I have been fighting off a few bugs recently courtesy of the usual round of fall colds that go around at school. Before my husband and I started to favor nourishing foods and activities, we would be floored with illness at some point during the cold/flu season. This year, both of us have been grazed with a stuffy nose – but thankfully we have been spared from the worst of it. Little Miles hasn’t gotten sick at all! I thank our steady diet of foods naturally high in probiotics (and the extra doses of Vitamin A for me and D for the little guy) for our newfound immunity.
Feeling truly nourished by the food that I eat and the activities I focus on is still a novelty for me. Even on days like today where I am feeling a bit run down, I have managed to keep most of my routine going without overtaxing myself or just giving up three minutes into my day. I truly think that this is possible only because I give myself lots of TLC – and it gets stored up for days like today when I need a little extra from the reserves. My immune system is working overtime, but I am not exhausted by it.
So my plan for a bit of extra nourishment today is my version of borscht made with homemade stock, kefir cream, and kvass with lovely local beets and cabbage. This is the soup that convinced my husband to tolerate beets, so it is definitely a powerful elixir. Enjoy!
Adapted from the recipe at Chow.com. Photo by Muffet (http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/), used under Creative Commons License.
- 1 lb beef stew meat cubed
- 2 quarts beef stock made from boiled veggie scraps and beef bones
- 6 red beets
- 1/4 head cabbage shredded, about 3 cups
- 1/2 cup dill minced
- 1/2 cup kefir cream* or sour cream
- Put the cubed stew meat into a soup pot over medium heat. Allow beef to brown on all sides to develop a good flavor. Then add the stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to release the awesome bits that might otherwise stay stuck to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 1-2 hours, or until beef is tender to your liking.
- While the beef is cooking, place unpeeled beets into a medium saucepan and cover with water. Cover and cook over medium heat for 40 minutes. (You can also accomplish this by roasting them, if you like – may take longer depending on the hugeness of your beets). When the beets can be easily pierced with a fork, turn the heat off and allow them to cool a bit. Then peel and cube the beets. Shred the cabbage too, while you’re at it. Add the veggies to the soup pot and simmer for 20 more minutes. Season with salt to taste.
- Serve in bowls garnished with dill and a dollop of kefir cream.
- *You can make kefir cream just as easily as regular kefir – just combine milk kefir grains and cream and store at room temperature for a day or two (depending on how kefir-y tasting you want your cream to be). You will know that it is ready when the cream has come to a slightly-less-than-sour cream thickness.