Cold-fighting Soup

This week Logan was sent home from school with “the crud,” which is not the flu, but the other cold or virus that is going around.  Congested, fever, low energy… you get the idea.  My Grandma Lil always said, “Chicken soup is the best penicillin in the world.”  Logan being a vegetarian, I had to go with the second best penicillin in the world, homemade vegetable soup with garlic, ginger and lots of love.  Ginger has many health benefits, one of which is easing nausea and other stomach upsets, which often accompany an illness with fever.

Piping hot bowl of comfort!
As a general rule of thumb, I always have at least a few packages of Dorot garlic and herbs in my freezer.  I used to balk at any sort of frozen herbs, until I actually picked up a package and read it.  Dorot products are made in Israel, where produce is harvested at its peak.  The entire operation is owned and operated by Kibbutz Dorot.  The garlic and herbs are picked, then immediately chopped and frozen, so you are actually getting products at their best, direct from Israel!  I always say that food just tastes better in Israel, so it’s like bringing Israel into your kitchen.
I find Dorot products at Trader Joe’s and Sprouts.  They are a little more expensive at Sprouts, about 50 cents higher than at Trader Joe’s, but they usually have a better selection, such as ginger and cilantro.  Trader Joe’s almost always has the garlic and basil.  If you happen to see the chopped parsley stock up on it… and maybe buy an extra package for me!  It is the hardest to find… and one of my favorites in the Dorot line. Having the Dorot products on hand eliminates quite a bit of prep work, as all the washing and chopping is already done.  You also don’t have to worry about your fresh basil turning brown before you have a chance to use it.
Dorot Basil


Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cubes garlic (or 3 cloves fresh garlic)
  • 3 cubes basil (equivalent to 3 tsp.fresh basil)
  • 2 cubes cilantro (equivalent to 2 tsp. fresh cilantro)
  • 3 cubes ginger (equivalent to 3 tsp. fresh grated ginger)
  • 3/4 C. chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • Optional: 1/4 C. chopped roasted green chiles
  • 32 oz. vegetable broth, plus 2 C. water
  • NOTE: The remaining ingredients are  completely up to you… you do not need to use the same vegetables I did.  Use what you have, use what you like.
  • 2 1/2 C. chopped rainbow chard
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 mini purple sweet potatoes, diced into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 C. chopped fresh green beans
  • 1 summer squash, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • COOKED protein of your choice (I used a 12 oz. package of tofu, which I cubed and sauteed in olive oil until the pieces were lightly browned, but you can substitute chunks of cooked chicken)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Saute garlic, basil, cilantro, garlic, onion, red peppers and chiles over medium-high heat until soft and onions are beginning to lightly brown.  Adding a dash of sea salt to the mixture is helpful, to sweat the vegetables.
2. Add all remaining ingredients.  Simmer over medium to medium-high heat for 25 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft.  Taste periodically, adding salt and pepper toward end of cooking.  You may need to add more water during the cooking process if the soup looks to thick.



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