Our favourite Chicken, Beef and Vegetable broths to support your vitality, as well as using the broth to make Nat's favourite homemade Chicken Noodle soup, which is perfect for when cold hits, or recovering from illness.
Bone broth or ‘Longevity soup’ as the Chinese call it, has been known for centuries to provide extra nourishment to support the vitality of the body . Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes that the Kidney system is the root of life, and that the Kidneys govern the bones. Therefore, the consumption of bone broth nourishes the essence of the Kidneys.
A strong digestion is vital for good health, foods eaten need to be able to be broken down and easily digested to allow optimal uptake of their nutrients, and the goodness of these foods is absorbed through our intestinal lining, this process happens more effectively if the digestion is strong. When it is weak, foods like soups, broths and stews aid in the restoration and revitalisation of what TCM refers to as the Earth element (Spleen & Stomach energy), which are in charge of transportation and transformation (T&T) of Gu Qi (Food chi) . Bone broth also releases glutamine which helps to strengthen the lining of the intestine, aiding leaky gut symptoms. Glycine also increases the production of stomach acid, this helps to breakdown the foods we eat so it can be easily absorbed.
Bone Broth is a fantastic source of Omega 3, it boosts the immune system helping you to ward off colds and flu's, it can help you sleep better thus giving you more energy. It supports the skeletal system, joints and muscles, strengthens the digestion and can help heal the gut lining, as well as help the memory.
A common question is which bones should I use and do I have to use bones? If you are low in iron, beef bones are more beneficial. If you have a weak digestion and general fatigue then chicken bones are better. The benefit of the bone is the yin and blood minerals that are supplemented through the breaking down of the bone and the marrow. However if you are a vegetarian, Nat's Chicken broth recipe allows you to substitute the Chicken bones and add a Chinese herbal soup pack we stock in the clinic which supplements the blood more proficiently. But vegetable broth still provides good nourishment for your qi with the nutrients from the vegetables, especially if you add vegetables that are suited to your pattern of imbalance, chat to your acupuncturist if you don't already have a list.
Lorna's Bone Broth
Bones grass-fed or free-range (preferably organic as this guarantees a broth free of added hormones and antibiotics, but just whatever suits your budget). Type of bones, chicken including the feet as they contain loads of gluten(optional), Knuckles, joints, marrow and you can add in some meaty ones like oxtail, Osso Bucco.
Onions, carrots, celery (optional)
1 bay leaf,
1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
It is best to blanch the bones especially beef for 10-15 minutes on simmer to help to remove impurities of the bones and leave you with a cleaner tasting broth, this may need to be done in batches.
Strain the bones and discard the liquid making sure you clean the pot well afterwards.
Put all the ingredients into a pot/slow cooker or pressure cooker (you may need multiple), cover with water and simmer for 6-12 hours (depends on your time and the pot you are using, keep adding water to cover the bones. Then season with salt and pepper to taste).
Strain broth into containers, I prefer 1L and slightly cool, then put it into the fridge to completely cool. Once cooled skim of the fat and strain again.
Now your broth is ready to put in the fridge for up to 5 days, warm up and drink 1-2 cups a day or make into a soup. You can freeze it for future use.
The longer you cook your broth the more it will break down the animal proteins and connective tissues, this plus adding Apple cider vinegar and slightly acidic vegetables such as carrots and celery will also help extract the goodness from the bones and marrow, the desired result of the liquid should be that is has a slightly glutinous consistency, which when reheated dissolves into a delicious smooth liquid.
Nat's Chicken or Vegetable Broth
4 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)
3cm ginger (roughly chopped)
1-2 onions (roughly chopped)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup dried shitake mushrooms or any mushroom available
4 celery sticks (roughly sliced)
3 carrots (roughly diced)
1 bunch of kale or spinach (optional, more bitter flavour)
4 cauliflower florets (chopped)
4 broccoli florets (chopped)
2 bay Leaves
1 capful of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sea salt
Optional: Grass-fed, free-range preferred chicken wings, drumsticks or thighs with bones in
Or Radiant Chi herb pack to bolster the qi and blood if not using bones
2.5-3 Litres of filtered water
Dice and prepare all vegetables.
In a large soup pot or slow cooker, sauté the onions, ginger and garlic in the butter, then add carrot and celery and cook off for about 3-5 minutes.
If adding chicken cook off for a further 3-5 mins at this point, before adding the rest of your chopped vegetables.
Add water, herbs (if using Radiant Chi herb pack), salt, bay leaves, vinegar and bring to the boil, before reducing the heat to medium-low.
Allow to simmer for 2-3hours, stirring occasionally.
Strain the vegetables to leave only the broth.
If chicken has been added, you will need to allow the fluid to cool slightly to spoon off any fat. You can also remove any of the stewed meat from the bones to shred back into a soup you make with the broth.
Add a splash of soy and pepper to taste if just use the broth to drink in the mornings, otherwise add to your favourite soup recipes, check out my Chicken noodle below.
Chicken Noodle Soup
2-3 cups of chopped vegetables of choice, my preference is carrot, broccoli, beans and mushrooms
Rice vermicelli noodles (or any noodle you enjoy)
1 tbs sesame oil
2-3 Spring onion
Nat's Chicken Vegetable broth
Optional: If you are in the early stages of a cold, flu or virus, adding some extra garlic and ginger is encouraged.
Boil the kettle and place your noodles of choice into a bowl and pour over hot water and allow to stand as per packet instructions, leave to the side and prepare your other ingredients.
Finely chop your ginger and garlic. Dice your vegetables into bite sizes (as you like them).
Warm the pan with some sesame oil and cook off the ginger and garlic, if adding, until you can smell the flavours, then add your vegetables to the pan to gently cook until they look shiny.
Grab a large soup bowl, strain off your noodles and place them into the bowl.
Add your vegetables and shredded chicken on top of the noodles.
Pour over enough warmed broth to cover the noodles, meat and vegetables.
Chop fresh spring onion, chilli and coriander and sprinkle over the top to your taste preference.
Eat and enjoy!