I start almost every single day, year ’round, with a bowl of breakfast soup. Sounds weird? It’s actually the perfect start to the day! But when I first started following the AIP, I was totally lost on what to eat in the mornings, since my Paleo routine had involved an awful lot of eggs. Without them, I felt like I really had lost the last “breakfast food” available to me. So I had to think outside the box a little and come around to the idea that breakfast was just another meal – and that anything could be eaten first thing in the morning if I felt like it!
One weekend I made up a big pot of soup to clear out and use up all the last stragglers among the veggies in my fridge before I went grocery shopping. I separated it out into portions and popped it in the fridge, thinking it would make good “emergency” meals when I didn’t feel like cooking during the week. And it did. But those “emergency” meals actually turned out to be breakfast! It was just so convenient to grab something that just needed reheating in the morning. That’s what began my love affair with breakfast soup. The only downside? I found myself getting bored of eating the same soup all week, despite how convenient it was. And since starting the day with a whole bunch of veggies and homemade broth was just so gosh darn healthy and nutrient dense, I knew it was a habit I wanted to keep!
And so, what we jokingly refer to in our house as the “Meatified Method” was born. The concept is simple. I make a big bunch of broth in my Instant Pot and then use that broth to make a lightly seasoned vegetable soup at the weekend. Then I portion it up into single servings and stash ’em in the fridge. Each weekday, I take the same “base” soup I made at the weekend, then jazz it up with different proteins, veggies, seasonings, stir ins, leftovers or toppings. This means I never get bored of eating the same thing, I use up all my leftovers AND I start the day off right with a ton of vegetables, homemade broth and some protein without having to make much effort!
The Meatified Method in action
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen some of these breakfast soup bowls. These are all quick, unstyled photos I snapped with my phone of our actual breakfasts. Nothing fancy! So, to start off with, here are three breakfast soups that all started with the lemony Summer Squash Soup from Nourish as a base. It’s my take on an allergy friendly and AIP version of the classic Greek Avgolemono soup. It’s got a lovely fresh, summery taste with a kick of citrus.
Soup 1: I stirred in some coconut cream, added some chopped asparagus and when that was nearly cooked to crisp tender, I flaked in some good quality canned salmon and topped with chopped chives.
Soup 2: I stirred through a generous spoon of my Four Greens Pesto, added some leftover chopped burger and then topped with some leftover brussels and leeks that had been our side at dinner the night before. I re-crisped those vegetables under the broiler while the soup warmed up for a kind of crouton-like texture.
Soup 3: I wilted in some spinach to the soup just before serving, then topped the soup with some ground chicken sautéed in my french herb seasoning and finished with green onions.
Now for soup base number two! This was a slight variation on my Sweet Potato & Broccoli Soup (pictured above), using parsnips and omitting the oregano. It’s a nice, hearty wintertime soup that isn’t too heavy, with just a hint of sweetness to balance out the green goodness.
Soup 1: I started off by stirring in some of the nightshade free Thai Green Curry Paste from Nourish. While the soup was reheating, I sautéed a little ground beef with coconut aminos and a dash of fish sauce. Just before serving, I added a squeeze of lime to the soup, then I served it topped with the beef, a drizzle of coconut milk and some chopped cilantro and green onion.
Soup 3: I went with a Persian inspired flavor profile here, topping the soup off with some ground beef sautéed with dried fenugreek leaves, mint and dried lime. To serve, I drizzled it with some lemon infused olive oil and a scattering of green onions.
You see how fun this can be? Breakfast soup becomes a “choose your own adventure” type experience, which keeps things fresh instead of repetitive. Your soup base becomes a blank canvas for whatever you have to hand and the possible combinations of proteins, seasonings, extra veggies, stir ins and toppings are endless. Here are some of my favorite soups to start off with.
You want to opt for simple blended vegetable based soups with gentle seasoning that won’t overpower anything you add to your breakfast soup in the morning. Here are some of my favorites:
Creamy Chowder (omit the seafood, the soup base goes with anything)
Creamy Leek Soup from Stupid Easy Paleo (skip the black pepper for AIP)
Golden Cauliflower Soup from Mel Joulwan (skip the black pepper for AIP)
“Pea” Soup (watch out, it’s a big batch)
Silky Gingered Zucchini Soup from Mel Joulwan
Of course, you don’t need to add something from each one of the categories I mentioned earlier – you can make your breakfast soup habit as simple or as layered as suits you and the ingredients you have to hand. I’d say you want to pick 2 – 3 elements to add to your soups like, say a protein + stir in or a veggie + seasoning + topping. Mix and match from the following options to suit yourself!
If you’re using leftovers from dinners or any already-cooked options, you can throw ’em straight into the pot to warm through. If I’m adding a little ground meat, I like to brown it in a separate pan along with my seasonings while the soup is warming: it’s a little extra step, but it adds a lot more flavor. That said, if you ain’t got time for that, you can just crumble the ground meat straight into the soup in a pinch. Frozen and canned seafood is great as a standby. The canned stuff can just flake in and warm through, or you can quickly defrost shrimp and individual fillets of fish.
Cook and add:
- ground chicken or turkey
- ground pork or beef
- frozen shrimp or fish
If I’m adding a ground meat that I need to cook to my soup, I like to add the dried seasonings to the meat as I’m browning it, for extra flavor. If you’re not adding a ground meat (or you’re skipping that browning step for time), stir your seasonings of choice straight into the soup. Here are some of my favorite AIP and allergy friendly combos:
- French: rosemary + savory or thyme + tarragon
- Greek: marjoram or oregano + garlic + dill
- Italian: basil + oregano + garlic
- Mexican: oregano + garlic + ginger + cinnamon (better yet, the Taco Seasoning from Nourish)
- Persian: fenugreek leaves + mint + dried lime
- Spicy: garlic + galangal or ginger + cinnamon
There are already plenty of vegetables in my breakfast soup bases, but I like to add extra for texture and it’s also a great way to use up leftovers! Adding greens to wilt in just before serving is a great no-hassle way to up the veggie content: if I’m using baby greens, I throw them in whole and if I’m using older / larger / tougher greens, I’ll slice them finely first. Some of the easiest no prep options come already bagged from the grocery store, so that will cut down time in the kitchen even more. Leftovers from the day before are life savers: I like to chop up leftover veggie fries into bite size pieces, stir in roasted vegetables or use an immersion blender to puree in leftover veggie mash with extra broth. If you’ve got leftover stir fry, or sides, chuck ’em in the pot!
- greens: arugula, spinach, kale, chard, watercress
- quick cooking vegetables: asparagus, finely sliced brussels, radish, mushroom, zucchini noodles
- ready prepped or bagged: coleslaw mix, broccoli slaw, grated carrots, veggie “noodles”
- leftovers: roasted veggies in bite size pieces, veggie mash pureed into the soup with extra broth, leftover stir fried veggies
This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to add a ton of flavor with very little effort, since it’s just adding things you already have to hand.
- Chimichurri Sauce (omit black and red pepper for AIP)
- Coconut aminos or fish sauce
- Coconut milk
- Curry Paste (there’s a AIP and nightshade free version of Thai Green Curry Paste in Nourish)
- Fresh lemon or lime juice
- Nomato Sauce
- Pesto (my Four Greens Pesto is AIP and dairy free)
- Vinegars: add a dash of apple cider, balsamic, red wine or white wine vinegar for a little kick
Everything looks better with toppings and some of them can pack a punch of flavor with almost no effort at all. From fresh herbs and garnishes all the way to bacon bits and some ready made surprises, I’ve got you covered.
- bacon bits, crispy prosciutto or chicken skin
- flavored olive oils: basil, garlic, lemon or mushroom
- flavored salts: alderwood smoked, lemon or porcini
- ferments: sauerkraut, flavored kraut, golden beets with carrots & ginger
- fresh herbs: basil, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel tops, parsley
- fried garlic or shallots
- preserved lemons or limes, finely chopped
- sliced avocado, green onions, radishes
- toasted unsweetened coconut chips
Are you excited about breakfast soup yet?! None of the above is supposed to be an exhaustive list and there are plenty of paleo options you could add in if you’re not following the AIP, like toasted nuts and seeds. If you follow the Meatified Method, you’ll never get sick of breakfast soup – and in fact, you may never have the exact same bowl again!
The Meatified Method at a glance
- Make your broth and vegetable soup at the weekend (bonus points for cleaning out the fridge!).
- Refrigerate in single servings.
- Reheat your breakfast soup when ready to eat.
- Add 2 – 3 of any proteins, veggies, seasonings, stir ins or toppings.
- Never eat a boring bowl of breakfast soup again! Woohoo!
Looking for more AIP Breakfast Ideas?
Check out 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts! Your favorite AIP bloggers – myself included! – got together and compiled our best breakfast recipes to answer that ever popular question: “What do you eat for breakfast on the AIP?!”
WHAT’S GREAT ABOUT AMAZING AIP BREAKFASTS:
- All of the recipes are 100% compliant with The Paleo Approach
- It’s been created by 26 bloggers who all use the AIP themselves
- It has 85 breakfast themed AIP recipes, many of which were created specifically for this book
- Over half of the recipes can easily be modified for low-FODMAP, GAPS/SCD, low-histamine, and coconut-free diets using the handy substitution charts included in the book
WHAT’S IN AMAZING AIP BREAKFASTS:
- Beverages: How about trying a delicious herbal AIP Coffee (check out the sneak peek recipe here!) or Rooibos “Latte” again?
- Bowls: bring back foods like Apple Cinnamon “Porridge”, Biscuits & Gravy or Sweet Potato Muffins in Bacon Bowls!
- Skillets: one pan meals are the best and you have recipes like Sweet Potato, Pancetta and Apple Hash, Sausage Fennel and Cherry Stir Fry and Cinnamon Pork and Apple Skillet to choose from!
- Soups: these are actually my favorite thing to eat in the morning – just warm and enjoy! How about creamy Leek & Sweet Potato Soup or Slow Cooker Breakfast Stew?
- Patties: you don’t have to stick to plain sausage! Try an AIP Breakfast Stack, some Tuna Cakes with Green Olives or some Ginger Green Onion Pork Patties to liven things up
- Pancakes: choose from 7 pancake recipes… then move on to Plantain Waffles or Applesauce Muffins
See all the details and scoop up your copy of 85 Amazing AIP Breakfasts here!