People often ask how in the world is it possible to make good soup without bones, meat or meat broth – so familiar traditionally and culturally.
Recent 35-year, landmark China Study with 8,000 people in 65 counties of China demonstrated that all degenerative illness could be either reversed or eliminated with a primarily vegetable foods diet, (containing a maximum 7% animal protein). One might think this would encourage us to reduce our consumption of animal foods, and would make soup without a meat base quite appealing.
In fact meat broth generally contains some animal fat and a good amount of uric acid – ingredients that stimulate taste, but gradually wear on the body as it processes the byproducts, by eliminating them as an acidic substance that can be measured in the urine with pH paper. The body is designed to operate more or less in an alkaline state.
“Alkalizing the body fluids (raising pH) is one of the single most important health regeneration benefits available as disease causing microforms (fungi, bacteria, viruses) cannot survive in an alkaline oxygenated environment.”
This explains one reason why, in seeking better health we might enjoy vegetarian broth, it’s lighter and easier on the body to process; and contributes to creating an alkaline environment, inhospitable to disease-causing microorganisms.
Going “meatless” is also a choice that is gentler on the Earth, as commercial animal food operations are responsible for up to one-fifth of total greenhouse gasses. Being eco-conscious, green-living and wise health practices are notable reasons for going vegan (using no animal products whatsoever) or vegetarian (no meat – yet consuming dairy and sometimes fish).
Beyond the above-mentioned reasons not to use meat, bones or meat broth, are the wonderful results of making delectable vegetarian/vegan soups with vegetables, herbs, spices, grains and beans. Historically soup has been a food easy to make with little bits of what we have left and a small budget. For gardeners, soup is a great place to throw bits and pieces of vegetables, bringing forth creativity, frugality, and the making of a large pot of something delicious, with only small amounts and a variety of what’s on hand.
Rounding out a hearty soup are grains and beans, that keep almost indefinitely stored in jars in the pantry, to be awakened in winter, with soaking – then adding them to a vegetable broth with a pinch of salt, various peppers, spices and herbs – melding together into amazing, delightful palate-pleasing soup or stew – till we never know the meat was missed.