Winter Soups with Kimmi Moake
By Kayla Butts
Words by: Justin & Kayla Butts Photos by: Rachel Benavides
The cold days of January are perfect for a hot bowl of wholesome, healthy, flavorful soup. Kimmi Moake, owner of Kimmi’s Fine Foods in Rockport, knows all about great flavors because she sources the best ingredients.
Kimmi’s Fine Foods is the premiere destination in South Texas for locally raised meats and produce. Kimmi sells grass-fed beef, lamb, pastured pork, chicken, eggs, and all types of seasonal vegetables and herbs, not to mention her fresh and packaged foods. Kimmi actually knows the names of her farmers, the fields where the food is grown, and even the precise methods used to grow the food.
Before she opened her store, Kimmi spent a year working at our own Four String Farm in Rockport as an unpaid intern. She worked many long, hard hours on the farm to learn everything possible about how to grow food. She went to this extraordinary effort simply to become a knowledgeable and sophisticated buyer of food for her store.
The essential ingredient for good soup is homemade bone broth. “Bone broth is loaded with everything the body wants: minerals, fats, proteins, gelatin and collagen,” Kimmi said. Bone broth is also rich in flavor; the essence of the meat and vegetables it is made from. There is no shortcut to the flavor of homemade bone broth in a soup.
Kimmi’s Venison Pho is a great way to use your venison, and this pho packs a punch. Her exquisite Thai Lemongrass Coconut Soup can be prepared in minutes with a little advance preparation.
Perhaps the cleverest of Kimmi’s soup recipes is her Chicken Scrap Weekday Gumbo. This brilliant recipe transforms your kitchen scraps and leftovers into a bold taste of Cajun country. “I’m a huge fan of trying to use as much of the animal as I can. Using everything I purchase from my local farmers sure does make my money go further,” she said. This soup shows how much flavor is in the scraps.
Enjoy any of these soups with Kimmi’s Gluten-Free Angel Biscuits. Kimmi is a master of gluten-free; she even prepares her own gluten-free flours. Visit kimmisfinefoods.com to learn how to make gluten-free easy and utterly delicious. By the way, Kimmi loves copious butter with her biscuits because a little fat helps slow down the digestion of carbs.
You can find all of these ingredients at Kimmi’s Fine Foods in Rockport. She is an excellent resource and has all the tools you need to make incredible meals. Treat yourself well on these cold January days with Kimmi’s winter soup. Her food is good for you, your body, and your soul.
Basic Bone Broth
Prep time: 10 minutes
Inactive prep time: 12-96 hours
2-4 lbs of bones, preferably from a locally raised animal
2 chicken feet for extra gelatin (optional)
Leftover veggie scraps or veggies ie onion skins, carrot tops, apple core, etc.
2-6 tbsp raw, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar
Unrefined sea salt & pepper
Put bones in a large stockpot and pour filtered water over. Bring to a boil and skim any foam off the top. (The healthier the animal, the fewer the impurities that will rise to the top as foam.) Reduce temperature to a simmer, and add all other ingredients OR move to a slow cooker. (If you’re giving to a pet, omit pepper or spicy foods.) Simmer for at least 12-24 hours and up to 3-4 days.
Strain and store in fridge for 2-4 weeks. If the bones are breakable with your fingers, you can grind them up in a food processor and add to pet’s food. Bone meal is very nutritious and healthy for any pet!
2-3 quarts venison bone broth
2 onions, sliced
1 2” piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp liquid aminos, tamari or soy sauce
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
½ t kombu (Can sub with 1 T fish sauce instead.)
1 t peppercorns
1 t coriander
½ pound of venison backstrap
12 venison meatballs (recipe follows)
2-3 zucchini, spiraled
Garnishes: fresh basil, lime, bean sprouts, thinly sliced jalapeños, radishes, or Japanese turnips
Sauces: hot chili garlic sauce, hoisin, Yellowbird jalapeño sauce, liquid aminos
Directions:Put backstrap in the freezer for at least two hours. Broil ginger and one onion until charred ~10-15 minutes. Bring all spices to simmer in broth for at least an hour or you can put them in your broth for 4-6 hours. Add onion and garlic and simmer for an hour. Shave the near frozen backstrap and remaining onion very thin. Strain broth and put back into pot and bring to a low boil/simmer.
Add halved meatballs, liquid aminos and thinly sliced onion. Plate all garnishes for the table. Assemble bowls with zucchini and arrange backstrap around noodles. Pour hot broth to cook backstrap and a total of three whole meatballs to each bowl. Transfer to table to add garnishes and sauces. Enjoy!
Vietnamese Venison Meatballs
Makes approximately 40 meatballs
2 lbs of ground venison
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ inch piece of ginger, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
½ tsp honey
Combine all ingredients, mix well, and freeze 2-3 hours. In a food processor, puree mixture in batches until consistency is that of a paste. Freeze another 30 minutes. Remove from freezer. While you’re shaping meatballs with wet hands, bring a large pot of water to boil with a drizzle of liquid aminos in it. Boil in 2-3 batches for about 10 minutes per batch. While it’s boiling get a bowl of ice water ready. Remove meatballs from boiling water and place in ice bath 2-3 minutes. Remove from ice bath and place in strainer. Freeze what you don’t use for insta-pho at a later date!
Chicken Scrap Weekday Gumbo
Chicken pickings from bones used for broth
½ good quality smoked sausage link
3 tbsp Kimmi’s Gluten-Free Flour
5 tbsp high quality, properly prepared lard
½ onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
3 tbsp grass-fed, pastured butter
1-2 quarts chicken bone broth, room temp
Parsley, unrefined sea salt, pepper, red pepper to taste
Brown Rice, cooked, (recommend ½ cup serving per person)
Start your rice. Chop veggies, making sure to keep them all separate. Put lard in a deep-sided cast iron skillet or stock pot and heat to medium high heat. Add flour and stir CONSTANTLY for about 10-15 minutes. Turn heat down to medium. Add onions and stir periodically until they reach a dark caramel color. Add garlic and cook about 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the veggies and butter, stirring periodically until slightly cooked, usually about 15-20 minutes. Add broth and spices. Simmer at least another 20 minutes to let flavors meld. Serve with Angel Biscuits (recipe follows).
Kimmi’s Gluten-Free Flour Angel Biscuits
Yields about 30 biscuits
5 cups Kimmi’s Gluten-Free Flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp ground psyllium husk
1 tsp unrefined sea salt
4 tsp yeast
¼ cup warm, filtered water
2 ½ tsp coconut or unrefined sugar
3 cups buttermilk, preferably raw
LOTS of butter!
Mix warm water, yeast and sugar in a bowl and set aside to rise. Put all dry ingredients into a bowl, add wet and add prepared sponge. Using wet hands, form biscuits and place on cookie sheet or baking stone. Cover with a light tea towel and let rest for at least 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 450℉ and bake 12-15 minutes until crust turns a golden brown. If you prefer doughy biscuits, cook 10-12 minutes. Serve with plenty of butter.
Thai Lemongrass Coconut Soup
Serves 1. Multiply to accommodate more friends.
½ cup cooked chicken, shredded
1 cup chicken bone broth
½ cup whole fat coconut milk
1 drop high quality edible lemongrass essential oil
½ tsp fish sauce
½ inch piece of ginger, chopped
1-2 Thai chilis
Cilantro for garnish
Soak chicken in coconut milk, ginger and lemongrass essential oil overnight or at least a few hours. Heat chicken, broth, Thai chili and fish sauce in a pan. Pour in bowl and garnish with cilantro.