This winter just will not stop messing with us.
The latest trickery: March came in like a Lamb (73 degrees on March 1 here in NYC), and then immediately went into Lion mode; the temperature plunged 40 degrees in 36 hours and we’re back to full-on winter. I don’t know about you, but my body cannot handle 4 seasons in less than a week.
Right on schedule, I was knocked down by a head cold, and for the last few days I’ve been on a regimen of bone broth, soup, and turmeric ginger tea (this one’s my favorite – all of Organic India’s holy basil-based tea varieties are wonderful). I’ll just consider it a ‘seasonal cleanse.’
For years I’ve been making my own bone broths, buying pastured chicken’s feet, necks, and backs from a farm stand at my local greenmarket. And although I love the rich flavor and freshness of homemade broth, I don’t love turning my cozy NYC apartment into a meat sauna. So I was thrilled when a new butcher shop opened in my ‘hood and started selling housemade, 48-hour simmered bone broth that’s so gelatin-rich it passes the upside-down test with flying colors.
A couple of thoughts on bone broth. Although I eat a largely vegetable-focused, meat-sparing diet, I’m an omnivore. I try to listen to my body to find out what it needs at any given moment in time. Sometimes that means animal protein, but more often it means getting in a cup or two of nutrient-dense bone broth, or a bowl of bone broth-based soup.
Bones and cartilage, and by extension bone broth, are amazingly rich in collagen, gelatin, and minerals like calcium — nutrients that most of us don’t get enough of in our modern diets. A long-simmered bone broth is healing for the gut, the immune system, the skin – you name it. It also takes advantage of animal parts that have been largely wasted in a food system that has come to value easy-to-prepare muscle meat over more nutrient-dense (but less aesthetically pleasing) organ meats and bones.
Okay, so there’s my bone-broth spiel. Having said all that, if you’d prefer a plant-based version you can of course substitute homemade or packaged veggie broth for an equally delicious version.
Now onto something to do with that magical broth, other than sip it from a mug (which is also quite nice) — soup, of course.
I threw this little pot of soup together with some of my favorite immunity-boosting foods: garlic, ginger, chili pepper (jalapeño in this case), carrots, and leafy greens, adding silky and soothing brown rice noodles to bulk it up. Coconut milk and green curry paste infuse the broth with sinus-opening, belly-warming flavors. I always crave Asian flavors, particularly Thai curries, when I’m under the weather, hence the focus here.
With a simple, brothy soup like this I am all about the garnishes, so I pulled out all the stops for this one: pickled ginger, radish slices, avocado, gomasio (a homemade version based on my Two-Tone Gomasio, with dulse and dandelion leaf), purple basil microgreens from Good Water Farms, hot sesame oil, and lime wedges. So good.
So get that soup pot ready, winter’s not over quite yet.
Coconut green curry soup with brown rice noodles and greens
Serves 2 to 3
3 cups broth or stock of your choice (I used a locally made beef bone broth)
1 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1-inch piece ginger, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
4 ounces dried brown rice noodles (you can also substitute soba noodles)
1 teaspoon sesame or olive oil
2 cups greens of your choice (I used a mixture of baby kale and spinach)
juice of 1 lime
coconut aminos, to taste (or sea salt)
drizzle of hot sesame oil
thinly sliced radishes
roughly torn basil leaves or basil microgreens
Combine broth, coconut milk, and green curry paste in a saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Stir to dissolve curry paste. Add garlic, shallot, ginger, jalapeño, and carrot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until carrot is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.
Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water and transfer to a bowl. Toss with oil to prevent noodles from sticking.
Stir greens into soup and remove from heat. Add lime juice. Season to taste with coconut aminos or sea salt.
Divide noodles between 2 or 3 soup bowls. Ladle broth and vegetables on top and add garnishes of your choice.