"From Scratch" Food

Our Soup Template List

Porridge:  thick and smooth, blended grains or blended veggies, bean milk or water base.

Parmentier:  potato-based, smooth  by mashing or blending , usually served warm as a soup or incorporated in another dish

Vichyssoise:  A creamy soup usually with potatoes and traditionally served cold with bean broth base

Borscht:  A sour soup, usually blended smooth, made from fermented vegetables but traditionally fermented beets and their juice.

Tourin:  A garlic based smooth soup thickened by tempering egg yolks.

Mulligatawny: curried smooth soup, traditionally made with a peppery base of broth and finished with a small amount of coconut milk.

Gramps and I created a quick list of the smooth soups that we use as templates for our dinner meals. These soups are international traditional favorites that are served in a variety of ways depending on geography, cultural, or religious celebrations. They each have key characteristics that can be honored as templates. Gramps comes up with the “mash-up” ideas and I do the gardening and cooking!


We will add new international soup types if they are accepted by Gramps as evening meal soup “keepers”.

Many family, friends, and community acquaintances who know Gramps believe that his “secret” of living so long while taking (even presently) very few daily prescriptions or over the counter medications is his strict adherence to moderation and schedule. Since he eats all foods in moderation and always has eaten this way, he can enjoy almost anything. In recent years, his digestion of dairy has weakened, so we always substitute dairy for non-dairy in kitchen recipes. A last very key point of Gramp’s daily life is his attitude of seeing “his cup always half full” and accepting each day for its hidden beauty.

"From Scratch" Food

Coffee creamer Lactose-free

After much experimentation, we came up with a delicious and nutritious blend that can be used for a coffee creamer and in desserts that call for milk.

The first step is to weigh out 130 grams of dry lima beans and rinse them. The next step is to fill the JoyaJoy G4 or comparable appliance such as a pressure cooker or stovetop pot, and add 6 cups of water. Place your lima beans into your cookware to soak for the day.

Once they have soaked (4 to 8 hours), turn on the heat and begin cooking. With the SoyaJoy G4, choose the setting “soaked beans.” When the beans are done, pour the “Lima bean milk” through the strainer and mix a quarter of a cup of sugar onto each quart of lima bean milk.

The last step in this process is to put a quart of lima bean milk in a high-powered blender with one egg yolk. The goal is that the egg becomes emulsified in the milk. The finished product is a mildly sweet and refrigerator-stable coffee creamer for about five or six days in the refrigerator.

When sugar is not added to the cooked beans, it makes a wonderful broth for soups and other dessert recipes.

This workflow should not be confused with Vietnamese egg milk that does not use any alternative “milk”. We are so happy with the lima bean milk addition to our coffee. Finally we have an alternative milk that allows the flavor of the coffee to shine through beautifully. Adding a highly beaten egg yolk makes this smooth “milk” a creamy addition to the coffee with no “beanie” taste whatsoever!

"From Scratch" Food

Hummus Soup

We made a gallon of hummus and then froze portions in pint size containers. This was a very simple job after the overnight soaking of the dry chickpeas and cooking them in this SoyaJoy G4 appliance.

We always have so much frozen portions of rich broth from boiling down bones of our lamb, pork, and rabbits. We cooked some carrots and onions in the broth and then mixed the thick hummus into this warm broth creating a thick soup. It was topped with crushed cornflakes and indeed very yummy!

"From Scratch" Food

Broth and Stock

There are a lot of “official” opinions about the difference between broth and stock. Leave yourself plenty of time if you plan to do a web search comparing stock and broth!

Because we have rabbits and sheep to butcher, we have plenty of meaty bones to boil down. When it is water and raw bones I call it “stock”. After I strain out of the cooled stock all of the bones, herbs, and veggies and I have a perfectly strained liquid,  I call it broth.

In our kitchen, we make bean broths for soup bases. Our beans and water are cooked, puréed, and strained to make a perfectly smooth soup base. We are believers of the extraordinary value of pulses and they are present almost daily in our soups.

This is what the FDA Food Standards says about broth versus stocks.






"From Scratch" Food


Although this category of soup requires cream,  we use a thick bean  broth and have been very pleased with the results. After trying a number varieties of white beans, we found good success with using Northern or Cannellini beans. We cook and purée them using 133 g of dried beans to 6 cups of water.

"From Scratch" Food

Borscht with Fermented Beets

Borscht recipes certainly have many variations over the web and in many cookbooks. However, recipes to make Borscht with fermented beets are not so common! The majority of recipes on the web address making the soup, made with either beet pieces or blended, with fresh beets.  From a limited amount of reading I was able to find, the original Borscht was made with fermented beets in either Russia or Poland.

My beets pictured above were fermented for 2 weeks before stealing from the jar for the Borscht. However, the fermentation brine was mature and strong from a previous ferment so they tasted sour and ready for the soup after the two weeks.

To offset the sourness somewhat, I blended the beets and brine with a bean broth with onions, garlic, and salt.

While this creamy soup was slowly warming, a batch of whole wheat sourdough breadsticks went into the oven.