Roasted Cauliflower Soup

cauliflower soupIn the late 1980’s, my family moved from a small island off the coast of Juneau, Alaska, to a town in West Texas.  We went from constant rain, mountains, ocean, icebergs and black bears to hot, dry, flat, dusty, tumble-weedy  ol’ West Texas.  Talk about culture shock!  The sunsets  were amazing, though, and the thunderstorms were terrifically terrifying. beautiful.
Alaska…so beautiful.
West parched.
West Texas…so parched.

Since the majority of our food came in on a barge from Seattle, most of the “fresh”, exorbitantly-priced produce spoiled before it even hit the shelves of  the grocery store, along with the milk and bread.  (My mom baked bread every week for this very reason. It was heaven.  We also had to drink powdered milk, which was…not heaven.  It was disgusting.)

When we made our cross-country move from rainy Alaska to parched West Texas, we finally had access to endless access to fresh veggies.  You can imagine my mother’s joy at perusing the produce section and picking up almost any vegetable her heart desired and being able to feed it to her decidedly unenthusiastic children.  Cauliflower was one of those veggies.  I had never tasted it up to that point in my (very) short  life.  And I hated it.  Cauliflower was my mortal food enemy.  Steamed, sauteed, hidden underneath a pile of cheese…ick.  I just couldn’t stomach it.

Something changed.

A few years ago, I mashed it up with all kinds of delicious dairy products.  (Dairy makes everything better.)  It became like potatoes, but better.  And remarkably less healthy.  I now have a full-blown love affair with the pungent white veggie called cauliflower, and try to find any way I can to make it in delicious and healthy ways.  It’s a great substitute for potatoes, rice, and even pizza crust.

Over at Elena’s Pantry, I found this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Soup.  I tweaked it to suit my own tastes and method, and it turned out wonderfully.


  • 1 head of cauliflower, de-leafed and cut into thick slices.
  • 4 Tbsp of olive oil or ghee
  • 2 quarts chicken or veggie stock
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • S & P
  • Paprika
  • Micro greens or finely shredded kale


  1. Slice cauliflower into 1″ pieces. Drizzle oil on both sides of the cauliflower.  Go ahead and rub it in a little.
  2. In a large glass or ceramic baking dish, lay slices of cauliflower down flat.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and add 1/2-3/4 cup of water to dish.
  4. Toss it in the oven at 350 degrees for a good hour, and go do something else. Like paint a portrait.
  5. After the cauliflower is nice and brown and tender, take it out of the oven.
  6. In a large soup pot, add 2 Tbsp of ghee or olive oil (I prefer ghee), and saute onions and shallots until soft and golden brown
  7. Add stock and water (and a tiny bit of Better Than Bouillon if you have it), bring to a boil and  add cauliflower.
  8. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 10-20 minutes
  9. In small batches, puree your soup in a blender until smooth.
  10. Put your pureed soup back on the stove in the stock pot on low heat, then add a little black pepper.
  11. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with paprika and olive oil, then pile high with shredded kale or micro greens.

I love that there is no dairy in this soup (with the exception of the optional ghee), and it’s so satisfying and rich.  It feels like it should be bad for you, but it’s not.   In fact, it’s GOOD for you.  And it tastes phenomenally better than powdered milk.  Trust me.

And if you want to bastardize it and add cheese and bacon, it tastes more like a hearty, wonderful baked potato soup and you’ll eat ALL of it.

Perfect Chicken Soup

PerfectChickenSoupLiving in the Pacific Northwest, the weather goes from very dry during the summer to very VERY wet during the winter.  And that transition is usually during two weeks we call “Fall”.  The leaves change overnight and are on the ground two days later.  Then it rains for months.

I’m not one of those people who hates the rain.  In fact, I enjoy the rain.  I find that I’m actually most productive on a rainy day because I’m more contemplative, and tend to dig in a little deeper to whatever I’m doing.  When the sun is out, I want to be out with it, so summer isn’t exactly my best season to get stuff done.  But there’s something soul-settling about the first big rain of the winter.  The accompanying darkness?  That’s a different matter altogether.  I hate the 4pm sunset time and needing lights on all day long.  But that’s another post.

As soon as the rain begins, my desire to make soup appears out of nowhere.  Colds, flus and other seasonal ailments also appear out of nowhere, and there is nothing more nourishing, healing, and comforting to me than soup.  So, be prepared.  You’re gonna see more than one soup here this winter.

The key to successful chicken soup is keeping the flavors clean, layered, and full of nourishing ingredients.  If you can afford an organic, free-range chicken, be sure to get one!  If not, you’ll still get tons of great flavor and health benefits, so don’t let it stop you.

I’m also sharing my secret ingredients.  But you have to promise not to tell.  Here they are: Roasted garlic, fresh lemon, and apple cider vinegar.  All of these ingredients provide a big immunity boost and add layers of flavor. The sweet, pungent flavor of the roasted garlic is delightful, and the acidity from the lemon and ACV make the whole soup bright and light on your tongue.

Perfect Chicken Soup

1 whole organic chicken
2 quarts organic, free-range chicken broth
3-4 carrots, chopped
I bunch of celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 bulb garlic, roasted and crushed
3 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (optional)
3 Tbsp ACV
Juice of one large lemon
2-3 quarts of organic chicken stock
Chopped cilantro or parsley (optional)
1 zucchini, shredded (optional)
1 pkg brown rice pasta (optional)

1) In a large stockpot, cover whole chicken with water, plus a couple of inches.  Add a tablespoon of ACV, the bottom, core, and top leafy part of the celery and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 40-60 minutes until chicken is cooked.
2) Remove chicken from stockpot and allow to cool. Strain cooking liquid, and add chopped veggies and cook until tender.
3) Add pasta and cook until al dente.
4) Debone and shred chicken and add to stock after veggies are cooked.
5) Add lemon juice, ACV and extra chicken stock. Salt and pepper to taste. Top with cilantro/parsley, zucchini, and serve.

Feel Better Broth

Photo of Feel Better BrothA couple of years ago, we visited friends and family in Texas over the holidays. I worked in a doctor’s office at the time and had managed to escape getting sick before our trip. I was so proud of myself for taking all the extra precautions to stay healthy because I really wanted to enjoy my time with the people I love the most in the world.

Did I mention I was also pregnant? Because I was. I had extra incentive to stay healthy because pregnant Carrie + air travel + sickness = misery. I was fine the day we traveled, but my immune system couldn’t hack the long plane ride and day of travel, plus the shockingly sunny warmth of Houston in December. I woke up the on Christmas Eve and felt retched. Stuffy head, chills, cough, and lethargy. I wanted to feel better fast. I looked longingly at the fresh cinnamon rolls coming out of oven, knowing sugar would suppress my immune system even more. I made a cup of tea instead and tried not to let the pregnancy/sickie/holiday blues overwhelm me. I decided I would try to restore some of my health through good, clean eating and be glad to be with my family. My sickness would NOT get the best of me.

I dug through my mother-in-law’s pantry, looking for something to help me feel better. After foraging for a few minutes, I found ingredients for a soothing remedy comprised of free-range chicken broth, garlic, green onion, lemon juice, and parsley.  It took 10 minutes to make, and I was able to sip it all day long. I perked up quickly, my head cleared, and I started to feel human again.

During the holiday season, we always stock up on homeopathic remedies, kombucha, Tulsi lemon-ginger tea, and detoxifying baths.  We also keep ingredients on hand to make a batch of the Feel Better Broth, because it is so delicious and fortifying. Chicken broth is excellent for the immune system.  There’s a reason why chicken soup is popular for colds.  It’s a scientific fact that chicken soup boosts immunity.  Green onion has been used to fight colds in Japan for centuries.  Garlic is a natural anti-microbial/bacterial and cleans out the liver.  Parsley is a natural detoxifier.  Lemon juice draws impurities out of the lymphatic system where cold and flu germs like to hang out and keep you sick.  It’s the first thing I make for friends or family who get the flu and they always feel better after a mug of it.

Food is medicine.  This broth is delightful, comforting, and soothing, and warm.  You’ll feel better, I promise.


1 quart free range chicken or bone broth
  • 1-3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  • 2 green onions, chopped (including white stem)
1 small lemon
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Bring broth, garlic, and white stems of green onion to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until garlic is soft.
  3. Add fresh lemon juice to taste.
  4. Put some fresh parsley and green onion in bottom of mug or bowl and pour broth over it.  (This method keeps it the greens fresh and optimal for consumption.)
  5. Drink up!  Keep it warming on the stove and put a lid on it.  Drink it all day.  Feel better.

Crab and Asparagus Bisque

Photo of Crab Asparagus BisqueI grew up on a lot of canned vegetables.  My family often struggled to make ends meet and eat a veggie-heavy diet living on an island in southeastern Alaska, and canned vegetables were a way to bridge both of those gaps. My mom always did her very best to feed us well, even when we were short on funds. (She also chopped firewood, which we used exclusively to keep us warm 9 months out of the year. She’s a remarkable and resourceful lady.)

As a special treat when I was young, my mom bought canned asparagus for me.  I loved it so much.  I would walk wistfully down the canned veggie aisle, gazing longingly at the Jolly Green Giant lording over those delicious green spears.  It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized that asparagus wasn’t grown in a can, and could be prepared fresh.  I almost went broke buying it.  Anytime I went out to eat, I ordered the asparagus.  If a dish had asparagus listed as an ingredient, I was sold.  On a shoestring budget during most of my 20’s, I would still manage to find money for a bunch.

What I didn’t know then is how great asparagus is for health. It’s full of Vitamins A, B12, C, D, K and loaded with inulin, which is important for folks who suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions. It is also a natural diuretic and helps prevent kidney stones. The benefits go on and on, but needless to say, this is a really tasty vegetable that packs a powerful nutrient punch. And yes, it makes your pee smell but that’s okay. Not every vegetable can be smart, sexy, nice, funny AND smell good.

A few weeks ago, I found asparagus on sale for less than $1 a pound.  Of course I bought way too much.  I bought enough to eat it twice a day for a week, which I’m pretty certain is the definition of “way too much”.  So, I got a little creative.  I oven-roasted it, pan-seared it, steamed it, added it to a salad.  And then I souped it.  Yep, “souped” is a word.  And I did it.  And it changed my life.


  • 2 lbs of fresh asparagus, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces (be sure to snap off the tough, woody ends first)
  • 1/2 small sweet onion, chopped finely
  • 1 small clove minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups organic low-sodium chicken broth
1-2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s Amino Acids
  • 4 oz of cream cheese (or roasted cauliflower puree for a creamy paleo-friendly base)
  • 4 oz lump crabmeat
  • (optional)
salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large saucepan or small stockpot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft
  2. Add asparagus and chicken stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Add cumin, red pepper flakes, Braggs, coriander, and celery salt
  4. Once asparagus is tender (but still bright green), transfer mixture to a blender, one cup at a time
  5. Blend each batch with 1-2 ounces of cream cheese (or the roasted cauliflower).
  6. Once blended, return to pot and heat over medium-low and add lump crabmeat. Continue to heat until warm enough to serve.  Be sure to taste it and add salt and pepper and any additional seasoning you might like at this time.
  7. Garnish with asparagus, lump crab meat, or Parmesan cheese.

Bieler’s Broth (Stable Table Style)

Photo of Beiler's BrothOne of my very first questions for new clients is “What do you eat for breakfast?”. They will often tell me they eat a green smoothie made from frozen berries, leafy greens, almond milk, etc. This is SUPER HEALTHY, right?

Eh. Kind of.

In theory, yes, green smoothies are full of fresh, healthy foods. However, smoothies are typically higher in sugar and are very cold. Yes, COLD. And do you know what our bodies hate? Cold breakfasts. In fact, this is the first piece of advice I give my clients: EAT A HOT BREAKFAST. Or at the very least, make it warm.

Why is a hot breakfast so important?

Imagine a campfire. You wake up, you build a fire to get warm, make your food, etc. You don’t typically need much heat during the middle of the day, unless it is very cold outside. You eat simple foods that probably don’t require cooking. In the evening, you build the fire back up again, making it roaring hot and make your dinner using the flames. The flames slowly wane and die out and as you get sleepy and go to bed. You wake up in the morning to ashes and maybe some smoldering embers. You then rebuild the fire and the cycle starts all over again.

Your digestive system is like that campfire. It needs warmth in the beginning of the day, for the flames to be built up deliberately so it can do the important job of digesting your food and converting it into the vital nutritional building blocks your body needs to function well. Pouring a cold smoothie on that fire would not only extinguish whatever smoldering embers remained from the night before, but would also make it nearly impossible to get a new, roaring fire going for the day. It would take a lot of heat, extra wood, and very careful, intensive tending. So, using this idea, a cold smoothie, (or even cold water or juice), first thing in the morning doesn’t make for a happy digestive system. In fact, it puts the fire out.

One of my favorite breakfasts, (besides cookies), is this green soup. Before I got pregnant and became a milk machine, I ate green soup every day for several months in the morning. Full of green veggies and fortifying chicken broth, it provides the perfect start to my day. Easy on the digestive system, it is incredibly warming. It’s also wonderful as a snack, or add a scoop of cooked quinoa or some shredded chicken for a heartier meal. If you want to boost your greens, add a handful of spinach, swiss chard or chopped kale. If you’re breastfeeding, be careful with this, though. Because of the cilantro and parsley, it can lower milk production. You can make it without the herbs and use greens instead. It isn’t quite as tasty, but it’s still satisfying.

To be clear, this recipe is not the traditional preparation of the soup. Bieler’s broth was meant to be cleansing, so the original recipe uses water instead of broth, and definitely doesn’t add the healthy fat of pastured butter or ghee. With this preparation, you still get all the cleansing benefits, but you also receive some vital nutrients that are easy to skip during the day. Like BUTTER.


  • 4 zucchinis (about 1.5 lbs), sliced
5-7 stalks of celery, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb string beans with ends snapped off
  • 2 small carrots, chopped (optional)
1 small bunch cilantro
1 small bunch parsley
  • 2 quarts of chicken broth (also, it’s easy to make your own broth)
2 Tbsp ghee or pastured butter (optional)
1 tsp cumin (optional)
Pink Himalayan Rock Salt to taste


  1. Put zucchini, celery, string beans and carrot into pot with chicken broth.  Cook until bright green, then remove from heat.
  2. Ladle cooked veggies and broth with parsley leaves into blender in small batches, and blend until smooth, or use an immersion blender and blend in the pot.
  3. Heat blended soup on medium low and add ghee, cumin, coriander.
  4. Salt to taste.  Eat immediately and refrigerate leftover soup for up to 5 days in tightly sealed jar.