Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Vegetarian Chicken Soup

As a Jewish mother, I supposedly have the panacea for colds, chicken soup. This legendary broth-y soup has been spooned in the mouths of generations of kids, with the urgent, “eat it, it’s good for you.”

I don’t make chicken soup, since my family is vegetarian, but for years I have made a rich vegetable soup, using vegetable stock to make a soup with carrots, parsnips, celery and onions.

But my youngest daughter doesn’t like broth-y soup.

Now, we take other measures to ensure winter health, getting flu shots, drinking Traditional Medicinals cold tea when we get the sniffles, and not going outside with a wet head (not sure what this one does, but my own Jewish mother instilled it in me).

Still, I wanted Nora to eat the restorative soup.

Here’s the thing – she loves soup, but only cream soup. One day, I took her bowl and buzzed it with the immersion blender. Voila – she ate the soup.

Then I thought about other soups and ways to get more vegetables into her. Nora hates cooked carrots, but if they are blended in soup, she willingly eats them. And I find ginger to be particularly soothing when I have a sore throat. Since Nora is a singer (and a screamer) she gets a lot of sore throats, cold or no.

Note: You can make this soup vegan by sautéeing the onion in olive oil.

Carrot-Ginger Soup

1 onion, roughly chopped
1 T butter
1 3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
2 quarts vegetable stock (homemade is much better, but you can use Imagine)
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
1 sweet potato, peeled and chunked
1 potato, peeled and chunked
slat and pepper, to taste
Tabasco sauce, to taste

Cook the onion in the butter on low heat till soft, about 10 minutes. Add the ginger, stock and all the veggies and turn the heat up high. Add salt and pepper.
When small bubbles appear, turn the heat down to medium, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft.

Remove the piece of ginger.

Blend the soup with an immersion blender (you can do this when the soup is hot) or wait till it cools and blend in a food processor until smooth.

Add the ginger back. Heat and taste; add salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce, if needed.

This soup gets even more ginger-y the next day. Just don’t serve anyone the huge chunk of ginger; it can turn them off ginger forever.

Have a bowl after you get your flu shot.