As everyone knows, it is flu season. Many will go the traditional route and get a flu shot which is fine if that is what you prefer but I believe in the healing power of good food so I bucked the norm and chose not to get a flu shot for anyone in my family.
You see I believe that in our day and age we come into all sorts of toxins: in the air from cars, pesticides and factories; in our home from cleaning products, beauty products, unfiltered water; and directly in our bodies through what we choose to put into it: medicine, alcohol, tobacco, processed food. Everyone knows that tobacco is bad for you and alcohol should be moderate but in our culture, we tend not to think about the other two: medicine and processed food.
When it comes to medicine, I believe there is a time and place for it. When you cannot solve a medical condition through natural means then medicine is necessary. It shouldn’t be an automatic choice, in my opinion, but a last resort.
But it is processed food that I think is the real mystery for most people. We all know we need to eat better and we all say we try but for many the excuse is time. We simply don’t have the time to cook fresh all the time so we don’t. For me it takes time regardless, it is just that if you eat processed, the time comes in the form of increased susceptibility to sickness or worse, a serious health issue. Therefore, it takes a little more time each day to prepare fresh food for you and your family but, as I have written about before, if you get organized and keep the meals simple it is not too bad and it will save you time in the long run.
So for this flu season, I practiced what I preach and did not resort to medicine and just relied on healthy food to get us through it. Did we get the flu? My youngest did, she’s 6, and she had a fever for 3 days. I let the fever run its course, monitoring it but not giving her medicine, and fed her this soup listed below. My son also got a fever but never got the flu (we had them both tested to be sure). I only got a scratchy throat and my ex got the sniffles. All in all, the virus didn’t get us, at least not very hard, and that is testament to the power of healthful, pure, food eaten daily.
So while you are trying to figure out how to cook more, here is a recipe for a thin, vegetarian soup that will help you get through flu season. It is power packed with nutrition.
- ½ c minced celery
- ½ c minced shallots or green onions
- ¼ c red lentils
- 1 c cubed butternut squash (1/4" cubes)
- 1 medium tomato chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger minced
- 1 tbsp turmeric minced (may substitute powder if fresh is unavailable but won't have the same effect)
- 2 tbsp white miso
- 6 cups vegetable broth (you can save stock from cooking vegetables)
- 1 tsp ghee or olive oil
- cilantro for garnish
- soak lentils in warm water for 1 hour, drain
- in a ceramic pot or big soup pot, add the ghee or oil, saute the onions until glassy then add the celery, then the squash, the turmeric and ginger, spacing each out a minute or two to cook down.
- add the tomatoes and cook until the skins start to break down.
- add the red lentils and the stock. cook until lentils are soft on medium-low heat, about 1 hour.
- add miso and mix well, reduce heat to low, cook another 5 minutes and serve with cilantro as a garnish
We all ate this soup during this flu season and I can attest to its healing power!