Flu Season Garlic Soup! I’ve been working on this for a couple of weeks and each week I become more concerned about boosting my immune system. I got the flavor right and then came the consistency. I wanted something thick and creamy (non-dairy creamy of course). Last weeks batch was spot on but I shared my bounty through a Heartie kitchen delivery and forgot to take any photos. Yes, my house has smelled of garlic for weeks, no vampires here! I would like to think this soup will make us immune to all viruses, but alas I know better.
I posted about garlic and the health benefits a couple of weeks ago. Garlic contains compounds called allion and allicin, which have direct antiviral effects. It is excellent when eaten raw but even if it’s cooked it still has sulfur-containing compounds which have anti-microbial activity. Did you know during WW2 garlic was dubbed “Russian Penicillin”? After running out of antibiotics the Soviet government turned to this ancient treatment for their soldiers. Fresh crushed garlic is apparently the star of nature’s antibiotic, and the fresh part is important, that minced garlic in jars will not do. Let one clove of fresh minced or crushed garlic sit for 15 minutes or longer (up to an hour), this allows allinase enzyme to be released. Then mix the translucent garlic and the liquid released with warm tea, water, or honey. Do this 2-3 times a day for a day or two. I would contact a doctor if you have an infection but in these uncertain times if you can’t get ahold of someone you can begin this treatment while you wait to speak to your caregiver. *disclaimer – I have no medical background, elementary school teacher and plant based nutrition consultant here*
Like garlic, onions also contain the antimicrobial compounds allion and allicin. To get this superfood’s full flu-fighting action, it is recommended to consume a serving of raw onion every few hours! Not something I plan on doing anytime soon. If that seems unpalatable, add extra servings to your meals. This garlic soup contains a healthy dose of onions.
Trying to put these healthy vegetables into your food is much better, because then it’s part of your lifestyle. There is no better time than the present to get your immune system healthy and increase your bodies ability to fight off infection.
This is a soup I have come to love. Before heading down this heart healthy path, I could count on one hand the number of times I had used barley. I think both of those times it was for a soup and I only purchased what I needed for that particular day. Today, barley has become a staple in my pantry. I buy it in bulk and then store it in my own Rubbermaid container.
Last Friday I spent the day making food to take to my college aged son. It makes me feel good to make up healthy little packages for him. I make things for him that are easily frozen and taste good after having been frozen. We discovered vegan macaroni and cheese doesn’t unfreeze well. Veggie Barley soup is perfect for freezing in small containers. I was able to get 4 small containers from this batch of soup. Each container has about 2 1/2 servings of soup.
I use a homemade vegetable broth when I make this soup. I keep it written in the front of one of my cookbooks because I make it all the time. I usually make up a double batch and keep it in a large spice container in my spice cabinet. This is not my recipe and I cannot remember where it came from but this is a photo. You can always use a store bought vegetable broth if you prefer.
Homemade Veggie Chili is one of my favorites. It is my go to soup probably once every two weeks, because most of the ingredients I have readily on hand. It also makes a bunch so we have left overs to last us a couple of days and it is perfect to send along for lunch. Don’t let the long ingredient list overwhelm you, just go ahead and pull everything out before you start.
Typically I use minced garlic, just to make life easier than mincing my own. I purchased an electric can opener after about a year of our new way of eating. My wrist was so sore after preparing Christmas the first year that an electric one was the only way to go. I go through and open all the canned items while my fresh veggies are cooking. Get started draining and rinsing the beans. This is important, not only will it have an effect on the color of your soup but I have heard it can elevate some of the gas that sometimes comes with beans. Once rinsed and drained, put all the beans in a large bowl while they wait their turn to go into the soup. I use a small bowl and get all my seasonings ready ahead of time as well. I’m all about making things easy. Enjoy!
Lentils are mentioned in the Bible in Genesis, in the story of Esau who gave up his birthright for a dish of lentils. (Genesis 25:30-34)
We were enjoying a lovely lunch the other day at Chick P in Brooklyn, when I happened to remember a Greek cookbook a friend gave me years ago. The falafel deluxe sandwich was incredible as was the lentil soup. I couldn’t wait to get home and see what kind of plant-based treasures from Greek grandmas I could discover in that long forgotten book. I was not disappointed, there are lots of recipes I plan on trying. The first to get a little WFPB makeover was this Barley and Lentil Soup. I made it for just my husband and I and it has taken us a week to eat it all, so it really does serve 8.