Because Amy brought up the idea (and because she’s brilliant), and because it was seconded and thirded, I begin this day with Recipe Friday. I will try to post at least one new recipe per week.
I start with a two-fer, because the recipe is for Butternut Squash Soup, but one of its ingredients is bone broth.
A word (or two or many) about bone broth: If you are looking to improve your health, this is the number one most important venue to investigate and implement. Remember when great-grandma used to save those bones and simmer them for hours or days? Ever see those old-time movies, when someone was sick, and they brought calves foot jelly? There was something nutritious and healing in them-thar bones. I invite you to do some research on bone broth. There are many, many recipes to browse.
More words on bone broth: You can buy bone broth. Make sure it’s realio-trulio BONE broth, not the flavored broth that sells so quickly for flavor. I have found a true (I’m pretty sure) bone broth at Walmart: it’s organic (which I highly recommend) and I get the low-sodium (if I need salt, I prefer to add my own pink Himalayan salt); but the drawback is, they add sugar (ech!) and other stuff. Auuugh! Why, oh why??? Anyway, that one is my fall-back when I don’t have any left that I made myself, because it’s very reasonably priced. Walmart carries organic chicken bone broth and beef bone broth.
Every morning I heat a small pot of bone broth (2 servings) for us to drink after our morning coffee. I supplement: half bone broth, half filtered water, five shakes of pink Himalayan salt, and two scoops powdered collagen (I buy the Dr. Axe unflavored – pricey, but worth our health). It’s very soothing to sip, and excellent for gut health.
To make bone broth:
- Bones (with or without attached meat) You can use beef, chicken, or fish. You can use hooves, feet, or beaks. When I make mine, I usually use the bones from a chicken I roasted for dinner.
- Veggies (when I cut carrots, onions, and celery for other recipes, I save the cut ends in the freezer)
- Filtered water
- 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons salt (use the good stuff)
- Pressure cooker or slow cooker (a big pot on the stove doesn’t work well for this, since it cooks overnight)
- A stainless steel colander basket insert is handy. Put it in the pot prior to adding any ingredients. The ingredients all go into the colander; then, when finished cooking, lift the colander out and drain the broth back into the pot.
- (Extra note: Some people like to roast beef bones first, in the oven, to give the broth extra flavor. This is optional)
- Put the colander (if using) into the pot, and put the bones and veggies into it. Sprinkle a tablespoon or so of salt on.
- Add filtered water and vinegar. I use a pitcher to fill my pot. I add the vinegar to the pitcher; that way I don’t feel I have to stir the bones & veggies & water, and make a mess.
- If using a slow cooker, set it on low and cook for 24-36 hours. I have not had to add more water when I do this, but it’s a good idea to check your pot once in a while, to make sure it has enough water.
- If using a pressure cooker, cook for 5 hours:
- I use an Instant Pot. I can set on Soup for up to 4 hours. I do that, then, after it gets down to less than 3 hours, I add an extra hour.
- If you have a stove-top pressure cooker, keep a heat just enough to keep pressure for 5 hours.
- At the end of cooking, drain the veggies and bones out. I like to put a small cooling rack over my pot, then rest the colander on top of it, draining into the pot. If you don’t have a colander, use a slotted spoon to take out the bones and veggies.
- Let the broth cool.
- I like to add unflavored beef gelatin (organic) while the broth is still warm. It adds some nutritional oomph. When I make bone broth, it yields about ¾ of a gallon. I add maybe ½ cup of gelatin. I whisk it in, and whisk quite a few times as it cools, to make sure it’s all incorporated.
- Pour into canning jars. I use half-gallon size, and I get about one and a half jars full.
- Store in the refrigerator.
Butternut Squash Soup in the Pressure Cooker
Notes: I use the Instant Pot for this. Also, I like nutmeg a lot, so I add even more than the recipe calls for. I am sensitive to dairy, so I use rice milk. But butter – oh, yes, butter! And, this could be made in a pot on the stove, but it would take longer. I’m guessing 20 – 40 minutes to cook the cubed squash, depending on how small it’s chopped, and how big a pot you use.
This serves 5-8 people, depending on if it’s a main or side dish. Figure 45 minutes or so from start to finish.
- 1 medium butternut squash
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon powdered or grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- 3 cups bone broth
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups milk, cream, or half-and-half (I use rice milk)
- 4 small-medium potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled (rice, quinoa, or lentils would also go well; this would be a good way to use up left-overs of any of these)
- chicken, cooked and shredded (optional)
- Peel the squash, remove the seeds, and cut into cubes (1” or so).
- Chop the onion.
- In the pressure cooker (or Instant Pot insert), add the olive oil. Use the sauté mode or cook over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the squash, onion, and salt.
- Cook and stir until slightly roasted (10 minutes).
- Add the spices; cook and stir five more minutes.
- Add the bone broth.
- Fit the lid on, bring up to pressure and cook (at pressure) for 10 minutes.
- (If you are using potatoes: while the squash sautés, comes to pressure, cooks, and de-pressurizes, peel, cube, and cook the potatoes; they should cook in 10 – 15 minutes.)
- Do a quick-release of the pressure.
- When all the pressure is released, take off the lid. Use an immersion blender to blend up the soup.
- Stir in the butter, then the milk.
- Add the potatoes and the (optional) chicken. Add more bone broth or milk, if needed.
- Turn on the heat again, or use the sauté mode. Stir over heat until it’s hot.
Serve hot. Some good biscuits or a grilled cheese go well with this.