UPC’s Sopa Levanta Muertos – Morning Soup
I’m tired today. I had a great weekend, with some excellent social time, and a few really top-notch workouts! Of course, there’s always another side to every story – with the “great social time” here in the NYC area, usually comes late nights, loss of sleep, and a hard time getting back on the regular-work-hours bandwagon. That’s true enough for me today. That’s doubly true for my wife, who is definitely not a morning person! In general, I treat her really well in the mornings. I let her sleep a little bit longer than when the alarm goes off, I get up and make her fresh coffee, and even make both breakfast and lunch before we both head off to work. And she’s every bit as complimentary and grateful as you might expect from someone receiving that level of service! Lately, though, it’s been difficult for her to get moving, despite that most mornings she gets her coffee served to her in bed. The floor is cold because it’s winter time, there’s no sun up, because it’s winter… All told, she has a really difficult time finding the motivation for getting moving in the mornings.
Enter the Morning Soup: Sopa Levanta Muertos
So, to help her get moving, and to make breakfasts more seasonably friendly, we’ve switched from our normal Breakfast Salads that we have most of the year (or the occasional eggs and bacon, of course!) to eating the Morning Soup mentioned here in today’s post. I’ve begun to start heating up a pot of soup as I make the coffee, so that it’s ready for her once she’s out of bed and moving around. She’s enjoying the soup so much that it’s really getting her motivated to get up! She’ll come into the kitchen and instead of asking “What’s For Breakfast?” she’ll start with “Soup?” How could I say no?!?
At least once per week, she’ll grace me with a story of her childhood where her family used to make a soup like this for breakfast. In her family, the morning soups that they made following a recipe similar to mine below were called “Sopa Levanta Muertos” – which is spanish for “Soup that raises the dead”. What a name to give a breakfast!! It surprises me, to some extent, that we here in the good ole US of A have somehow forgotten soup as a breakfast food. We do porridge, oatmeal, and other various versions of grains, sweeteners, and hot water. But we don’t seem to do soup. This is surprising because there are a lot of cultures which do include soup as a normal part of their breakfast foods. In fact, I honestly didn’t really know that until I started making this soup for my wife, and she started telling me stories of her eating soup for breakfast as a kid. I brought it up with my parents, and they immediately had some stories to add to the mix. I’ve been astonished by the number of soup for breakfast stories have started to pop out of the woodwork as I’ve been sharing this with them. So, here I am sharing with you.
Question: What “Soup For Breakfast” stories do you have in your family legacy, or experience otherwise?
There are some tricks to making this as good as it is, and as healthy and “moving” as it can be. And while these tricks might not seem like much, they’re well supported by all of the stories that I’ve been hearing since I started to do this.
First: Make more than you’re going to eat in the first version of the soup, and keep re-using the soup base every morning. As you add to the soup, the broth will become thicker and much more nutritious.
Second: Make this a “Bone Soup” – where you boil in your leftover bones from bone-in steaks, bone-in pork chops, and even the larger bones of your chicken meals; especially the leg bones. And then keep the bones in there as you re-heat the soup day after day. The beneficial nutrients of the bones will slowly leach out into the soup broth, and you’ll be consuming all those great quality bone minerals!
Third: To whatever extent you’re willing, cook some of the vegetables and mushrooms into the soup the night before. I know this can seem a bit tedious (though it’s really not bad to do it while you’re making the rest of your dinner), but it really does make a difference!
Making a soup fresh, from scratch, in the morning will be a great way to get the day started. You can load it up with high quality meat, fats, and vegetables, and enjoy eating it at your leisure. It will warm you from the inside out, and leave you feeling ready for anything. And by following the above 3 steps while making your soup, to whatever extent you can, will result in an even better soup than if you just make it from scratch! Now, I obviously don’t heat my soup up every night. But on the nights that I’m working with the higher-starch vegetables and mushrooms, if I remember, I’ll bring out the soup, refresh the water and add some spices, and add the mushrooms and veggies to the mix. It’s a great way to ensure that the soup the next morning will be a top-notch morning soup!
UPC’s Morning Soup “Levanta Los Muertos”; how to make it:
- 6 cups water
- 2 half-lb Chicken Thighs (frozen works just fine, but try to get organic and free-range)
- 1 large Zucchini, chopped
- 2 medium Carrots, chopped
- 1 medium Sweet Potato, chopped
- 1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1 cup Celery, chopped
- 4-6 Crimini Mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil (or Coconut Oil)
- Spices: Fresh Basil, Italian Seasoning, Turmeric, Sea Salt
- Optional Bones: Beef Bones, Pork Bones, Large Chicken Bones
- Optional Veggies: Chopped Roma Tomatoes, Chopped Bell Peppers
- Optional Spices: Chile Pepper or Paprika, Thyme, Rosemary, Ginger (fresh or powdered), Garlic (fresh or powdered)
- The night before: Bring the water to a boil with the chicken thighs, spices, onions and mushrooms.
- If you have some bones to add, add them here too.
- Once the water is at a boil, turn it off, cover it, and store it in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning: As you start to get moving in the morning, take the soup out of the fridge and put it on the stove at medium heat, covered.
- Add the vegetables 15-20 minutes before meal time and let it continue to cook covered until meal time.
- Now serve and enjoy!