What’s the saying…”feed a cold, starve a fever” or something like that? Maybe it’s vice versa, but either way nothing is better when you have a cold than a bowl of steamy and warm soup. On top of that, it snowed here in Raleigh last week while I was in the throws of battling my cold. It hardly ever snows in here, and by most definitions (Northern definitions) we didn’t really get any snow. But our 1.42 inches of snow was pretty while it lasted. Here are some pics of the sunset the day the snow storm ended.
Anyway, with my cold raging and the blizzard of over an inch hitting us, I decided to research some soup recipes. I wanted to make something that would be make me feel better and warm me up. Well, believe it or not there are actually recipes out there for “immunity soups.” I even found one in a cookbook I received as a gift from my mother-in-law last year. So I decided to give it a whirl but with some of my twists.
Apparently the key ingredient to immunity soups is astragalus root. Doesn’t that sound tasty? 😛 No, I know it doesn’t but read about it. When I read “significant age-reversal effect on the immune system” I was sold on at least trying it. I went straight to Whole Foods (because obviously they sell anything/everything healthy) and…no astragalus root. But they did have the extract in their Whole Body section.
I did a quick internet search to make sure I could put this in a soup (without ruining the soup) and that it would still have it’s magical effects. I really couldn’t find anything to say yay or nay, so I bought it anyway. What’s the worst that could happen. It’s not like it would kill me. Oddly enough, while on the phone with my grandmother that night she literally said to me “well I hope it doesn’t kill you.” Quite the jokester she is.
So here is what I made.
The base of the soup was some stock from my freezer (I chose a chipotle veggie stock), then I threw in some veggies, some potatoes and turkey ham for substance, and fresh, peppery watercress. First I sauteed some onion, garlic, and ginger (apparently garlic is a natural antibiotic and ginger is an anti-inflammatory). Then I added carrots and red bell pepper. I let them saute for a few minutes and then I added the stock. Once that came to a boil, I added the potatoes and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Then I added the asparagus and bok choy. I let that cook just until the asparagus and bok choy were done. I had some leftover uncured turkey ham so I roasted that with a dusting of cayenne pepper – every immunity soup recipe called for a dash of cayenne. After roasting I added that to the soup mixture as well. I ladled some soup into my bowl and then added my astragalus root extract. Then I topped it off with the watercress. The extract did not ruin the soup at all. In fact it was barely discernible from when I tasted the soup without it. I never did add the extract to the entire pot. Instead I added it to each bowl when I warmed up leftovers.
While I’m not entirely certain if the soup helped me get over my cold any more quickly than normal, the result was delicious. And hey, it 100% helped me stay warm from the snowy blizzard outside.