Get Well Soup
Like so many others, we saw the New Year in with fevers, headaches and sniffles. And when the weather is chilly and one’s appetite is lacking, but one’s body is craving nourishment, what could be more perfect than a steaming pot of soup?
Tasty and wholesome soups can be whipped up using whatever one has to hand. Stock your pantry or freezer with chicken, vegetable or beef broth or stock for those days when one lacks the energy or time to start a soup from scratch.
Add some onion, garlic, celery, carrots, squash, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes (possibly canned) or greens to a carton of stock, together with seasoning and any leftover meat, turkey, or chicken to create a satisfying and flavorsome soup. Then there are lentils, barley, beans, noodles, orzo, rice – the list is endless – to thicken and bulk-up the soup with additional nutrients. There are no rules when it comes to soup – soup can be chunky, clear or smooth, meat-based or vegetarian. Let your mood and stock cupboard be your guide!
Below is our recipe for an easy, thick butternut soup.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large butternut (about 2 pounds), sliced, peeled and de-pipped
- 2 leeks, sliced
- celery heart or stalks, about 1 cup, sliced
- 1 tablespoon shredded fresh ginger root
- 1 quart chicken stock or broth
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Place the olive oil, butternut, leeks, celery and ginger root in a large, heavy-based saucepan and stir over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
- Add the stock, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for about an hour, until the vegetables are soft.
- Remove from the heat and cool slightly before liquidizing. An immersion blender is great for this as the soup can be blended in the saucepan.
- Add the lemon juice, salt and cumin and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes so that the flavors can blend. Adjust flavoring to taste.
- Serve hot with a swirl of cream.