Before we start, I’d just like to point out that this soup tastes fine anytime that you want to make it. It’s great if you’re sick, but it’s also good if your just lazy, or cold, or feeding a crowd.
And I’ll apologize now for the lack of pictures, but hey, I was sick, so I’ll let it go. Actually I only ended up with one good picture, haha.
The most recent time I was sick, I had a head cold and I was trying to clear out my sinuses so I made the soup extra-extra spicy. I think I almost gave Joel (who wasn’t sick) third degree burns in his throat. But it worked for me pretty well until I accidentally did something stupid and ghost-pepper level hot soup came out of my nose (oops).
Anyway, you don’t have to be like me, you can make it regular spicy, or not spicy at all.
But this soup is very healthy, really cheap, super easy, and actually tastes good. It only takes about 10 minutes to make, and it makes a few days worth, so it’s more efficient than canned soup. AND it freezes well, so you can make a bunch now while you’re feeling well and freeze individual portions to defrost in the microwave later when you’re sick.
Here are some of the ingredients and why they’re in the soup (besides that they’re tasty):
Paprika – Paprika is a non-spicy, mildly smoky spice made with dried and finely ground peppers. It’s often used in chicken dishes or to add color to recipes. It is touted to be an antioxidant, an anti inflammatory (which you would want to decongest and relieve sinus and head pain), a pain reliever, and helps to detoxify your body. (source, source)
Celery Seed – I used celery seed in this recipe because I was out of regular celery and too sick to go buy more. But celery seed has a strong celery taste and touts many of the same health benefits. For the purposes of cold relief, celery seed features mild blood-thinning agents (helpful for headaches), and also help to flush out your kidneys and rid your body of toxins. (source)
Minced Garlic – Garlic is amazing. It’s good for your immune system, helps to fight off fungus and bacteria, and also tastes amazing. It’s been used for centuries to help fight off infections and ailments such as Tuberculosis. (source, source)
Chicken Broth – One of the best things you can do for yourself when you have a cold is drink a lot of hot or warm liquids. This will help to keep you hydrated and clear out your sinuses, especially since this is a relatively “thin” soup. (source)
Cilantro – Cilantro is touted by health experts as a powerful antioxidant, and studies show a correlation between cilantro and quality of sleep (natural Nyquil, anyone?). Cilantro has also been shown to help fight off several types of harmful organisms. (source)
Convinced? Here’s the printable recipe card.
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth (see notes)
- 1 tomato
- 1/2 onion
- 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups frozen mixed veggies
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon each: paprika, dried minced garlic (or garlic powder), and celery seed
- 1/2 tablespoon dired poultry seasoning (or 1/4 tablespoon each Savory and Thyme)
- Optional Ingredients: hot sauce, crushed red pepper flakes
- Put your broth in a 5 qt stock pot to simmer.
- In the meantime, peel and quarter an onion and grind it up in a food processor with your tomato (my food processor sucks, so I use an immersion blender, you could also just dice them both very finely). You want them to be almost soupy in texture.
- Pour your tomato/onion mixture into the broth, stir it, and continue to let it simmer.
- Now it’s time to add in your other veggies. If you’re using small mixed veggies, just toss them into the soup frozen, but if you’re using larger ones (like me, I used a “Normandy Blend” with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, and yellow squash) you may want to defrost them a bit first, and then chop them up before you add them in.
- After everything else is in the soup, add in your cilantro, spices, and any optional ingredients and then continue to let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or any sort of healthcare professional. My knowledge about the benefits of certain foods come from my own research and general knowledge. If you have legitimate concerns about your health or your health in relation to your diet, I encourage you to visit your own health care provider or nutritionist.