This Beef Vegetable Soup with Job's Tears is a hearty soup I made when we first began to add small amounts of animal foods back into our diet after five plus years of not eating any at all.
We have not been consuming grains in any form since, however, for those who may also be transitioning away from plant-based vegan or vegetarian diets, this soup can be enjoyed either with barley, or by substituting the grain with a little sweet or red skin potato, or just more meat!
In traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM, red meat is used to help build the blood and qi, largely because red meat is a good source of bioavailable iron.
Many women, young and old, are taking a pass on any form of red meat. I believe this is to our peril, especially as we age. Red meat is an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, and amino acids, including carnitine, all of which are important for maintaining our bones, immunity and overall health. I have outlined symptoms of blood deficiency from a TCM perspective, below.
Job's Tears (also called Yi Yi Ren in TCM) has a slightly cool nature and is great for helping eliminate excess dampness in the system leading to conditions like edema, or painful joints that are worse in damp weather. It can help clear out excess heat as well. You can find it here, or at a local Asian market.
If using beef shank:
If using barley:
For the Beef Vegetable Soup:
If not using barley:
If you already have beef bone broth prepared, you can make a beef vegetable soup pretty quickly by just sautéing whatever vegetables and seasonings you want to use in fat of choice, then add beef and broth, and let it simmer on low for 1-2 hours.
As an alternative to using beef shank, you could use already cut up stew meat.
For an even quicker beef vegetable soup, plan to make a slow-roast beef over the weekend. Cut up some of the beef once roasted into 1/2 - 1 inch chunks, then add to the pot of vegetables with the bone broth, and let the entire soup simmer for about 1/2 hour, or more if desired on a low heat.
Add peeled sweet or red skin potatoes, or chopped rutabaga, parsnip, or even chopped cauliflower in lieu of the barley. Saute the vegetables in butter, ghee, or tallow as above, then add beef and broth, and let simmer until vegetables and meat are tender.
Prefer chicken or turkey? Both are good alternatives to the beef. Prepare in the Bone Broth made with chicken and/or turkey bones.
Or try the Chicken Vegetable Soup, also great on a chilly day!
In our previous books, Essential Macrobiotics, by Don Matesz, and my book, The Macrobiotic Action Plan, (now available as FREE e-books) we recommended for people to keep animal food consumption to no more than 10-15% of their total calories for the best health results.
Our personal experience, and more current research caused us to make changes to our diet. We now consume a Keto-Hypercarnivore Diet, getting 70% or more of our total calories from animal foods.
We also by and large recommend avoiding or greatly minimizing grains in all forms, but especially refined grains and flours found in the bulk of processed foods.
Each person will need to discover what works best, based on their current condition, general constitution, geographic location, and ancestral heritage.
Generally speaking, we recommend a high-protein ketogenic diet modified for individual needs.
Going without any animal foods for any length of time (as we did for over five years) has been shown in some studies to result in certain nutrient deficiencies (which we definitely had.)
Zinc is one such mineral and antioxidant, which is important for immunity, wound healing, healthy skin, and libido that is more bioavailable from animal foods than plant foods. B 12 is also a very important vitamin to supplement if not including animal foods in the diet.
Deficiency of B 12 can lead to anemia, and long-term deficiency can cause fatigue, lightheadedness, palpitations or shortness of breath, depression, nerve problems, pale skin, and memory or vision loss.
All of these symptoms are similar to those of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) diagnosis of blood deficiency. You can read more here.
You may also like either of these soups, a couple more hold outs from my previous vegan meal plans.
(Note: These recipes are getting updated and will be republished as soon as possible.)