“Natures cure-all for health and nutrition, with delicious recipes for broths, soups, stews and risottos”

This is the text located directly underneath the title of the book “Broth” by Vicki Edgson and Heather Thomas published by Jacqui Small. I like it. Regular readers will now that ordinarily I am an athlete competing in long distance triathlons but have lost my mojo currently and have enjoyed an excess of food and booze over the past 6 months. This has resulted in a gain of some 18 kgs which is not looking good. My clothes do not fit, I feel fat and unfit. I have juiced in the past and found it to be very successful but did long to go through the process of cooking and enjoying hot food. Therefore this book might just be the catalyst to getting me back to a more healthy diet.

The authors start by describing how you can utilise broths in your daily meals to increase nutrition, boost amino acids and minerals as well as your general health. They detail in short paragraphs the benefits for gut health, bones, hair and their anti inflammatory effects. More detailed notes follow delving into the specific ways broth can aid your wellbeing through various stage of life from babies, to the menopause to later life.

What follows are 60 recipes taking in classic broths and soups such as light chicken broth, French Onion soup through to a Ramen and pheasant, lentil and cabbage soup. Continuing on from there are the stews, sauces and casseroles which came as a very welcome surprise. I suggest having the soups for lunch and then delving into the second half of the book for dinner. Here you will find enticing recipes for Stifado, Chinese braised oxtail, a Chilean pork cazuela, prawn laksa and risottos amongst a veritable mix of other equally delicious sounding dishes.

This is a book that sits near your kitchen on your bookshelf if not in it. It is one that will be used on a regular basis such is the quality and depth. Just looking at the sauce section at the back of the book makes me want to visit the butchers to buy some steak and cook it up along with green beans and the Bordelaise sauce shown in the photograph. This is what a food book should do – encourage you to cook and not just a light bed time reading.

The ingredients ready to make the roasted tomato soup with basil oil. I do not have any basil so substituted it for thyme which worked equally as well.

The ingredients ready to make the roasted tomato soup with basil oil. I do not have any basil so substituted it for thyme which worked equally as well.

The finished soup.

The finished soup.

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I also made the green pea and ham soup but deviated from the recipe quite a bit to work with the ingredients that I had.

I also made the green pea and ham soup but deviated from the recipe quite a bit to work with the ingredients that I had.