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One of the things you may encounter while doing the Introduction part of the GAPS Diet is that you may end up feeling bored with the food. Soup, soup and more soup. You may even begin to dread the thought of eating. This is not the best situation when you are working to heal your gut!
It is very important to enjoy the food that you are eating so here are some ideas to incorporate to make your next bowl of soup fresh and new.
Cut the Vegetables into Different Shapes
One thing you can do to stave off the boredom is to cut the vegetables in different shapes. Slice vegetables into thin or thick rounds. Dice, coarse chop, slice, the shapes and sizes are endless.
For example, if you're putting carrots in your soup, as you are selecting the carrots you will be using consider choosing slender carrots that are finger-sized, and then slice them very thinly.
Or you could divide the carrot in half, use the thin end to slice very thin and the thick end to cut into small cubes.
There are food processors that will dice vegetables and they are a wonderful tool to add some variety to your soup. Sometimes I dice everything going into the pot: carrots, onions [affiliate link], celery, squash, etc.
I also like to use my spiralizer to turn vegetables into long thin spaghetti-like strips. My favorite vegetable to spiralize is zucchini squash, but you can also spiralize carrots, onions, beets (easier to spiralize if you steam until fork tender), turnips, celeriac, etc. Leave the strips super long or cut into shorter strips.
If you don't have a spiralizer, a julienne sliceris another great way to get skinny strips of vegetables.
Consider using a potato peeler to make noodle-like strips of vegetables.
I love cutting cabbage in wide strips – this to me is very much like having egg noodles in my soup.
Maybe for one pot of soup you will make all of the vegetables diced, another pot you will make all of the vegetables in thin strips like noodles, or spiralized. You could make your soup with big chunks of vegetable or create a mixture of different sizes and shapes.
If you're cooking for children consider using special shape cutters to make the soup especially appealing.
Change Up the Taste with Spices
They say variety is the spice of life and if you've been through my Broth Challenge you received a free download with 25 different ways to spice up your broth. This of course works wonderfully with soup!
Here are two of my favorite ways to season broth:
Taco Seasoned Broth
- 4 cups broth
- 2 teaspoons chili powder [affiliate link]
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic or freshly crushed garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder, optional
- 1 teaspoon sea salt [affiliate link], or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper [affiliate link]
Cold Buster Broth Combo
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 4 cloves [affiliate link] fresh raw garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 4 teaspoons ground ginger [affiliate link]
Creamy Blended Soups
Blended soups are creamy and so delicious! A stick or immersion blender comes in handy for these soups, if you're not opposed to a few tiny bits and pieces. You may even find you prefer a little texture. For super smooth soups use a regular blender. If you are blending hot soup, do not fill your blender pitcher more than half full and be sure to use the blender lid and hold it down for an extra measure of protection. Not only do you not want to be burned by soup splashing out, but it can make a huge mess and no one wants to deal with that!
Add some Variety with Dairy
If you are on the GAPS Diet, there is a limit on the types of dairy you can have. Mainly properly aged cheeses, and 24-hour yogurt. Click here for a list of cheeses you can use. Properly fermented yogurt is very tart, but tastes suprisingly delicious added to soup. If you're trying to preserve the benefits of the yogurt's beneficial bacteria, consider having your soup lukewarm.
Experiment with the Temperature
There are plenty of soups that are eaten cold on purpose. Trialing this with your own GAPS soups can lead to more variety.
Healthy fats are an important component to GAPS but once in awhile it's okay to skim off the fat, especially if you want to try eating the soup cool enough that the fat hardens. If you don't like how it tastes lukewarm or cold, simply heat it up a bit more!
Use a Variety of Meat
My favorite broth is chicken, but that can become boring week after week. You may be on GAPS Introduction for a month and you're going to want some variety. Start with an easy pot of chicken soup, or maybe you want to try making chicken soup in your Instant Pot, but remember to oncorporate a variety of meat. Beef, pork, turkey, lamb and fish are readily available at most stores. If you have access to other kinds of meat feel free to experiment. Maybe your husband hunts and you have deer on the bone in your freezer, or maybe you can get goat meat on the bone where you live. On GAPS Introduction you want your meat well cooked, two to three hours minimum. Remember to save the bones because you can use them later on to make bone broth. Remove all the little bits and pieces of skin, cartilege, etc. and if you're a picky eater, or feeding picky eaters just blend these bits up until super smooth and add back into the soup. No one will know but you.
Also remember to change up the way you serve the meat. Leave it on the bone, remove from the soup and serve on the side so the meat can be picked off or eaten like a drumstick, or cut the meat into chunks, small dice or “pull” it with two forks into strips.
Presentation and Pretty Dishes
Last but not least, don't forget presentation. If there's one thing I've learned from watching Gorden Ramsay it's the importance of not only the way the food looks, but also the dishes. One of my favorite things to do is shop thrift stores for unique and pretty bowls and plates. I especially adore oval shaped bowls and plates.
A sprig of parsley [affiliate link], sprinkle of shredded cheese or dollop of yogurt can go a long way to make a bowl of soup look much more appetizing.
Remember that silverware and napkins can also make the meal look more appealing.
I would love to hear from you in the comments, let me know if this post has inspired you to come up with some new and fresh ideas for making soup!