Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Soup and Survival
I was not supposed to get the flu, but I did. It came after a cold and a stomach bug. It hit me hard (despite the infamous flu shot) and left me resolved to shore up my reserves. Enough is enough. After four days of convalescing, I ate two huge bowls of this amazing soup and suddenly the run down feeling left my body. That was yesterday. I made it again today to prolong the feelings of self preservation, restoration, survival. The winter is nowhere near over, so if I have to eat this every day, I just might do that.
This magical soup, "sick soup" came to me by way of text message from my cousin Laurie, who got it from her friend when her own son was sick. Before that, I can't trace it any farther back. I'd like to thank the universe for putting this soup out there for me because the healing properties are numerous. 12 cloves of garlic. Ginger, onion, cabbage, chili, lime juice. Grandma's chicken noodle soup is cowering in the corner feeling pretty meager next to this.
I think we all agree, getting sick is the pits. But winter and germs are here to stay, so in case you need it- here's the recipe. Stay strong.
This soup lends itself well to variations. The photo below shows a version I just made using shiitake mushrooms and firm tofu. Add the mushrooms about half way through the cooking, and stir in the diced tofu once you have turned off the flame.
6 cups water
1 white onion, cut in half then sliced thinly
1 medium cabbage (use as much of the cabbage as you like), sliced into 1 inch pieces
12 cloves garlic, peeled (thinly slice 6, and chop the other 6)
4 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 red chili cut in half, seeds removed and thinly sliced (omit the chili if serving someone who cannot tolerate spice)
juice of 1 lime
1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
salt to taste
Boil the water in a large pot and add all the ingredients except the lime juice, sesame oil and salt. Cover the pot and simmer the soup over medium heat for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the lime juice, sesame oil and salt to taste. Enjoy this soup piping hot.