Seems like every autumn is accompanied by sniffles, coughs, and sneezes. Well, my Beautiful Girlfriend came down with some kind of bug; and my duty as a responsible hubby is to take care of her when she’s not feeling well. One part of taking care of my Honey Pie is making medicine for dinner. That doesn’t mean I load her up with over the counter cold remedies; although of course some of those are part of the cold killing arsenal. Nope, it’s much more basic, much more traditional, much more practical than that.
I make soup.
Soup has been known for centuries as an excellent means of warming and nourishing the body. There are lots of time tested concoctions that have been passed down through the generations; chicken soup being one of the more well known. But these days, some very important combinations of effective natural additives for soup are completely overlooked. If I must say so myself, I’ve gotten pretty good at making yummy but powerful cold killing soups over the years.
I start with stock, of course. Often, my soup stock starts as compost. HUH??!! Well OK, it’s not technically compost yet, but it would have been if I hadn’t tossed it into the gallon sized freezer bag first. Still confused? Ha ha, yes I know… OK enough silly: whenever I trim the ends from carrots, or the peel of an onion, snips of celery, etc. I put them into a gallon size freezer bag and pop them in the freezer. When the bag is full, I empty the contents into our 4 quart Revere Ware pot and cover it with water. I put the cover on, then boil the heck out of the snippings until they start to fall apart. Then I take a potato masher and smoosh them even more (releases more goodies) before I strain the contents through a colander into another pot. The stock becomes soup, and now the snippings can be thrown in the compost.
I add a cup of beans, ½ cup of barley, ½ cup of lentils ½ cup of rice for the protein. I cook those in the stock till they’re done, then the fun begins. Here comes the cold killing stuff:
1 big handful of finely chopped fresh parsley
1 medium yellow onion (diced)
2 or three carrots, sliced
4 cloves of fresh garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon of thyme leaves
1 heaping teaspoon of sage (powdered)
1 ½ teaspoons of fresh chopped rosemary leaves
1 bundle of wild cabbage leaves, chopped (stems and all… this is from our garden and is an ancestor to other cole crops like kale, broccoli, and Brussles sprouts).
Salt to taste (be careful… those eating the soup can always add more)
Bring to a boil, stirring regularly, then allow to simmer for about ½ hour more.
Last weekend I made a double batch of this stuff with the intent of feeding our son, daughter and her hubby, grandsons and ourselves. Only problem was, I used dried beans and they weren’t quite cooked enough at dinner time; so I made a quick batch of spaghetti. No worries, we’ve been eating the soup on and off all week, and yesterday I added some more water to the leftovers and also added more garlic and herbs. My Lovely Bride is feeling better, and she is very keen on having more soup (there’s plenty) to do more cold bug killing. Hey, during cold season, we have similar soups even when we aren’t sick.
As Mom would say, “it’s good for what ails ya, and if nothin’ ails ya, it’s good for that too.”
Don’t think we’ll be using this machine to serve dinner anytime soon though…