Friends, today my pride has been squashed and I am eating a fat slice of humble pie. The cold that has been lurking in the background for the last week, which my immune system tricked me into thinking it was successfully fighting, has reared its ugly head fully. It is the afternoon and I am still in my pyjamas, curled up on the sofa, tissues constantly in supply and feeling sorry for myself. I have spent the last hour online researching natural remedies for a cold and, more precisely, what to eat for a cold. However, I have come to the conclusion that the best thing one can do when suffering from that annual cold virus is to feast on vitamin dense foods. With this in mind I have been scoffing juicy kiwi fruits and sipping on peppermint tea. I have even mustered the energy to make a soup packed with virus fighting goodness; especially cayenne pepper, garlic, and onion. Really, this soup is a variation on my superfood soup but I have added extra garlic and spices to help my body fight the misery and annoyance that is a cold.
Did I mention that yesterday, whilst driving, I stupidly said to Tom “I’d much rather have a proper cold than be in that pre-cold state when you know that your body is fighting something – where you feel more tired than usual, your taste buds aren’t quite right and your nasal passages and throat are itchy”. I didn’t put it as eloquently as this but essentially my logic was that I’d rather be fully well or definitely ill than be in that inbetween state. My unique and sometimes scewed sense of logic has left me eating my words. Give me yesterday’s inbetween stage any time! Ah well, enough of the moping around. I can’t be that ill since I have made this delicious soup:
Spinach and Butternut Squash Soup
200g fresh spinach
A large handful of cubed butternut squash
1 small head of broccoli
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsps of a persian spice blend (www.dwdips.co.uk)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
750ml bouilllion vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion and garlic until softened. Be careful not to burn the garlic or brown the onion (the secret is to use a low-medium heat). Then add the spices and stir in to release the aromas. Add the butternut squash and half of the stock. Simmer until the squash is starting to soften. Then add the rest of the stock along with the spinach and broccoli. Once cooked leave to cool before blending. Re-heat and serve. Note, the spinach and broccoli don’t take long to cook so try not to add them until the last 5-10 mins of cooking.
P.S. The soup tastes much nicer than it looks! Case in point: once I had blended and reheated the soup, I called Tom away from his computer to try it. On looking at the soup he made a face of disgust. This I ignored and pushed a spoonful of soup into his hand. Upon tasting it he exclaimed, “amazing!”. If Tom likes it, you will. Trust me.