Broths and Kombu

Winter is the time of year when warming broths become a staple in our diets. They can used as the base for most any soup or stew, or sipped like a tea for an ultra immune-booster. Here are two broths that I've been making for years. Both are highly nourishing and so beneficial for proactively fighting off any pesky ailments that may float around the office during these colder months. What makes these simplest of broths so flavorful, yielding deep umami-like qualities to their texture and taste, is the addition of Kombu. If you haven't tried it, do look for it as it will change how you make soups and stocks for ever more. We like this sustainably harvested Sonoma Coast seaweed from Strong Arm Farm near us in Santa Rosa, CA. They harvest edible seaweed varieties which are abundant in the very cold and oxygen-rich waters of the Sonoma coastline. Strong Arm collects the seaweed early in the mornings during the months of June and July when the tides are low. The algae is triple-rinsed to remove the sand and then dried on screens in the sun. (image courtesy Strong Arm Farm)

Bone broth

Highly nourishing and can be used to add nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium to a variety of dishes. It is a classic remedy for colds and flus and supportive of the digestive tract, joints, skin, lungs, muscles, immunity and blood. Ingredients: 4 pounds organic chicken pieces or grass fed beef bones, ideally a mixture of meaty and knuckle bones 2 large carrots, cut into large pieces 1 onion, cut into large pieces 2 stalks celery, cut into large pieces 1 large leek, cleaned and cut into large pieces 3 cloves garlic 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns 2 tomatoes, quartered or 1-15 ounce can whole tomatoes 1 gallon filtered water ½ bunch parsley 3 sprigs thyme 2” piece of Kombu Directions: Preheat oven to 400 F. Place bones in a heavy roasting pan. Roast until brown, approximately 25 minutes. Place bones in a stock pot with vinegar and just enough filtered water to cover them completely. Bring stock to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Add vegetables and aromatics except parsley and thyme and simmer for at least 6 hours. Add more water as needed to keep solids barely submerged. Add parsley and thyme during the last hour of cooking. Check the level of the liquid from time to time, adding more water if the level drops below the bones. Skim as needed. Strain and skim fat. Allow to cool before covering. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 2 months. If freezing, be sure to leave 2 inches of head room in the container. Makes approximately 4 quarts of broth.


Mineral broth has more body and is more nutrient dense than plain vegetable broth due to the addition of booster foods. This broth helps the body stay alkalized and boosts mineral content. It can be used for soup, legume dishes, sauces or enjoyed as a therapeutic tea. I use this broth as the base of my Nettle Soup to reinforce the nutrient count, plus it just simply makes for a delicious soup! Ingredients: 1 - ½ large onion with skin, quartered 2 pounds winter squash or yams, chopped into 3” pieces, skin on 4 celery stalks 2 carrots, scrubbed and chopped 2 parsnips, scrubbed and chopped ½ cup shiitake mushrooms 2” Kombu ¼ cup dried Wakame 1 pound greens (spinach, kale, collards or chard ½ bunch parsley ¼ cup flax seeds (optional) Filtered water Directions: Fill a large stock pot with vegetables. Fill with filtered water to cover vegetables by 3 inches. Simmer for 2-3 hours. Add leafy vegetables and parsley. Cover with water by 2 inches. Simmer for an additional hour. Remove from heat. Strain, allow to cool and refrigerate. Optional: If drinking as a plain broth and not using in a soup recipe, add optional flax seeds during the last 20 minutes of cooking.