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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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Category: Soups

Lamb Chili with Harissa

Your next pot of chili doesn’t have to be the same old ground beef chili.

Instead, cook up a pot of ground lamb seasoned with things like turmeric and ginger and a few tablespoons of fiery harissa. The end result is a meal that’s still recognizable as chili but has delicious new flavor.

You know the drill with lamb by now: it’s a nutritionally complete protein packed with all 8 essential amino acids and a whole lot of vitamins and minerals. Lamb can be challenging to cook, but when your butcher grinds it for you and it’s used as the base for chili, there aren’t any worries about overcooking the meat and making it tough. This is an easy and stress-free way to cook lamb.

Harissa is used as the main spice component in this lamb chili. This Middle Eastern condiment gives chili (even beef chili) amazing flavor and adjustable heat. Two tablespoons of harissa adds a slow, robust burn to a pot of chili. Cut back to 1 tablespoon for less heat, or, use the harissa strictly as a condiment. That way, everyone can give their own bowl of chili as much or as little heat as they want.

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Rogan Josh Lamb Stew

Rogan Josh is lamb stew with an unusual but memorable name. It’s a meal that fills your house with the comforting aroma of spices and slow cooked meat. Luckily, in this quick and easy (and dairy-free) version of Rogan Josh, “slow” only means an hour, so you won’t be tortured by the mouth-watering aroma for long.

Rogan Josh is a popular Kashmiri dish traditionally made with lamb, yogurt, loads of hot Kashmiri chiles and other spices. This simplified version uses fire-roasted tomatoes and curry powder for heat and flavor. Creamy coconut milk easily takes the place of yogurt, coating the tender lamb in a rich, creamy sauce.

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Pork Belly and Kimchi Soup

A steaming bowl of pork belly and kimchi soup is like sipping a restorative tonic. It warms you right the core, filling your belly with a good dose of healthy bacteria in a surprisingly delicious way.

It’s likely you already know that fermented foods such as kimchi add helpful probiotics to your gut.

If you find the flavor of kimchi to be overwhelming when eaten straight, fear not, it mellows when simmered in soup. A little bit, anyway. It still has a spicy, garlicky kick but in a less aggressive way.

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Oven Baked Chowder

Meals like this oven-baked chowder are exactly the type of recipes that instantly become keepers. Why? The chowder is deeply flavorful and the fish and veggies cook perfectly every time, with little assistance from you. Plus, it’s a one-pot meal that serves up both protein and veggies and leaves behind only a few dirty dishes.

Change the recipe up seasonally with different vegetables, or stick with this tried and true combination of parsnips, carrots and bell pepper. Using different types of fish is an option, too; sea bass and halibut are always delicious, and wild salmon, of course, is never a bad choice for its abundant omega-3s.

Is this traditional chowder? No, but it’s just as good (or maybe even better).

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Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and sour soup, with its bracing spicy and sour flavor, tastes intuitively like food that will give your immune system a boost. At the very least, it’ll warm your belly and provide a satisfying meal, and with this recipe, no take-out menu is needed.

You can choose to seek out authentic ingredients (like lily buds and cloud ear fungus) or simply go with dried shiitake mushrooms. Likewise, ingredients like soy sauce, sugar and red rice vinegar can be replaced with coconut aminos and plain rice vinegar. This recipe also nixes tofu and cornstarch, resulting in a soup that isn’t traditional but delicious nonetheless.

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Primal Ramen Soup

Ramen is Japanese soup made from pork broth, roasted pork, boiled noodles, and various toppings like vegetables, seaweed and egg. For many, the noodles are the main ingredient that the dish revolves around. But Primal ramen puts all the attention on the pork. Slow roasted pork, smoked pork shanks and bacon all play a role in making ramen that’s deeply flavorful and satisfying, even without noodles.

If you’ve traveled to Japan, then you’re familiar with the ubiquitous ramen shop serving steaming bowls of ramen that reflect the shop’s own distinctive style. If you were ever a hungry teenager or college student, then you’re definitely familiar with instant Top Ramen. This recipe is a far cry from instant ramen and not as labor intensive as ramen made in restaurants. It does take a little time to make (most of it hands-off) but suddenly all the ingredients come together. You’re rewarded with delicious steaming broth, tender slices of pork, vibrant collard greens and garnishes of egg, scallions and nori.

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