In minutes my soup was ready for the final touch: lemon zest and fresh-squeezed juice.
Altogether, I had a soothing comforting soup in about an hour and enjoyed the aroma and anticipation the whole time. I could even appreciate it despite my stuffy nose, which went away for a while after a bowl of this steamy delicious soup. It's a good thing I made plenty of it as this cold is trying to hang on.
The soup may not cure me, but it is fortification for the battle. Oh, I almost forgot, you don't have to have a cold to enjoy this soup. This is a real warm-you-up soup for a cold winter day or a winter cold. With or without the sniffles, you can make your own version depending on what you have on hand. Chicken broth, either canned or your own, is essential and a must to have on hand throughout the winter. Here, I infused the broth with ginger before adding slices of leek, carrot and peppers. It is finished with bok choy and lemon zest and juice. It is a super sniffle-buster and proof that food can be medicine.
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Sherrel's Get Well Soup
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1 large bulb of ginger (About 3 inches x 1 or 1½ inches sliced ¼ to 1/8-inch thick)
1 leek cleaned and sliced including as much of top as possible
1 or 2 carrots sliced
4 or 5 small red peppers
baby bok choy or spinach
Zest and juice of one lemon (Use Meyer lemons when you can get them.)
• Place stock in a large sauce pan or soup kettle. (It is best to use a nonreactive pan such as stainless steel or enamel coated pan for this soup.) Heat over medium heat.
• Prepare ginger and add to heated stock. Cover and let steep for 20 to 30 minutes. Prepare leek, carrots and peppers. Slice leek and place slices in bowl of cold water to let any dirt and debris settle out of slices while ginger steeps in stock.
• After steeping, remove ginger and return stock to heat. Add sliced vegetables, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 to 25 minutes until carrots are cooked through. Add halved or quartered and simmer an additional 2 to 3 minutes just until bok choy brightens. Stir in lemon zest and juice. Serve immediately.
• Notes: If using spinach, piping hot soup is enough to cook it sufficiently so pop a handful into your soup bowl, (I use baby spinach leaves) then ladle the hot soup over the top of the leaves. The spinach will be tender crisp and bring some extra special nutrients to your meal. This spinach in the bowl technique works well with bean soups and even chili.
• Source: Sherrel Jones