I was just bragging last month--it's been years since I've been hit hard by a cold or flu. Years! No sooner do I start getting cocky, then WHAM! I get hit with a wicked cold that turns into a nasty respiratory infection, complete with hoarse voice, hacking cough and sinuses pounding. This calls for a very serious soup--I'm looking for the power players: Garlic. Ginger. Turmeric.
Ginger contains phytochemicals that are known reduce nausea and inflammation, and it’s been used for years to treat pain from muscle soreness, coughs and respiratory tract infections. Garlic has been used as a medicine to prevent and treat a wide range of diseases and conditions related to the heart and blood. I could list all the conditions that garlic is used to treat, but it could crash my website. The phytochemical in garlic is called allicin—it gives garlic its unique smell, and the fresher your garlic is, the more potent your garlic will be as a medicinal herb. Turmeric is that yellow spice that ruins all of your wooden spoons by turning them bright yellow. Much like garlic and ginger, there’s a long list of conditions that turmeric is used to treat, but it’s primarily associated with decreasing inflammation in the body.
In one of the zillions magazines I have stacked on my kitchen counter, I found a delicious-looking recipe for a curried corn soup with ginger, but it also included a half stick of butter and a cup of heavy cream. Dairy is no friend to mucus, and the last thing I need while I'm lying around binge watching Breaking Bad (don't spoil the ending--I'm only in season 3) is a ton of extra calories and fat.
Here is my super cold fighting recipe for Curried Corn Soup with fresh Garlic and Ginger:
2 leeks, washed well and thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 large yam, cubed into 1-inch chunks
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 16-oz bag frozen organic corn
1 cup light coconut milk (not coconut beverage, but coconut milk in the can--ingredients should be “coconut milk” and maybe water or guar gum--nothing more)
Cook the leeks, celery and carrot in a large soup pot over medium high heat in a tablespoon of water. Stir occasionally, adding water if the vegetables begin to stick, and cook until vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes
Add the ginger, garlic, spices and potato and cook, stirring until the spices are fragrant and the potato is coated, 1-2 minutes
Add the broth and water and bring to a boil. Add the corn, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cook 5 minutes more.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender. For some texture, leave some or all of the vegetables whole. I served it topped with wilted Swiss chard for an extra zing to this infection, and topped with raw pumpkin seeds.