Vintage Simplicity: Nourishing Alphabet Soup

alphabetsoupToday I’m taking a little break from my regularly scheduled program. Although I have a lineup of posts already planned, and some posts almost entirely finished … I’m throwing out to all of y’all some of the real, home cooked simple food I really prepare for my family. You see, fairly often I really suffer with lack of inspiration. From day to day we don’t really eat anything super extravagant, in fact we typically eat a lot of the same meals over and over again. Most of the time, we even eat something a little different from one another because we all have different tastes and “opinions” about dietary choices. When it comes to writing here, I struggle with fine tuning my voice. I get awful frustrated, and burned out from trying to keep up with the pretentious blogs and the “health food” propaganda. There’s been so many days I know that I should update, but I really don’t care to write because I over analyze and over think everything. Do I want to be that thorn in someone else’s side? Do I really have anything to say that my readers would value? Mediocre pictures, bad lighting … the world will end !!!

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Okay, so maybe the world won’t end but I feel like I just can’t find my  zen, with blogging, with life. I furiously try to ignore other peoples opinions and pave my own path, and share my own view.  I want to express uniqueness, I wan’t to be me without sacrifice. This blog didn’t start off as “work,” but I’m finding that posts are a fairly time consuming, laborious task that involves hours of typing, deleting, thinking… and retyping. This wasn’t always the case but over the years things have really changed. I find myself in ruts, grudgingly trying to scrounge up something to post about. When you try to cut out entire food groups, or when you’re struggling with your shrinking pants, testing new cake recipes is the last thing you want to do. Most days I eat the same thing and usually it’s something along the lines of vegetables, protein, done. Exciting right? I tend to avoid making new recipes and treats especially because I’m afraid my picky eaters may not like it. I don’t want to sway from my own routine and I won’t waste food. Although I would like to always share “new,” innovative recipes with my readers, I find that time and time again the simple food is what perks the most response. Maybe it is because other’s find themselves in the same situation as me, maybe people generally prefer simple idea’s to inspire them? 

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So for a moment, I wan’t to strike the OCD from my brain and share something my kids love, alphabet soup. Vintage, soul soothing soup really hits the spot and the only way I can get healing bone broth,  let alone soup into my kids is with hard core, old school ABC goodness.  We’ve had a run with a nasty flu this past week and although we are all in different stages of recovery, both of my boys were down with a bowl (or three) of yum. I grew up with the classic red label tins of soups packed with sodium, MSG and preservatives. Although that stuff is virtually nutritionally valueless, I remember it as always being a treat. Soups are so humble and nourishing, but most of all comforting to us when we need it the most. My oldest son requested alphabet soup for the first time a while back. I searched and searched for the best quality pasta, and what we’ve been using is a high quality organic pasta that uses only wheat and vegetable extracts for color. I kind of wish I could find a rice pasta or sprouted pasta in the letter shapes but due to the delicate size, I don’t imagine that is something I will find. I came across this recipe that uses cookie cutters and zucchini to form letters that is really quite ingenious but seeing that I need to prepare the sickies their lunches in a jiffy, the boxed natural pasta is what I turn to. (One box has prepared several pots of soup) With MarrowNara and bone broth already prepared, this quick, comforting meal comes together in practically no time. It’s a real treat for me to be able to see my boys perk up from their bowls, happy to have comfort food to sooth their upset, achy bellies.

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 Nourishing Alphabet Soup

This is particularly amazing to kids due to the fierce alphabet shaped pasta’s. The soup base can be used with or without pasta and you can add beans and/or meat as well. It’s best to toss in a variety of diced veggies but I always tend to make this soup when the cupboards are bare. I typically have carrots… and maybe peas.  (Zucchini, peas, mushrooms, carrots, celery, and potatoes offer some bulk as well as vitamins.) You can easily vary this recipe to suit your own tastes, everyone in my house has their own way they enjoy it.

Soup Base-

  • 1 1/2 cups Bone Broth -or- another stock/broth of choice
  • 1 1/2 cups Bone MarrowNara -or- marinara/jarred tomatoes of choice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried minced onions
  • Celtic Sea Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup of water or more to thin the soup. Water and seasonings will vary depending on what kind of stock and marinara you use. More water is especially important if you are using a heavily seasoned, condensed stock. 
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or grass fed butter to finish the soup

The Goodies-

  1. Bring soup base ingredients to a gentle boil in a medium sized soup pot. (approximately 2 quarts) 
  2. Stir in diced vegetables and pasta and simmer until the pasta is soft.
  3. Stir in butter or coconut oil, this adds a little richness and healthy, nourishing fat.
  4. Serve hot with chopped fresh herbs, Add more seasoning as needed. (stocks and broths vary in seasoning, if your soup broth is particularly bland add dried Italian herbs and garlic to taste.)

Note: Tomatoes are pretty acidic and dairy isn’t so great when you’re fighting a bug, omit the tomatoes and use coconut oil if you are preparing this for someone who is… erupting.

4 thoughts on “Vintage Simplicity: Nourishing Alphabet Soup

  1. May 22, 2013 at 5:37 am

    A lovely and fun soup! Warming and comforting too…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. May 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    I totally understand what you mean by your blog becoming difficult and time-consuming. The only advice I can give you is that you should be writing what YOU want to be writing and working on recipes that you are passionate about, which is, I’m sure, why you started blogging in the first place.

    And to help with the lack of inspiration, I find it helps to keep a list of recipes/ingredients you’d potentially want to write about (and eat!).

  3. Erin
    February 8, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I hope you have moved past the funk you described, but I understand it completely! I abandoned my blog for similar reasons and am having the same feelings about cooking in general right now. If it isn’t new and exciting and fitting all my ideals, then I don’t even want to do it. But nourishing alphabet soup is exactly what I need in my family right now. Nourishing soup because we’re all trying to get over colds and bugs and alphabet because my almost 3 year old will go nuts over letters in his food! He’s never experienced the concept before, but I picked up a bag of alphabet pasta I happened across.
    So, a new reader came by your place, not because of something you were anxious about making perfect for readers, but something simple and nourishing you made for your family.

    1. Cat
      February 12, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Thank you for such kind words! Sometimes simplicity is easiest and best for everyone involved. (especially when kids are involved)

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