Myles got a cold last week. I was just waking up when he sent me the text saying he should have stayed home from work. I immediately gulped to see if my throat was sore.
I tried to breathe out of my nose.
When I get sick, I tend to get very sick, and it lasts a long time. When I was in grade school, I got sick a lot. I spent more time sick than not while growing up. So I tend to be a little paranoid when my husband who has an immune-system-of-iron tells me that the germs have gotten to him. When the weekend rolled around, I was pumping him with ginger tea and any remedy I could think of, hoping that the germs would get out of my house before I succumbed. I thought I’d made it until Monday morning hit.
Just in time for the work week, I was all kinds of wheezy, nauseous, and fatigued. I needed easy, hot foods that were very hydrating– not that I ever really need an excuse to make soup, but this situation definitely called for it. I wanted something that packed in ultimate nourishment and simultaneous comfort–and I think I nailed it. So, just in time for the inevitable sniffles and bugs who are sure to make their rounds, I bring you Cold Season Soup. It’ll make being sick just a little more bearable, and hopefully get you back to yourself in no time.
Cold Season Soup–Vegetable Soup with White Beans and Quinoa
2 heads cauliflower, washed and roughly chopped
1 large white or yellow onion
5 large carrots
6 celery stalks
1 head of garlic (Yes, head, not clove. Go big or go home.) peeled and pressed, grated or chopped
1 large or 2 small zucchini squash
1 c. dry red quinoa
2-3 c. cooked white or cannellini beans
4 large kale leaves, washed and roughly chopped
large handful of fresh parsley, washed and roughly chopped
3 quarts vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 T dried thyme
1 T dried oregano
3 bay leaves
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste
4-6 T olive oil
Preheat oven to 400.
Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Spread chopped cauliflower onto the baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, and toss to coat. Roast in preheated oven until slightly charred and soft all the way through, about 40-60 minutes. Turn/mix cauliflower halfway through baking to ensure even browning.
While cauliflower is roasting, chop onion, shallot, carrots and celery to desired size. Bring a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot to medium high heat, and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Once olive oil is fully heated, add onions, carrots, and celery, and cook 10 minutes, stirring often to keep from over browning. Add shallot and pressed, grated, or chopped garlic. Cook another 10 minutes or until onions are translucent and very fragrant. Add broth and all spices. Bring to a simmer and then taste and adjust spices/salt as needed. Add dry quinoa and bring to a simmer again.
Finely dice zucchini and add to the pot. Let simmer about 30 minutes or until quinoa is cooked through and all vegetables are tender. Add roasted a cauliflower, chopped kale, beans, and parsley. Bring to a simmer and taste. Adjust salt and spices as needed, and don’t be afraid to add more olive oil if it lacks richness!
Serve hot, preferably with some crusty bread.