Over the holidays my family fell prey to one of the myriad winter colds that are chasing folks around this year. My uncle ran out of town fast. A few days later he was bragging cheerfully that the cold germs couldn't catch him as his raced away on I95. Having to stay here, I was running in place, trying to take care of my husband, but dousing everything within reach, including the hands that were doing the reaching, with rubbing alcohol. To this my uncle replied "Bob and weave, lass, bob and weave-serpentine, serpentine!" Alas, my best cleaning moves were no match. My steady diet of supplements, Advil, and antihistamine could not keep this cold at bay. I was sick and it was time to turn to the kitchen for help.
First on my list is fresh ginger tea. While sipping this I start making chicken soup. It's usually a little different each time. Here's what I've been really enjoying this season. The chicken broth, fresh ginger, and roasted garlic seem like a power house of cold fighting goodness when mixed with all these fresh veggies and greens. Also, this makes quite a lot so if your able to make a great soup when you first start to feel that cold coming on then you should have soup enough for a week. Just be sure to bring each serving back to a boil.
Approx. 3 Quarts Chicken Broth (home made or low sodium)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 Whole med to large head of Roasted Garlic
Fresh Grated Ginger (About a 2"x2" hunk, pealed and finely grated)
4 med-large carrots sliced into 1/4" rounds
3 med russet potatoes scrubbed and chopped into small cubes
1 large yellow onion, pealed and chopped
Celery or fennel stalk chopped
1 package Twin Oaks Fine Herb tofu, cubed to 1" pieces.
Fresh, course chopped winter greens ( I've used cabbage. I've also used, parsley and swiss chard)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place whole head of garlic in clay garlic roasting dish or wrap in foil. Leave in oven until fully softened (about 1 half hour). Mean while chop onion, add olive oil to large soup pot over medium high heat. Toss in onions as soon as oil starts to sizzle a bit. Add some of the salt. Chop celery or fennel while onions cook, stirring onions occasionally. After about 5 minutes add the celery and a little chicken broth if needed. Stir, scraping bottom of the pan with your wooden spoon as you add rest of chicken broth. Add herbs, bay leaves, and rest of salt. Bring broth to a gentle boil. Meanwhile chop carrots and potatoes. Add carrots once broth is boiling cook for couple minutes. Peal and grate ginger. Rinse and cube tofu. Add ginger, tofu, and potatoes. Cook until tender. When garlic is done remove from oven to cool. Once garlic is cool, use a serrated knife, cut the bottom off the entire head. Holding the head over the soup just squeeze all of garlic into soup and toss the papery skins away. Note: you really need to let this cool before handling otherwise it's rather like Napalm on your finger tips!
Once every thing is cooked and you got it tasting good, adding a pinch of salt, herbs, as needed (this will depend upon the chicken broth you started with) and you're ready to serve.
Toss a small handful of the fresh greens, or fresh chopped parsley into the bottom of your bowl. Ladle soup over top. Rest up, and enjoy!