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A Quick Soup to Ward off the Flu


How not to get the flu, a quick soup recipe that might keep you well:

Turn up your favorite cooking music nice and loud. Wrap a sturdy apron around your waist.

Roughly chop about 4 leeks. Do the same with 4 carrots and 4 celery stalks, if you have a fennel bulb chop that as well. You also need a whole head of garlic… don’t peel it, just cut it in half.

Heat up your biggest pot, the one you cook pasta in. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the vegetables. Peer into your crisper, any other vegetables that are soup worthy like greens or squash, chop them and into the pot they go. Add 1 14-oz can of chopped tomatoes, 2 14-oz cans of rinsed white beans. Pour in 4 quarts of stock, any kind as long as it is already tasty.

Drop in a smoked ham bone or turkey leg, or if you want to keep it vegetarian add a handful of prunes (a fab idea from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook Plenty).

While the soup is gently simmering for about 40 minutes get out a few big jars, write a few get well notes, gather some bread, lemons and ginger tea (add cayenne) into baskets. Feel very very grateful that you are not sick yet.

Remove the garlic bulbs, either squeeze them out of their skins back into the soup or onto a piece of toast with a sprinkling of salt, pepper and parsley (that’s a treat for you the cook). Stir a handful of chopped herbs into the pot, taste the soup. Does it need a little more salt? Some pepper? Maybe a squeeze of lemon?

Pour the soup into the jars. Take the care baskets to the neighbor, a friend, or the people down the way who are under the weather.

If you forget to save soup for yourself that’s O.K. It has already done its job.


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