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GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.

Get Started On GAPS With This Easy Pot of Soup

Easy Delicious Pot of Soup

Dr. Natasha outlines the GAPS nutritional protocol on her website and gives a recipe for Introduction Soup, I’m going to convert that recipe into standard recipe format to make it easier to get started.

Please note there is a difference between meat stock and bone broth. Many people coming to GAPS assume they are making bone broth, but the process which Dr. Natasha describes on her site for making Introduction Soup is meat stock.  She has also answered a question regarding meat stock and bone broth in her Frequently Asked Questions page:

When making broth, is there any nutritional difference between shorter cooking times as described in the GAPS book and extended cooking times as recommended by WAPF? What about adding vinegar while cooking?

In the GAPS book I have described how to make meat stock. There is a difference between meat stock and bone broth. Meat stock is made with raw meat on a bone and it needs to be cooked just long enough to cook the meat thoroughly (2-3 hours), so it can be eaten, and so the bone marrow can be taken out of the bone and consumed. The meat stock made this way is usually clear and delicious, with an excellent nutritional value: it is particularly rich in amino acids. Bone broth is made out of bones which can be raw or cooked or a mixture (many people collect cooked bones from their meals, keep them in the freezer and use them for making the broth). In order to leach minerals out of the bones we add vinegar to the water. It is not necessary to add vinegar to the meat stock unless you need it for a particular taste. Bone broth may have quite a different nutritional composition from the meat stock and a different taste. Both are beneficial and should be used in GAPS diet.

Easy Pot of Soup or Homemade Soup Using Your Homemade Stock

  • 8 cups homemade stock (see recipes and more instructions below)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups cauliflower broken into small pieces
  • 2 zucchini squash, peeled and seeds removed (if any viable ones are present) and diced

Bring stock to a boil and add vegetables.  Once again bring to a boil, and then lower heat until the soup is on a simmer.   Cook for twenty to thirty minutes, testing the vegetables to make sure they are very soft, this makes them easier to digest.  Add in the meats and other soft tissues (you may wish to blend the soft tissues first so as to make the soup more palatable).  An easy way to make a nice creamy soup is to blend the vegetables and stock, and “soft bits” and then add in pieces of meat to the creamed soup.

Dr. Natasha says:

Add some probiotic food into every bowl of soup (the detail about introducing probiotic foods follow). Your patient should eat these soups with boiled meat and other soft tissues off the bones as often as he/she wants to all day.

Meat Stock

  • joints, bones, a piece of meat on the bone, a whole chicken, giblets from chicken, goose or duck, whole pigeons, pheasants or other inexpensive meats. (“It is essential to use bones and joints, as they provide the healing substances, not so much the muscle meats.  Ask the butcher to cut in half the large tubular bones, so you can get the bone marrow out of them after cooking.“)
  • water to cover
  • unprocessed salt to your taste
  • about 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, roughly crushed

Fish Stock

  • whole fish or fish fins, bones and heads
  • water to cover
  • unprocessed salt to your taste
  • about 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, roughly crushed

Basic Chicken Stock Simplified (here I will give you an actual recipe that I use based on Dr. Natasha’s instructions)

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 12 cups water
  • Unprocessed salt to your taste
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, roughly crushed

Bring to a boil. After one-half hour, remove the scum that risen to the top.

Continue to simmer for 2 to 2.5 hours. Remove the bones and meat to separate bowl, and strain the stock to remove small bones and peppercorns.  Separate the meat from the bones and other pieces.  Your strained chicken stock can be served to your patient, or you can make your first pot of homemade soup.

Basic Chicken Stock Intermediate (although Dr. Natasha says to start this from the get-go I found it hard to incorporate the “soft bits”, marrow, etc. immediately so I have separated the two basic chicken stocks)

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 12 cups water
  • Unprocessed salt to your taste
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, roughly crushed

Bring to a boil. After one-half hour, remove the scum that risen to the top.

Continue to simmer for 2 to 2.5 hours. Remove the bones and meat to separate bowl, and strain the stock to remove small bones and peppercorns.  Separate the meat from the bones and other pieces.  Your strained chicken stock can be served to your patient, or you can make your first pot of homemade soup.

Here’s the intermediate part. Remove all the soft tissues from the bones as best as you can to add to soups.  Soft tissues as I understand it are basically anything “soft” that could be blended.  Also, cooking the gelatinous soft pieces for a longer cooking period will cause them to completely melt.  Take care that you do not include any pieces of bone or hard pieces as you will cause the texture to become grainy which can be unpalatable.  Remove bone marrow from bones while they are warm, for chicken bones this would be accomplished by cracking open the chicken leg bones and thigh bones. If they are cooked long enough, they will simply crumble.

Dr. Natasha says about these stocks:

The gelatinous soft tissues around the bones and the bone marrow provide some of the best healing remedies for the gut lining and the immune system; your patient needs to consume them with every meal. Keep giving your patient warm meat stock as a drink all day with his meals and between meals. Do not use microwaves for warming up the stock, use conventional stove (microwaves destroy food). It is very important for your patient to consume all the fat in the stock and off the bones as these fats are essential for the healing process. Add some probiotic food into every cup of stock (the details about introducing probiotic foods follow).

Okay, now it’s time for homemade soup using your homemade stock.  Dr. Natasha mentions these vegetables specifically:

Recommended Vegetables for Intro Soups

“You can choose any combination of available vegetables avoiding very fibrous ones, such as all varieties of cabbage and celery. All particularly fibrous parts of vegetables need to be removed, such as skin and seeds on pumpkins, marrows and squashes, stock of broccoli and cauliflower and any other parts that look too fibrous. Cook the vegetables well, so they are really soft.”

  • Onions
  • Carrots (remove skin)
  • Broccoli (remove fibrous parts)
  • Leeks
  • Cauliflower (remove fibrous parts)
  • Courgettes
  • Marrow
  • Squash (remove seeds and in winter squash, the skin)
  • Pumpkin (remove seeds and skin)

Vegetables to Avoid for Intro Soups

  • Celery
  • Cabbage

It’s so easy to make a pot of soup and get started on GAPS. The healing properties of broth are enormous and if you are interested in learning more please go here to read a white paper which will tell you all you ever wanted to know about broth: Traditional Bone Broth in Modern Health and Disease by Allison Siebecker. She defines what broth is, explains the basic method for making it, describes the nutritional content from the connective tissue, bones, bone marrow, cartilage, collagen, gelatin, and then explains the amino acid profile of broth, and she discusses the minerals and macrominerals in broth. She also gives an extensive list of conditions which can benefit from adding broth into the diet.  Quite a complex and informative read about broth which I highly recommend.

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8 comments to Get Started On GAPS With This Easy Pot of Soup

  • I wonder if beets are ok. I made Dr NCM’s borscht recipe from the book last night and I love it. I’m redoing intro probably in December and I’m trying to gather more ideas. I know the borscht has cabbage – you could omit it and use the beet stalks and leaves (stalks might be too fibrous, though) instead (I have also used bok choy – again, leaves only for intro). I used all the green tops and stalks from the beets plus the cabbage so the soup was thick but sooo goood… I add crockpot meat (beef or pork) and pate and it makes an awesome lunch.

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    @Magda, personally I think if you have been doing GAPS for some time and do not have digestive problems that all the recommended vegetables are okay for subsequent rounds of introduction. If I were having a bout with flu or a stomach upset I would go back and do a few days of intro with non-fibrous veggies. Actually when I’ve done intro, I never paid close attention and I’ve always used celery *and* cabbage in my intro soups. But then again I don’t have obvious digestive issues (like stomachache, diarrhea, etc.). So… I think beets would be just fine on a second round of intro. I love how they color the soup and make it turn red. They do cause the soup to have a sweet taste if you use a lot I have noticed.

    [Reply]

  • Hello Starlene,

    This post is very well-done and clarifies much confusion about the difference between bone and meat stocks! Thank you!

    You have simplified the process for beginners, and I’ll definitely share this with those I meet who are getting ready to start on the GAPS Intro. I’m a Health Coach and will be educating my clients about this protocol, as well as others used for gut health (I believe it is a personal choice) in the future of my practice (just beginning to build the business now and hope to be in full swing by the half way point next year).

    Blessings,
    Beth

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    @Beth Wiles, hi Beth! I am glad you found this post helpful. I’m excited for you about your new business! Were you able to do GAPS Practitioner training with Dr. Natasha, or will you do so at some point in time? Of course it has to be a personal choice to do GAPS for gut health since it takes a lot of devotion and dedication! Thank you again for your nice comment!

    [Reply]

  • Terri Jo

    Have you ever considered using beef gelatin to add to the broth for protein? I was reading something regarding this on Dana Carpender’s blog http://holdthetoast.com (search “gelatin”)
    I contacted Now Foods about their gelatin and there’s is from beef hide with no attention to whether the animal is grass fed, etc. Now there is a brand that has 3 types of gelatin, one regular, one pork & beef, an the last is Kosher (beef only no pork). I have to go back to Dana’s blog to find it. At least I think I found it there, or somewhere? I need a map……

    [Reply]

  • Kim

    re making chicken stock – does it have to be a whole, raw chicken with meat on? I had a roast chicken last night and I was going to use the chicken carcass once the meat is all off to make stock but next time I could use the whole raw chicken if that is what it’s meant to be for this recipe. thanks, Kim

    [Reply]

    Starlene Reply:

    Hi Kim, I find the stock tastes best when there is some meat on the carcass. For the introduction part of the GAPS diet, you should start with raw, since roasting isn’t yet allowed until a later stage. But if you aren’t doing GAPS intro and are just making stock, go for the stripped carcass with just a little meat left on it. I hope that helps! ~Starlene

    [Reply]

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