Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sick Days and Soups

I hate, hate, hate when the rounds of flu strike. Pretty much everyone in my house is sick right now, including me, which explains the lack of posting the past couple of days. My poor mom's been pretty much knocked to the couch for the day. I guess it doesn't help much when you spend every day doting on your husband and stepson (who are out somewhere for the day spreading the germs and ditching us at home) and going out to assorted parties until 2 AM only to get up at 6 or 7 the next morning. Sigh. Teaghan is down with the worst case of sinusitis I have ever seen in man, child or beast - she's had it for over 2 weeks now, missed a few days of school, and has been to the clinic twice and scored a doctor's appointment this Wednesday.

As for me? Well, I've been "officially" sick going on, what, 14 months now, but this latest bout of whateveritis is really starting to take it's toll on me. It sucks being a foodie who can't stand the sight of food half the time but who's stomach rumblings continuously force you to nibble bits and pieces of stuff. I wouldn't mind all the nausea business or the pain (seeing as that's a constant so far) if I wasn't so gosh darn dizzy. I mean, how the heck am I supposed to cook anything or even attend school when the act of sitting upright causes you to see spots? Yes, I missed my breads-shaping class yesterday at George Brown which sucks the big one, and we may all be out of comission for our pre-planned games of bowling for tomorrow's Family Day! Ah well, what says family more than communal bacteria?

Even though there hasn't been much by the way of cooking these days, the quintessential food to help any illness leave does seem to be soup, and I have three of them presented for you today (and I am seriously craving one of these with it). If I ever manage to stand up for more than 30 seconds today I may luck out enough to fix myself one of these for dinner instead of resulting to a canned soup. Granted, this one isn't bad, but home made is always better (of course!).

These are healthy, nutrient packed bowls of comfort, perfect for Sweetnick's ARF / 5-A-Day event being rounded up this Tuesday. Check out Cate's site for more healthful goodies, both from her repetoire and other blogger's brains.

NRG Bowl
Serves 4
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups vegetable broth
3 tbsp pearl barley
3 tbsp brown rice
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
¼ cup peeled and diced butternut squash
2 celery stalks, diced
½ cup chopped green beans
¼ cup chopped red pepper
½ cup broccoli florets
½ cup cauliflower florets
19 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp dried parsley
½ tsp dried dillweed
  1. Cook onion in a saucepan coated with vegetable spray over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add garlic, broth, barley, rice, carrots and squash; bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add celery, green beans, red pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, red kidney beans, basil, oregano, cayenne, parsley and dill.
  5. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables and grains are tender.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 237.2
Total Fat: 1.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1,931.2 mg
Total Carbs: 50.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 13.6 g
Protein: 11.8 g

Lentil-Vegetable Soup
Serves 4
1 medium-sized white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 lb celery root, peeled and diced
1 ¼ cups dry lentils, rinsed
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 tbsp soy sauce
black pepper
2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  1. Heat a splash of water in a 6-quart pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic. Cover, and cook 5 minutes to soften.
  3. Add carrots, parsnip, celery root, lentils, stock, soy sauce and pepper.
  4. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Cover, and cook, stirring from time to time, until lentils and vegetables are tender, 1 to 1 ½ hours.
  6. Stir in the baby spinach and cook 2-3 minutes, until just wilted, and serve.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 316.3
Total Fat: 1.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1,273.7 mg
Total Carbs: 59.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 22.9 g
Protein: 18.3 g

In this final dish (which invokes memories of my 18th birthday dinner at Montreal's Maison Hantee), if you choose red lentils, note that they cook faster than brown lentils - so watch them closely. If this soup seems to dry out, add a little more water. It is a very thick and rich soup, however, so don't add too much.

Rich Potage de Lentilles
Serves 8 as a main dish
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 large stalks celery, chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 cups dry lentils (brown, green or red)
8 cups water
6 vegetable bouillon cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion, celery and garlic.
  2. Sautè until the onion is transluscent.
  3. Add the lentils, water and bouillon cubes.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer over medium heat for about 45 minutes.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 165.7
Total Fat: 2.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 51.3 mg
Total Carbs: 26.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 11.9 g
Protein: 9.9 g

1 comment :

Thanks for the feedback!