True Mexican food is way more than drive-thru tacos and nachos. There’s a whole world of flavor out there, and Mexican food does it well with cumin, oregano, garlic, onion, and a whole palette of colorful peppers.
Chile verde (verde is the Spanish word for green) is a traditional pork stew from northern Mexico. Filled with green poblano peppers and green tomatillos this dish is definitely verde! It is a delicious, warm, comforting, rich and savory stew.
It’s great when something so delicious is also so good for you. Bone broth, onions, and garlic are all great immune system boosters. (See ten things you can do to boost your immune system here, here and here.)
This is a great make-ahead dish. The flavors are even better the next day, and if there are any leftovers they freeze well, too.
Tomatillos are native to Mexico and look like little green tomatoes wrapped in a papery husk. Their flavor is bright, tart and kind of lemony. To use just pull the husk off with your fingers and rinse them before chopping and using in your recipe.
Poblano peppers are also native to Mexico. They are large, sometimes even larger than a bell pepper, but with a dark green shiny skin, slightly flatter shape and a pointy tip. They are fairly mild, only slightly spicier than a bell pepper, and can be eaten raw or cooked. Cooking mellows their flavor making them somewhat sweet.
lime wedges, sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro for serving
Heat the olive oil or lard in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the ground pork and brown about four minutes while stirring to crumble. Add the onion, tomatillos and poblanos to the pan and continue cooking another five minutes. Add the garlic, salt,and pepper, and oregano and cook another minute. Then add the chicken broth and chopped cilantro. Bring to a simmer, the cover and cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Serve the chili verde with a squeeze of fresh lime and any other toppings you like.
WordPress has updated my toolbar and at this writing I can’t access the program that allows me to give you an easy-to-print version of this recipe. I’m sorry about that! So until I get this figured out you will just have to copy and paste onto a blank document if you want a print version.
Have you tried hemp lately? It’s not just for making macrame plant hangers or eco-friendly clothing. It’s not something you smoke in the back of your psychedelic VW van either.
Hemp has a long and interesting history in world civilizations. According to this historian hemp has been in cultivation for 8,000 years. Its usefulness encompasses a wide range from paper, rope, clothing fiber and sail canvas; to food for humans and animals; to medicines for childbirth, dysentery and rheumatism.
Grown around the world from east to west this plant’s history is intertwined with man. Beginning in China around 2800 BC and making its way to North America by the 1600s where Thomas Jefferson and George Washington grew it on their farms, hemp is one of the oldest known cultivated plants. The sails of the Mayflower and the original Levis jeans were made from hemp cloth.
Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts as they are often called, are full of healthy fats just like many other seeds and nuts. High in omega-3 fats and GLA (a special fat your body uses to make hormones), hemp seed can be useful in fighting inflammation and nourishing the immune system.
(Fun fact if you raise chickens – feeding hemp hearts to your chickens will increase the omega-3 in their egg yolks!)
Also amazing about hemp – it is one of the very few plant foods containing complete protein, meaning all of the necessary essential amino acids needed for a healthy diet. That plus a healthy dose of fiber and many key vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients make hemp seeds something worth trying!
Low Carb Hemp Heart Breakfast Porridge
This hemp heart porridge recipe is filled with healthy fat and plenty of fiber as well as inflammation-fighting spices. It’s also vegan, gluten-free, low carb, and dairy-free.
(A note about flax: Always buy whole flax seed and then grind it just before using. Flax oil is very unstable and will begin to go rancid within just a few hours of grinding the seed. I use a little spice grinder like this.)
A few more add-ins that aren’t vegan, but are worth trying include grassfed gelatin or collagen powder, and a drizzle of raw heavy cream just before serving. I also like to add MCT oil for a brain boost.
Healthy fats have the starring role in this hearty breakfast bowl. If you don't have all the seeds listed, just use what you have. The base of hemp and chia make a great foundation for any combination of nuts and seeds you like.
¾ cup full fat coconut milk
3 Tablespoons hemp hearts
2 Tablespoons chia seed
2 Tablespoons shelled sunflower seed or shelled pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon flax seed, freshly ground
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
stevia powder or drops to taste
1 teaspoon MCT oil
1 Tablespoon grassfed gelatin or collagen powder (optional)
toasted pecans or walnuts for topping (optional)
heavy cream for topping (optional)
Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan.
Add in the hemp, chia, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin or other seeds.
Add the cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, pepper, vanilla and pinch of salt.
Sprinkle on the gelatin or collagen if using.
Heat on the stove over medium-low heat, stirring, until the mixture begins to bubble around the edges.
Stir in the stevia and continue simmering for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
When the mixture reaches a thickness you like, remove from heat and stir in the ground flax seed and the MCT oil.
Pour into a serving bowl and top with any optional toppings such as toasted nuts or heavy cream.
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21 Days from SAD to Well Fed Day #2
Fat isn’t to be feared – it’s your friend!
There are so many tasty ways to include healthy fats in your day. Store bought and many restaurant salad dressings are NOT one of them. In fact most commercial dressings are full of rancid soybean oil and canola oil. Definitely not healthy. Making salad dressing yourself is quick and easy. Read these fun facts about healthy fats, and then keep scrolling for a delicious Caesar-style salad dressing you can make tonight! And keep scrolling for links to more recipes!
Get the skinny on why we start with fats first in this Day #1 article.
Here are 4 different ways fat plays a positive part in your health:
Cells need fat – since our body temperature remains relatively constant, being warm-blooded creatures, our cell membranes need a balance of different fats to find that “Goldilocks” spot where they are fluid, yet structurally stable. To do this about 50% of the fatty acids in our cell membranes need to be saturated fats, and the rest monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. (Confused as to which fats are which? See Day One of SAD to Well Fed.)
Fat gives energy – the best energy source is one that lasts all day long without crashing you in a mid-morning or mid-afternoon slump. Saturated fats, especially those from animal milks, animal meat, coconuts and palm oils, are the best source for this long lasting energy.
Strong bones – the most important nutrients in bone health are found primarily in foods that also contain saturated fats. Vitamins A, D and K2 are the bone health trifecta keeping the calcium OUT of the soft tissue and INTO the bones and teeth. Best sources include organ meats, egg yolks, animal fats like grassfed butter, and also fermented foods and cod liver oil.
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SAD = Standard American Diet
Characterized by a dependence on commodity crops like GMO corn, soy, and canola; fast food; highly processed food; and filled with additives, chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and synthetic ingredients.
In other words not very likely to provide a base for a healthy life.
Take 21 days and make a difference in your health. It doesn’t have to be hard and it doesn’t have to taste bad either! If you like to journal this would be a great thing to journal about! What motivates you to make changes to your diet? Your own health? Spouse? Children?
I hope to make this as easy to understand as possible. If you want to go more in depth on any item I will provide links to find more information. If you have children elementary age or older this would be a great project for them as well!
Let’s get Well Fed!
DAY ONE: Out with the Bad Oils and in with the Good Fats
Why start with fats and oils? Because this is where you can make the most impact in your overall health both quickly and in the long term. Structurally our brains are 67% fat. Saturated fat provides structure to brain cells and body cells alike. Healthy fats and oils provide sustainable energy, important vitamins, and stable moods.
The kinds of fats and oils found in the SAD way of eating create fatigue, deplete vitamins and increase inflammation and oxidative stress which can promote anxiety and even anger.
Any industrially produced seed oil. This includes canola, soybean, corn, cottonseed, sunflower, and safflower oils. Seed and nut oils are delicate oils that can turn rancid very quickly when exposed to heat. If your canola, corn, soy or other seed oil is clear and you found it just sitting on a grocery store shelf then it is already rancid. Rancid oils are a major source of inflammation in the SAD way of eating. Additionally canola, soy, corn and cotton are the most widely Genetically Engineered (GMO) crops on the planet. For lots more information about genetic engineering risks visit the Non-GMO Project.
Any margarine or butter substitute. Even the ones that promise to lower your cholesterol or magically eliminate some other kind of disease. These products are made mostly from the previously mentioned industrial seed oils. Often they are also hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated in some way.
Any vegetable shortening, hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated animal shortening. These are also called trans fats. These start out as liquid polyunsaturated fats, but through industrial processing they become solid even at room temperature. Your body has trouble recognizing what to do with them, and they lead to cell dysfunction and even cell death! Read more about them here. Or take a deep dive with Sally Fallon Morell’s Nourishing Fats: Why We Need Animal Fats for Health and Happiness.
What Oils and Fats Should I Use?
There are 3 categories of fats: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Healthy diets should include some from each of these categories.
Overall you need to look for animal fats from animals living outdoors on pasture eating species-correct diets. This means grass for the ruminants (cows, sheep), and access to omnivore appropriate food for the others (pigs, chickens and other poultry). They all need sunshine!
You need to look for vegetable fats and oils from cold-pressed and organic sources that are not treated with solvents or bleaches.
Saturated healthy fats include butter and ghee from grassfed cows. Beef tallow, lamb tallow, pork lard, duck fat and goose fat from animals living outdoors on healthy pasture. Coconut oil from sustainably grown coconuts. Palm oil can be a part of a healthy diet as well, however there are a lot of ecological problems with palm oil so I am not recommending it for that reason. MCT oils is another saturated fat making headlines recently.
Monounsaturated healthy fats include cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Avocado oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil and sesame oil are other options. Once again these need to be cold pressed or expeller pressed and preferably organic. Peanuts, especially, need to be organic due to a common toxin found in conventionally farmed peanuts. Incidentally pastured pork lard is also a very good source of monounsaturated fat. Good lard is roughly 50/50 saturated and monounsaturated.
Polyunsaturated healthy fats are the trickiest to find. These oils need to be expeller pressed without heat, because heat will damage the delicate oils and cause them to go rancid quickly. Also exposure to light and oxygen will turn them rancid, so these oils need to be stored tightly closed and kept in the refrigerator. Flaxseed oil, walnut oil, non-gmo canola, and grapeseed oil. All the fish oils are also in this category. Fish oil, cod liver oil, krill oil, and foods like caviar are all quite delicate and need to be treated carefully to remain healthy and viable.
So open up your pantry, cupboards and refrigerator and start tossing the bad SAD oils and replacing them with healthy fats!
Visit Well Fed Family on Facebook to see the conversation around healthy lard. Like our page and keep in touch! Let us know what you find when you start cleaning out your SAD fats and replacing them with healthy ones!
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Keto. Ketones. Keto diet. Ketogenic lifestyle.
These are some of the most searched terms on the Internet today.
Ketones are produced in smaller amounts naturally by everybody. People who are adapted to fat as their primary fuel instead of carbohydrates will naturally produce and use them in higher amounts.
The goal of the ketogenic lifestyle is to adapt the body to utilize FAT as its primary fuel source instead of SUGAR. Fat can be a healthier and more sustainable source of energy
Ketones help you burn fat for energy, powerfully reduce inflammation and show promise in preventing and eradicating diabetes, cancer, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
It was early 2016 when I first made the switch into a low-carb/high-fat way of eating. It was a long time coming; a decision I made only after doing a lot of research and reading. The one book that inspired me to finally take the plunge was Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore.
I really wish I had had access to a conference or online summit at the time to guide me through my transition into keto. Since those early days I have discovered work from other experts like David Perlmutter, Thomas Seyfried, Brian Mowll, and David Jockers, and the research these doctors have done in the value of a ketogenic diet.
The Keto Edge Summit is exactly the kind of all-inclusive package I wish I had when I was starting out. I’m glad it is now available to help other people who want to try keto. And many of the doctors doing cutting edge research in keto are featured in the summit!
One thing I needed was a source for recipes that were keto-friendly. I was glad to find at the end of Keto Clarity a small recipes to get you started.
I really liked the recipe called “Camille’s Keto Energy Bars“. I liked the convenience of having a portable snack or quick breakfast. One to keep me satisfied with plenty of healthy fats. Most energy bars you can buy are way too high in carbs to work for people in ketosis. So this homemade version filled that need.
The original recipe was made with a lot of almond butter, raw nuts and cacao nibs. But I still don’t do well with too many nuts, and although chocolate tastes great it really messes with my sleep no matter when I eat it. 🙁
So I came up with my own version of this grab-and-go bar that includes some extra protein from collagen, and swaps the nut butters and nuts for ingredients that are more digestible and make me feel so much better!
Crispy nuts are something I discovered years ago when I joined the Weston A Price Foundation. The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook has several recipes for making high enzyme, digestible and delicious crispy nuts of all kinds. You can also find a recipe here. I like to keep a big jar of crispy nuts in my pantry for quick snacks.
I like the addition of high protein hemp hearts and omega-3 rich chia seeds for a nutritional boost.
If you aren’t familiar with the term “fat bomb” – it is used a lot in the Keto world to describe a small snack that is made primarily from healthy fats like coconut oil or butter. They are used to curb cravings and help tide you over between meals.
In a mixing bowl combine the coconut oil, coconut butter, collagen powder and protein powder until smooth. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix on low speed until everything is thick like frosting. Of course the nuts and dried fruit will make it lumpy, but be sure to get it very well mixed.
Line a 8 1/2″ x 11″ pan with waxed paper. Make sure it gets all the way into the corners and up the sides. This can get really messy otherwise!
Pour the coconut mixture into the prepared pan, spreading the mixture evenly. You may need to tap the pan on the counter to settle the mixture into an even thickness. Place the pan into the freezer keeping it level. Freeze for at least an hour.
Remove the pan from the freezer and lift the entire wax paper slab out and place onto a large cutting board. Score the top of the slab into 16 equal bars, then carefully cut each individual bar from the slab.
Store the finished bars in a sealed container in the freezer. You can keep these in the refrigerator if you want them to be a little softer, but don’t leave them out on the counter or you will have pudding instead of a bar.
The macros for one bar (using blueberries) is approximately 21g fat, 4.5g protein, 2.3g net carbs.
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Springtime always makes me think of the sunny flavors of lemon and blueberry. The bright, tart lemon combines so well with the rich, fruity blueberry.
This recipe uses a mixture of almond flour, coconut flour and tapioca starch to make a gluten-free and grain-free muffin that is a little higher in protein and lower in carbs than a grain-based muffin. Using honey in place of white sugar adds in more minerals so it isn’t just empty calories.
Try these muffins for an Easter Sunday brunch or a weekend family breakfast. Leftovers can go in the freezer. On busy mornings just wrap one or two in foil or parchment and reheat in a 350 oven for ten minutes for a quick breakfast. Make a batch of homemade turkey sausage and keep that in the freezer, too, and you can have a hearty breakfast in no time.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with parchment liners or spray with coconut oil spray.
Mix together the eggs, softened butter, honey, vanilla and lemon zest & juice in a mixer until well combined. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca starch, baking soda and salt). Add the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. Add in the blueberries at the end and stir gently until they are evenly distributed. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Bake for 19-21 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove muffins onto a cooling rack.
Christmas Dinner is over and the refrigerator is full of half-empty containers of leftovers. Hopefully you have already made a big pot of broth with the turkey carcass. Everyone is tired of turkey sandwiches, but a steaming hot Turkey Pot Pie will warm everyone up and help use up those little bits of vegetables languishing in the refrigerator.
This is comfort food folks! The good news is there are no hidden unwanted ingredients like hydrogenated fats, MSG, artificial flavors or chemical preservatives!
Turkey Pot Pie (or chicken) with gluten-free options
3 cups or more of leftover turkey cut into bite-sized chunks
2-3 cups homemade turkey broth OR leftover gravy
2 cups or more of leftover cooked vegetables such as peas, carrots, green beans, broccoli, pearl onions OR if you are making this at another time of year when you don’t have Christmas leftovers you can dice up a couple carrots, a stalk of celery, and a leek or an onion and saute them in a little butter before proceeding with the recipe. Add a 1/2 cup of frozen peas if you like.
3 Tablespoons butter
(omit if using leftover gravy) 4 Tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour OR for gluten-free use an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix like Bob’s Red Mill
Butter the inside of a deep dish pie pan, or other oven-safe dish of similar size. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (375 if you are using the almond flour crust).
Place the chopped turkey and the cooked vegetables in the prepared pie pan mixing together.
If you are using leftover gravy just warm it up now and skip this step. If you are using broth go ahead and continue here. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour or GF flour blend and continue cooking for about 2 minutes as it bubbles, but don’t brown it. Continue stirring as you pour in the homemade turkey broth. Then quickly whisk in the cream and continue cooking 3 or 4 more minutes until the sauce thickens a bit more. Stir in fresh pepper and 1/2 tsp of salt. Taste and adjust with more seasoning if needed.
Pour the broth mixture over the vegetables. If you are using leftover gravy pour it over the vegetables. Stir it up to mix well.
Roll out your pastry and lay it gently across the top of the turkey filling. The pastry should generously cover the filling. Press the overlapping part into the rim of the baking dish to seal.
Optional for a golden brown crust: Crack the egg in a small bowl and beat well with a fork. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg all over the entire crust.
Use a sharp knife or the tines of a fork to make small holes or slits in the crust to allow the steam to escape.
Put the baking dish onto a cookie sheet to catch any spills and place the whole thing into the preheated oven.
Bake 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375 and bake an additional 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling and hot.
Comfort food at its best, this is also a frugal way to use up leftover turkey, vegetables and gravy.
3 or more cups of leftover turkey or chicken cut into bite-size chunks
2-3 cups homemade broth OR leftover gravy
2 or more cups of leftover cooked vegetables such as peas, carrots, green beans, pearl onions, broccoli OR you can saute diced carrots, celery, leek or onion to equal 2 cups and add frozen peas if you don't have leftover vegetables
3 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour (omit if using leftover gravy) OR use an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix like Bob's Red Mill
1 cup organic heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
homemade pastry dough for a deep dish pie, see links and options above in the blog text
1 egg (opt.)
Butter the inside of a deep dish pie pan
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Place the chopped turkey and leftover cooked vegetables in the prepared dish mixing together.
If you are going to use leftover gravy then skip this next step and just warm up the gravy and pour it over the turkey and vegetables.
If you are using broth then first melt the butter in a large saucepan and whisk in the flour or GF flour blend.
Cook the flour and butter 2 minutes as it gets bubbly, then whisk in the turkey broth.
Whisk in the cream and continue cooking 3 to 4 more minutes until the sauce thickens.
Stir in pepper and salt to taste.
Pour the broth mixture over the vegetables and combine it all together.
Roll out your pastry and lay it gently across the top of the turkey filling generously covering the pie.
Press the overlapping edges of the crust into the rim to seal.
Optional for a golden brown crust you can crack the egg into a small bowl, beat it well with a fork, and use a pastry brush to brush the egg all over the crust.
Use a sharp knife to make four slits in the crust to allow steam to escape.
Place the dish onto a cookie sheet to catch any spills and place the whole thing into the preheated oven.
Bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375 and bake an additional 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling and hot.
Cinco de Mayo is coming soon! Perfect for a fun family dinner to celebrate all the fabulous tastes of Mexico! No need to go out; you can make it at home with real food ingredients and the recipes linked below!
Not a biggie holiday in Mexico, (and also NOT Mexican Independence Day) this day marks the Mexican army’s victory over a much bigger and more well-armed French army intent on claiming more territory for France.
In America, Cinco de Mayo has become a day to celebrate Mexican culture and food. If you can’t travel to LA, Chicago or Houston where the largest Cinco de Mayo celebrations occur, you can have fun making delicious Mexican-inspired food at home with your family!
Here’s a Round UP of some of our own Well Fed Family Mexican-inspired favorites followed by several more from some other fantastic blogs!
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Where Did the Trouble Begin?
A Senate report documented that we are growing our vegetables, grains and fruits in soils that are depleted of the necessary minerals needed to give us the correct balance of nutrients when we eat them. In fact they are so depleted that we are starving for these minerals no matter how much of these foods we eat. Laboratory tests proved the vegetables, eggs, grains and other foods we are eating are not as nutritious as they were generations ago. Scary? You haven’t heard it all….this report was written in 1936!
Six Signs You May Have a Deficiency
One of the most overlooked mineral deficiencies is magnesium. It is estimated that as many as 80% of us are deficient in magnesium. How do you know if you are deficient? There are many symptoms, but these six are some of the most common according to Liz Lipski, nutritionist and author of Digestive Wellness.
Muscles very tense at the end of the day
Sensitive to Noise
What Does Magnesium Do?
Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle, is probably one of the leading authorities on magnesium deficiency and nutrition. She explains that magnesium is crucial to good health. It is responsible for hundreds of important processes in our body. It activates our muscles and nerves. It creates energy in our cells. It helps digest proteins, carbs and fats. It is a building block for our DNA as well as RNA. It is even part of the process that builds our “feel good” neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Foods plentiful in magnesium include almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, seaweed, dark green leafy vegetables, properly soaked and cooked black beans, avocado, wild caught seafood like salmon, and grassfed beef. Often people think whole grains are a good source of magnesium, but the anti-nutrients in whole grains actually deplete minerals from your body. This is why it is so important to soak, sprout or use sourdough leavening with all of your grains and breads. (For a detailed demonstration and recipes see our Breads DVD.) Juicing fresh vegetables is also a good way to get more of them into your diet.
Homemade bone broth is a great source of many important minerals and nutrients. Including broth in your meal helps you absorb even more of the nutrition from all your other foods! Find recipes here and here to make delicious bone broth at home.
What Depletes Magnesium?
Many prescription and OTC drugs deplete magnesium. The list includes, but isn’t limited to, Zantac, Nexium, Prilosec, Maalox, Tums, Alka-Seltzer, most antibiotics, blood pressure medications, Ritalin, steroid creams and inhalers, HRTs, and oral contraceptives. If you take any of these it would be wise to ask your doctor about a good magnesium supplement.
In addition to those medications, magnesium is also depleted by stress, caffeine, high amounts of calcium supplements, and very loud noises. Eating a diet high in processed foods and soft drinks, as well as having any kind of digestive disorder can also deplete your magnesium.
Also remember that foods treated with herbicides, especially glyphosate (RoundUP), will further deplete the minerals in the soil and in the food. So stick to organic whenever possible, or follow the Dirty Dozen guide when choosing fresh vegetables and fruits to find the ones with the least amount of toxic chemicals.
What About Supplements?
Magnesium glycinate is an easily absorbed form of magnesium that’s good for supplementing a deficiency. Be aware that magnesium has a laxative effect when you first begin taking supplements, so start slowly and work up to the most effective dose for you.
The big feast is over, the turkey is eaten, but there is still one more thing to do….Make Broth!! Here is a free printable and shareable set of instructions plus an easy recipe for Turkey and Rice soup.