Quick Vegetable Soup for a Sick Day You Couldn’t Take

10 Jun

A few weeks ago I got bronchitis. I don’t get sick often, but sometimes you just pound it too hard and the body craps out.

However, it was not the right time to take off from work, which statement is probably a clear indicator of how crazed about work our American society is (And how I have become). “Yeah, I am on death’s door, but I gotta go to work.” Heavy sigh followed by a hacking, wracking cough. Wipe nose on sleeve. Carry on.

And I was one of at least two in our department who were in the same boat. Ah well. In my next iteration, I will go back to being Mediterranean or Caribbean in my approach. It is much better.

Anyhoo, by the time I stumbled home and crawled up the stairs on one of the worst days, I wasn’t up for much cooking. I was, however, very much in the mood for a comforting, nourishing soup. So was my mom, who was in similar condition downstairs.

That is when knowing your way around a kitchen is a good thing. If you can chop, saute, and add flavorful liquids, in about 25 minutes you can have a soup that may not raise the dead, but will smell good, taste good (if you have any sense of smell or taste left)  and make you feel better. If you don’t have any sense of smell or taste, just load on the hot sauce and enjoy a few minutes of steamed and spicy relief.

Feel like you can’t even deal with chopping fresh vegetables? Go ahead, empty out all the useless quarter bags of frozen vegetables buried in the back of the freezer. The tomatoe-y broth and herbs will make it all taste good, even if the texture leaves a bit to be desired.

Easy Vegetable Soup

2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Cup chopped carrots and celery

2 Cups other mixed vegetables (whatever bits are around the fridge anxious to be used – I used cauliflower, broccoli, summer squash. Potatoes, leeks, spinach would be nice too. You can also use frozen – why not?)

15 oz. can of tomatoes – pureed, chopped, diced, whole, whatever*

1 quart your preferred stock, plus more liquid to cover – can be stock or water*.

15 oz. can of white beans, rinsed and drained

½ Cup of cooked rice or pasta, if you’ve got

½ Cup fresh or frozen chopped spinach, optional

1 Tbs dried herbs (your preferred combination of oregano/thyme/rosemary/parsley/marjoram)

Salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste

In a deep soup pot, heat the oil at medium high until loose and fragrant. Add onions, stir to coat, and lower heat to medium. Add garlic, carrots, and celery, and saute for five minutes, until becoming tender. Add additional vegetables, stir to coat and sauté another three minutes. Add tomatoes and broth, plus enough additional liquid to cover, bring pot to boil, then lower heat and simmer for ten minutes. With about five minutes left in the simmer, add beans, and optional pasta and spinach, and seasoning. Serve with saltines or crusty bread.

*(Note: You can substitute some or all the stock, or the can of tomatoes with vegetable juice such as V-8 – low-sodium preferred)


12 Responses to “Quick Vegetable Soup for a Sick Day You Couldn’t Take”

  1. Tammy June 12, 2012 at 6:12 am #

    I agree with the Chica that soup is the perfect healer. I make a pot a week (always farm fresh).

  2. kararo Ramirez June 11, 2012 at 5:52 pm #

    Gracias por la receta,la tendre pendiente para uno de estos dias que no haga mucho calor. Ahora en Puerto Rico comenzando el verano 92 grados F. Espero estes recuperada de la bronquitis. Saludos!!

  3. kararo Ramirez June 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Gracias por la receta, la tendre pendiente para uno de estos dias que no haga mucho calor. Ahora, en Puerto Rico 92 grados F., y comenzando el mes de junio (o sea, el verano). Saludos!!

  4. Chica Andaluza June 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    Soup is the perfect healer! I am off to London in 2 days to look after a friend who is convalescing from an op and she has asked me to make her lots of soup!

  5. Karen June 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    A hot bowl of soup always makes me feel better, especially when it is homemade. Happy that you are feeling better.

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy June 12, 2012 at 9:57 am #

      Thanks Karen! Now that I am feeling better and the weather is warming up, I think I’ll be looking into cod soups as well!

  6. Mad Dog June 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Good for you, making real food when you are ill and what devotion to blogging – you even managed a couple of pictures – I hope you are feeling better now 😉

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy June 10, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

      That was actually a couple of weeks ago that I was ill…but yes, the compulsion to blog is a powerful motivator…

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