"I think it's nice that there are all different kinds of lunches and breakfasts and dinners and snacks. I think eating is nice." – Albert from Bread and Jam for Frances, by Russell C. Hoban
Winter colds and fevers need feeding – warming soups and broths, nourishing stews and casseroles, and countless cups of ginger tea. At least that’s what I think you need.
I’m known for repeating the adage that food is medicine, along with bathing my kids in herbal tea mixtures, and spooning eye-of-newt like Chinese medicine brews past their protesting lips. A favorite remedy is ginger root, simmered with a few grains of cayenne pepper, in a couple of cups of water. Cook until it’s nice and spicy – add a squeeze of lemon or a dash of honey – and drink up.
But sometimes all you need a good bowl of soup, one that clears your head and relaxes irritated sinus passages. For many, that might be chicken soup and indeed, it can be just what the doctor ordered but for Doctor Beth, it’s all about ginger and lots of it.
Easy, Gingery Carrot Soup:
2 tbsp olive oil – you could combine olive oil and a dash of butter for a richer flavor but it ‘s not necessary.
2 onions, chopped
1 fennel or 2 ribs of celery, chopped
2″ (or less) of hot, red pepper, chopped. Or use a pinch – to your taste – of dried, red pepper flakes.
6 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2-3″ of ginger, trimmed, pared and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetables for Soup:
2 pounds of carrots (approx 1 kilo), scrubbed and roughly chopped
2 turnips, sliced
3 small zucchini, sliced
1/2-3/4 cup, white wine
1/4-1/3 cup, apple juice
6-8 cups of water. Don’t fill the pot too much.
1 cup cilantro and parsley, de-stemmed. If they are stemmed the soup will be greener.
Salt and pepper
1/2 a lemon, squeezed
In a medium sized soup pot – like 8 liters – saute the onion, garlic, ginger, hot pepper and fennel or celery, until medium soft, about 8-10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add the veggies to the soup pot, saute for a few minutes before adding in the liquids. Let the soup come to a boil, reduce heat and lower to a simmer, partially covered for about 20-30 minutes.
I cooked this for less than you might because I pureed in the Vita-Mix which yielded a silky smooth soup after a short amount of cooking. Cook it longer as you need and puree with a stick blender – but don’t put your hand in the pot – on in batches in a food processor. When you puree, add in 3/4’s of the green herbs. You can put in less according to your taste.
Taste for salt and pepper and add in some lemon juice.
Serve with a garnish of parsley and cilantro on top.