Monica was eating breakfast before her cranial-sacral class this morning, I was sitting on the kitchen couch drinking chicory and enjoying the sunlight. We were talking about the possible births she has coming up, as Monica is studying to be a doula and is going to be on call this coming week. We were talking about what foods she might be able to have with her that would be easy to grab and go. She could be stuck at the hospital for 10 or more hours at a time. A friend of hers is butchering a cow today, and I was suggesting that maybe we could make some jerky. Nut butters and carrots, other snacky types of foods came up. But I kept thinking about soup. Of course, after being summoned to the birth, one could stop at the co-op, wait in line, and get some soup that was made with great ingredients, but how much better would it be to have soup ready from home? Thawing frozen jars of soup in a hospital microwave? Well, looked it up, and it seems that it’s a better idea to freeze the soup in food grade plastic containers, dump it in a bowl, and then go from there.
This morning, there was already a pot of mostly-finished soup out on the counter that Monica had made two days ago, with sweet potatoes, parsnips, collard greens, veggie stock, preserved lemons, and onions. I had been making space in the freezer a few days ago, already having taken a big fat grass fed steak out of the freezer, and a big bag of stinging nettles that I boiled last Spring. I love it when I take things out of the freezer having no clear notion of what I’m going to do with them, and then the perfect use materializes!
So all I did to make this stew for Monica, was cut up the steak, season it with some rosemary that I ground in a mortar, fry it quickly in some coconut oil, sauté some more onions, and add some chopped up stinging nettles to the leftover soup. Ok, I’ll admit, I added some acorn decoction that I just happened to have simmering on the wood stove. Just a little extra touch of home, I couldn’t help it. Now I’ll pack it into yogurt containers… and it will be ready to go!
2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
1 sweet potato
water or veggie stock
greens of any kind (we used collards and stinging nettles)
1 large steak, any kind, preferably grass fed
about 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced, or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried, ground
at least 1 teaspoon salt
1-2 tablespoons Preserved Lemons, optional
Sauté the onion with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil and the teaspoon of salt until about halfway soft. While the onion is cooking, cut up the steak into bite size pieces. Grind up the rosemary in a mortar or in a spice grinder and roll the meat around in it, with a little more salt as well. Scoop the onions out of the skillet when done and set aside. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil to the skillet and brown the meat on all sides, scoop it out of the pan and set aside with the onion. Chop up the parsnips, greens, and sweet potato , put them into the pot, cover with water or veggie broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the veggies are cooked to your liking. If the greens are already cooked (as my nettles were), you can keep them out and add them at the end of the cooking time. Add the meat and onion right at the end so they don’t overcook. I like the meat to maintain a little bit of pink, and the onion just a wee bit of crunch, fussy creature that I am! And Monica agrees, although she’s not as picky about this particular thing…
If you like, add the chopped Preserved Lemons, or some chopped whole fresh lemon, rind and all. It adds a really nice Zing!
Taste, see if you want any more salt, or more rosemary, or cayenne, whatever you like!
Pack into freezer containers, or enjoy right away, for a most nourishing meal that will help sustain you through whatever challenges of the day and night are ahead !!