Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Immune Soup

I read an article in the Akron Beacon Journal this morning about ways to strengthen your immune system in flu season. I've had a flu shot, but strengthening my immune system still sounded good. It said eat an array of fruits and vegetables and recommended vegetable soup.

That was advice I could get behind. Of to the grocery store to buy chicken broth and a chicken and vegetables including a sweet potato--because sweet potato was strongly recommended. I boiled the chicken in stock with onion and garlic until the whole house smelled of it. I threw in a bouquet grani that was heavy on the black peppercorns. For dinner I made bread and we had some of the soup thickened with a little flour to make stew. The sweet potato I bought turned out to be very pale but it was good. With carrots it added a touch of sweetness. Sometimes I put a little apple juice in my chicken vegetable soup--it's something they used to do in the 18th century and I like the touch of it. But today I thought onion and garlic and pepper were more, well hearty.

Outside is freezing rain. Inside, the house is warm, the fire is going, the dogs are barking at the deer wandering down our street. And I'm sure my immune system is heartened.


Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

I was just thinking of making a big pot of vegetable soup. The kids won't eat it, but I will. And as its been cold and dreary hear, it sounds hearty and friendly.

I've never even thought of sweet potato in vegetable soup; I'm not a fan of it in its usual guises--primarily with brown sugar and marshmallow and that sort of thing. But hidden in a soup, it might be nice.

May I recommend jicama? Crunchy, even when cooked. A very pleasant addition.

January 06, 2005 2:03 AM  
Blogger Christopher Barzak said...

Mmmm, you're making me hungry. I had some great udon this past weekend, but I won't be able to find soup like what you just described anywhere. I'm going to have to put out the effort to make soup on my own, I guess.

January 06, 2005 3:23 AM  
Blogger Gregory Feeley said...

The Akron Beacon Journal! A beacon in the darkness of Akron, one presumes?

Yes, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. I prefer a stir-fry or a veggie-stuffed omelette to soup, but definitely get them on the menu.

January 06, 2005 6:54 AM  
Blogger Greg van Eekhout said...

I've just recently started making chicken soup from scratch. My favorite part is watching the clear water turn murky and mysterious. It makes me feel all, I dunno, eldritchy. I imagine my Indonesian ancestors would have thrown in some heads of enemy villagers for good measure, but good soup heads are hard to find these days, even at Whole Foods.

January 06, 2005 11:32 AM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Greg van E, soup heads are always raised with lots of preservatives and antibiotics anyway. I think you're right to avoid them.

(You're right about the water becoming something murky and potent though. It is alchemical.)

January 06, 2005 11:39 AM  
Blogger Responsible Artist said...

Since the girl child has been home we've been to our fave pho dive thrice and had soup each time. I love the soup because it's mostly broth, with hot peppers and lime and cilantro and bean sprouts.

The best thing about winter is soup. It always makes me happy that first day it's cold enough to boil up a chicken.

January 06, 2005 1:52 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Oh my God, pho! Now I crave pho. And the nearest place is 45 minutes away...

January 06, 2005 2:42 PM  

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