Blog_NourishingSoupsandFermentsforCozyWinterMeals_11.13.14_Shannon_1

It’s time for cozy meals by the fire in our home and I’m guessing if that’s the case in Central Texas, it is where you’re at too. One of the most-oft featured meal on our table is soup. I usually make it more like a stew, allowing much of the bone broth to cook down into chunky vegetables, meat, and rice or potatoes. One pot? Yes, please!

The only problem with this perfect scenario is that I also like to serve enzymes with a meal. Bone broth is incredibly nourishing, to be sure, but layering that with some enzymes throws it over the top. In order to keep that one pot meal simple, I don’t really want to get out the bowl, cutting board, and chef’s knife and besides, the more ubiquitous salad ingredients are not in season through the winter.

Instead, I turn to ferments to jazz up our simple soups and stews. It’s like convenience food for a nourishing meal… and there are plenty of ways we keep it interesting.

Sourdough

One of the more obvious pairings is soup and sourdough bread. But cooked sourdough doesn’t contain the enzymes we’re after, so a smear of cultured butter or kefir cheese does the trick.

Cultured Cream

Call it sour cream, call it creme fraiche, I really don’t care. Mix it into any soup and it makes it that much more delicious.

Fermented Veggies

This is our most frequent pairing. I bring a pot of soup to the table along with a quart of kraut or carrots or whatever we’ve got. We usually eat our soup and then partake in the ferment but sometimes we stir the veg and/or the brine into it.

A note on stirring ferments into soups: If you want to retain the enzymatic qualities of the ferment then you’ll want to let your soup cool for a while. A good rule of thumb in our house is that if you can hold a finger in that bowl of soup without it feeling uncomfortably hot, then it’s safe to stir in that live cultured food. More often than not on these cold days we’re ready for a piping hot bowl of soup, though, so eating them separately works well for us.