just what the student doctor ordered

Flu season has officially announced its nasty presence throughout the country. It seems that I can’t turn on the radio, open my email, or walk through the halls of the hospital here without being reminded of the especially aggressive season that’s taken hold, and furthermore, of the seemingly low efficacy rates of the vaccine this year. All this adds up to the need to prophylactically boost my immunity. That means plenty of sleep, hydration, and of course, stocking my fridge and pantry with immunity-boosting foods.
I made this soup with flu prevention and health promotion on my mind. It’s loaded with ginger, turmeric, spinach, carrots, and quinoa. A dash of red pepper flakes adds a generous dose of heat that promises to clear out your sinuses. I enjoyed the flavors of this soup as I was concocting it, but I felt there was something slightly off about the many different textures that were at play. So, I whipped out my favorite new Christmakkah gift (thanks, Erica!), a mini food processor, and blended the soup until smooth. This helped the spices and flavors meld together even better. I served the soup with a sprinkling of cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. If you had it on hand, some yogurt would make a nice addition. After having this soup for dinner, I’m feeling in pretty good shape. Hopefully it brings you a delicious dose of flu prevention too!
Immunity Boosting Soup
2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced

3 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp garam masala
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 quart chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
6 cups water
1 cup quinoa
1 large bag washed spinach leaves
Cilantro and lime, for serving
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion for about 5-7 minutes, until slightly golden. Add carrots and saute another 2-3 minute. Add ginger and garlic and saute another minute. Add spices and stir well. Add broth and water. Allow mixture to come to a boil and then add the quinoa. Boil soup for about 10 minutes, and check to see if quinoa is done (should be softer, but not mushy). Add spinach leaves and allow them to wilt for 2-3 minutes, being careful to not overcook the spinach. Taste soup for seasonings and adjust to your liking.
For pureed option: Allow soup to cool a bit before blending it in batches in a food processor or with an immersion blender.
Serve with cilantro and lime wedges. Yogurt would also be a great addition!

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