreat cen­ters, Katz is the ideal person to offer insight into various healing nutrients and flavor combinations—as well as creative inspiration in the kitchen.

Clean Soups is a comprehensively delicious guide to making soup from the ground up. From foundational information, includ­ing descriptions of specific kitchen equipment that will help soup makers, formulas for creating specific flavor profiles, and lists of pantry essentials, Katz moves on to provide recipes for broths and stocks, blended soups (which she likes to call “cashmere soups”), and traditional healing soups.

So whether you’re looking for a go-to stock recipe like Katz’s famous Magic Mineral Broth or a hearty stew (maybe West African Sweet Potato and Peanut or perhaps Mediterranean Fish Soup?), this treasure trove will be sure to offer up a gem.

—Diana Price


Coconut Cauliflower Soup with Ginger and Turmeric

Makes 6 servings | Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes

Roasting cauliflower brings out the vegetable’s natural sweetness and produces a beautiful golden brown color that delights the eyes as much as the taste buds. Add Thai Coconut Broth and the taste is divine!

2½ to 3 pounds cauliflower, cut into 1½-inch florets
3 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
Sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons Thai red chili paste
6 cups Thai Coconut Broth (see “Broth Recipes”), plus more if needed
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint or cilantro, for garnish

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the cauliflower, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of the turmeric, ½ teaspoon of salt, and the pepper in a large bowl and toss until the cauliflower is evenly coated.

Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and spread in an even layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and tender.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion, a pinch of salt, and the remaining ¼ teaspoon turmeric and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and ½ teaspoon salt and sauté until the vegetables begin to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Add the chili paste and stir until the vegetables are coated. Pour in ½ cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.

Pour one-third of the remaining broth into a blender, add the ginger and one-third of the sautéed vegetables and cauliflower and blend until smooth, adding more broth as needed. Transfer to a soup pot over low heat and repeat the process two more times. Stir in ¼ teaspoon salt and the lime juice. Serve garnished with the cilantro, or store in an airtight container in the refriger­ator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Cook’s note: Don’t forget to taste. You may want to add an extra spritz of lime juice or a pinch of salt.


Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

Makes 6 servings | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes

If it’s possible for a soup to remind you of pie, this one pulls off the trick. This is a cross between apple pie and pumpkin pie. Your olfactory sense is going to go off the rails as the chopped apple and squash roast, assisted by the warming notes of allspice and cinnamon. Add a little walnut cream to the doled-out soup at the end, and it’s like adding ice cream to your pie—a stunner.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
1 teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 unpeeled apples, rinsed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into
1-inch cubes
6 cups Magic Mineral Broth
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more if needed
¼ cup Silken Nut Cream, preferably made with walnuts (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, the allspice, and the cinnamon and stir until well combined. Add the apples and squash and toss with the spice mixture until evenly coated. Place the seasoned vegetables in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes or until tender.

Pour one-third of the broth into a blender, add one-third of the apples and squash, and blend until smooth, adding more broth as needed. Transfer to a soup pot over low heat and repeat the process two more times with the remaining broth, apples, and squash. Stir in any remaining broth, along with ¼ teaspoon salt and the pepper and lemon juice. Taste; you may want to add another spritz of lemon juice or a pinch of salt. Serve topped with Silken Nut Cream or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Cook’s note: If you don’t want to take out your chain­saw, many grocers have done the heavy lifting for you. Look for precut butternut squash cubes in the produce section.


Silken Nut Cream

Makes 2 cups | Prep time: 5 minutes

I’ve been making and using nut creams since I first realized that they offer all the richness of butter but have a far better nutritional profile. They give an incredible mouthfeel to soup; it’s like a luscious hit of yum that you’re not expect­ing. I play with cashew, almond, pistachio, and walnut creams, as each has a slightly different taste.

1 cup raw nuts, such as cashews, pistachios, walnuts, or almonds
1 cup water
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process until creamy smooth, about 1 minute. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Variation: For an herbaceous note, add ½ cup chopped fresh basil or mint.

Cook’s note: If using walnuts, add ¼ teaspoon of maple syrup to counteract any bitterness that might come from the skins.


Provençal Lentil Soup

Makes 6 servings | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes

This soup proves that French fare can be light and not laden with cream. Herbes de Provence is a mixture of herbs traditionally gathered from the southeastern French countryside. It includes marjoram, rosemary, oregano, and thyme, with lavender sometimes thrown in. To me thyme is the noteworthy ingredient; when dried it retains its flavor better than many herbs, and its oils are renowned for having antimicrobial and antibac­terial properties. Another nutritional superstar in this recipe is the lentils, whose high-fiber con­tent is great for stabilizing blood sugar. Lentils also create a hearty mouth sensation, leaving you feeling as though you’ve just eaten a nice, satiating meal.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced small
Sea salt
2 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 stalks celery, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1½ teaspoons herbes de Provence
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup dried French green lentils, rinsed well
6 cups Magic Mineral Broth
1 bay leaf
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
3 cups tightly packed baby spinach
2 tablespoons Many Herb Drizzle, for garnish (recipe follows)

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, then add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and ½ teaspoon salt and sauté until all the vegetables are tender and turning golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds, then stir in the herbes de Provence, pepper, and ¼ teaspoon salt.

Stir in the tomatoes and lentils, then add the broth and bay leaf. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Taste; you may want to add a spritz of lemon juice or up to ½ teaspoon salt. To serve, divide the spinach among six bowls, ladle the soup over the spinach, and top with the drizzle.

You can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.


Many Herb Drizzle

Drizzles are designed to brighten up everything they touch, and they can be found in nearly every culture’s cooking. France? It’s a pistou. Italy? Pesto. Morocco? Chermoula. They’re all made similarly: herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt go into a food processor, and what comes out is a fine-dining refinement, if you will, for everyday soup.

1 cup tightly packed chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup extravirgin olive oil

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until well blended. For a thinner drizzle, add 1 tablespoon of water. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Variation: For an infusion of Asian or Latino flavor, substitute cilantro for the parsley.


Broth Recipes

Magic Mineral Broth

Makes about 6 quarts | Prep time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 2 to 3 hours

This is my signature savory broth. Its creation was that wonderful moment when everything came to­gether in the kitchen to create something truly healing. (I must have been channeling someone’s grandmother!) Literally thousands of people have spoken with me about the positive impact this broth has had on their lives. You’ll be amazed at how revitalizing it is. With carrots, onions, leek, celery, potatoes, and more, it’s a veritable veggie-palooza and can be used as a base for nearly all the soups in this book. In a bowl or sipped as a tea, it’s the perfect cleansing broth.

6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
2 unpeeled yellow onions, quartered
1 leek, white and green parts, cut into thirds
1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
4 unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
2 unpeeled Japanese or regular sweet potatoes, quartered
1 unpeeled garnet yam (sweet potato), quartered
5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (8-inch) strip kombu (kelp, or seaweed)
12 black peppercorns
4 whole allspice or juniper berries
2 bay leaves
8 quarts cold, filtered water, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more if needed

Rinse all the vegetables well, including the kombu.

In a 12-quart or larger stockpot, combine the carrots, onions, leek, celery, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, garlic, parsley, kombu, peppercorns, allspice berries, and bay leaves. Add the water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for at least 2 hours or until the full richness of the vegeta­bles can be tasted. As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out.

Strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve (use a heat-resistant container underneath) and discard the solids. Stir in the salt, adding more if desired. Let cool to room temperature before refrig­erating or freezing. Store in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to six months.


Thai Coconut Broth

Makes 3 quarts | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 50 minutes

Am I allowed to say I love this broth? This is like taking your taste buds on a trip to Thailand—infusing Magic Mineral Broth or, if you prefer, chicken broth with lemongrass, ginger, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, and coconut milk. There are nutrients galore, notably in the coconut milk, which contains good fats and the same immune-boosting, antivi­ral lauric acid that’s found in breast milk. The taste is both bright and remarkably comforting.

8 cups Magic Mineral Broth
2 (14.5-ounce) cans coconut milk
3 (1-inch) pieces fresh ginger
2 shallots, peeled and halved
3 kaffir lime leaves or 1 teaspoon lime zest
1 stalk lemongrass, cut in chunks and bruised
¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more if needed

In a 6-quart pot, combine the broth, coconut milk, gin­ger, shallots, lime leaves, lemongrass, and ¼ teaspoon salt and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Cook for about 20 minutes. Decrease the heat to low and let the broth simmer for another 30 minutes. Remove the gin­ger, shallots, lime leaves, and lemongrass with a slotted spoon. Taste and add more salt if desired.

Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Store in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to six months.


Reprinted with permission from Clean Soups by Rebecca Katz, copyright 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright 2016 by Eva Kolento. Available for sale here.