“She’s funny and kind, with plenty of backbone, a quick laugh, and a generous spirit.” – Melissa Joulwan, (about Simone Miller, author of ‘Paleo Soups & Stews’)
I’ve long had a wee bit of a girl-crush on Simone Miller and her fabulous blog, Zenbelly. And, while I’ve never actually met her, I feel like she’d be exactly as Melissa describes her… The kind of woman who has those wonderful, straight-up qualities you look for in a really good girlfriend, who happens to cook bloody well, too!
If you’re (as yet) unfamiliar with Simone, she a chef. And, while there are some seriously good home cooks and recipe developers in this wee corner of cyber-land, there’s just something about a professionally trained chef that sets them apart when it comes to how they approach cooking. Simone has a very pragmatic approach – she’s practical and relatable. I like how she she writes – it’s not fussy and she has a sense of humour. Best of all, her recipes always work.
Simone’s first book, ‘The Zenbelly Cookbook‘ (which I reviewed way back in August 2014) remains one of my favourite cookbooks, and one I turn to regularly for inspiration. And, believe me when I tell you I have a lot of cookbooks. David calls them my ‘porn collection’.
Simone is also wholly responsible for teaching me to cook the perfect roast chook. A very necessary addition to any home cook’s repertoire.
But, today I want to talk to you about her latest book – ‘Paleo Soups & Stews‘ – a collection of over 100 recipes for every season. And, don’t be mislead by the title – this is not a winter-only cookbook.
Some things I especially like about ‘Paleo Soups & Stews’
- There’s a whole bunch of ‘basics’ at the beginning – perfect for the inexperienced or beginner home cook, but there’s something for everyone. I’m eye-ing up the Pho Broth and Classic Beef Pho recipes for when the weather cools down a little in this neck of the woods.
- While the cookbook is not dedicated to AIP, there are heaps of AIP-friendly recipes (44) and a even more options for when you’re ready to start your reintroductions.
- There’s a whole chapter dedicated to blended soups (my very favourite sort of soup, as evidenced by My Favourite Root Vegetable Soup which I’m always banging on about). Blended soups are a fab’ breakfast option when you’re following the Autoimmune Protocol. They generally freeze well and can be re-heated in no time at all, providing a wonderfully nutrient dense start to the day.
- There are recipes that aren’t AIP that I’m so modifying to fit my dietary needs. I’m talking about you, Caldo Verde (Portuguese Potato Soup which I’ll make with white sweet potato and AIP-friendly sausage!)
- There’s a GREAT idea for a get together – a ‘build your own ramen’ party, with all the ingredients!
- There’s a WHOLE chapter dedicated to chilled soups which are, in my opinion, a highly under-rated ‘thing’! Green Gazpacho – now we’re talking!
- There’s a fab’ little recipe for frizzled leeks which, as a massive leek-lover, I adore!
- There’s a whole chapter titled ‘On the Side’. Breads, crackers and the like. And some of them are actually AIP-friendly!
- And, just when you thought there couldn’t be any more, there are a number of seriously scrummy sweet soup options. Another highly under-rated ‘thing’! Crushed Strawberry Soup, anyone?
And, if you’re the type of person who wants hard numbers on just how much bang for your buck you get, well here you go:
- Total recipes – 111
- AIP-friendly recipes – 44
- Low carb’ recipes – 66
- Egg free recipes – 89
- Nut free recipes – 95
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Just in case it’s of interest to you…
Down here at the bottom of the world, I pick up my cookbooks through the Book Depository because they offer FREE shipping.
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The Recipe: French Squash Soup With Pears and Herbes de Provence
Simone has kindly given me permission to share one of my favourite recipes from her latest cookbook offering – her French Squash Soup with Pears and Herbs de Provence. Of course, it’s always hard to go past a good pumpkin (or squash!) soup – but, this baby has a little bit of extra ‘oomph’ with the addition of the pears and herbs. It adds a complexity that I love – and I’ve been having this soup for breakfast lately (with a little shredded brisket and some kraut as a topper).
Just one small piece advice – please carefully read the labels of any herb packets. Herbes de Provence can sometimes include unexpected seed spices. I like to make my own 100% friendly AIP Herbes de Provence blend using this recipe from my mate Sophie over at A Squirrel in the Kitchen.
Here’s the recipe:
Reprinted with the permission of Simone Miller
- 2 medium butternut, acorn or kabocha squash, or a combination
- 2 tablespoons melted ghee or avocado oil, divided (use avocado oil for AIP elimination)
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (omit for AIP elimination)
- 1 large onion
- 2 pears, peeled cored and diced
- 6 cups chicken bone broth
- 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
- Fresh tarragon, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 220°C / 425°F. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush the cut sides with 1 tablespoon of the fat and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt (and the pepper if successfully reintroduced). Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet and roast for 60 to 75 minutes, until very soft. Set aside to cool.
- About 15 minutes before the squash is done roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. When the fat is hot, add the onion and the remaining teaspoon of salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and softened. Add the pears and cook for another 5 minutes.
- When the squash is cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and add it to the pot with the onions and pears. Add the broth and herbes de Provence and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until the pears are very soft.
- Puree the soup in batches in a blender until smooth. Garnish with tarragon, if desired.
Pressure Cooker Instructions: Instead of roasting the squash, peel and cut it into large dice. After completing Step 2, transfer the onion and pears to a pressure cooker. Add the diced squash, salt, pepper, chicken broth, and herbes de Provence and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes. Quick-release the pressure and proceed with Step 4.
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ENTER TO WIN A PRINT COPY OF ‘PALEO SOUPS & STEWS’ by SIMONE MILLER.
Simone has kindly provided me with a copy to give to one lucky reader.
There are 2 easy steps to enter the giveaway –
1. Subscribe to my newsletter. Either signup HERE or click the link at the top right corner of this page. If you already receive my newsletter, you’re good to go! No need to sign up again.
2. Leave a comment on this post telling me just why you’d like to win a copy of Simone’s wonderful cookbook.
A Couple of Things to Note:
This giveaway is open to Australian and New Zealand residents only. I know that’s frustrating if you’re further north! So often down here, giveaways are limited to US residents – so, I’m continuing to turn the tables.
The winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, 19 January at midday Australian Eastern Time.
Please note the giveaway is no longer open.
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Just starting my AIP journey so would love some inspiration! Thanks for the opportunity to win!
Hey Sharon – good on you for taking the plunge!
Good luck in the giveaway!
Thankyou for the review. This book looks like a keeper for me . It’s now on my list of cookbooks to be aquired.
Hey Lorelle – Simone’s first cookbook – The Zenbelly Cookbook remains one of my favourites. i have no doubt this one will reach those giddy heights, too!
I will have a look at this one too now. Do you know of any other books particularly AIP low carb as I don’t do very well with them?
Lorelle – check out Kate Jay at Healing Family Eats. She lives a low-starch AIP life, I think.
You had me at “frizzled leeks”! Leeks are divine. And it doesn’t have to be a special cold soup for me as any left over hot soup I always eat cold- not sure why (I might be too lazy to heat it up) but tastes good cold to me!
Felicity – small admission: you are not alone. I’m a fan of the cold hot soup, too. We can be lazy-but-nutrient-dense together!
I’ve been following Zenbelly for a long time and LOVE everything Simone does! I love soup, eat Paleo and am always looking for new and delicious ways to use my homemade bone broth!
Jessica – me, too!
Hi Joanna, I’d love some AIP soup and stew inspiration, without nighshades… and the AIP breads and crackers on the side would be wonderful! Thanks, Melanie
Aye – nightshades are a killer, aren’t they? For me, too.
Best of luck!
I know – so worn out making all this deliciously nutritious food 🙂
Oooh wee! I’d love to add this beauty to my cookbook collection as I’m struggling to consume straight bone broth anymore and any ferociously delicious ways of hiding it I greatly desire!
With all the kombucha you must be drinking, I’m not surprised! How are you?
I have a thing for recipe books and this sounds like a good one. I think I get as much pleasure looking at pictures of food and dreaming about all the yummy things I want to cook as I do actually cooking and eating from them
Yep – you’re officially addicted to food porn!
Good luck in the giveaway, Patricia.
Thanks for the chance to win!! We eat mostly paleo and are about to travel Australia for the next year or two with a camp oven as our main source of cooking.. to have some receipes (soups and stews are perfect for a cast iron pot!) to feed my tribe and keep them well would be amazing!!
How exciting for you and your fam’, Hayley! Are you going to NZ, too?
Good luck in the draw (and with your BIG adventure!)
I’m having to get really serious about the healing foods – my she’ll be right attitude isn’t quite cutting it anymore. Soups & stews have always been a bit of an Achilles heel with me so I’d love the extra inspiration!
Gwenda – congrats for making the commitment to get serious. Nobody cares as much about your health as you do!
Good luck in the giveaway.
It’s good to have variety in recipes, I can tend to do the same recipes over and that gets monotonous.
LOTS of variety in Simone’s Paleo Soups & Stews, Janiece!
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