I have the flu. It’s not pretty.
I’m a terrible patient, largely because I am so impatient. Doctors’ orders annoy me, and since I am reluctant to see my general practitioner, the closest doctor is Kevin, so I take my irritation out on him.
This particular bout of illness was following my usual cycle; it’s akin to the five stages of grief, although I usually remain stuck at stage one (denial-denial-more denial). But two days of fever prompted me towards acceptance. I cancelled my classes and went to bed–for a bit. Then I got hungry, so I made this soup (I told you, I am a terrible patient).
I knew exactly what I wanted to make, and it wasn’t chicken noodle. Instead, a bright green bowl of broccoli soup, lively with fresh ginger and lemon, as well as a kick in the pants from garlic and my favorite Asian hot sauce, sriracha.
It wasn’t fever-induced mania prompting my choice, but rather research from UNC Chapel Hill. In the article, researchers note that broccoli is high in glucosinolates, which stimulate the body’s immune system; along with high levels of vitamins A, C & E, it is the perfect choice for fighting my flu. Moreover, I knew I could make the soup in record time and get back to bed in short order. For awhile.
This broccoli soup is a far cry from the flour, cream, and cheddar cheese-laden versions found in buffets and college cafeterias. It has a velvety texture, yes, but no heaviness, and it sings with bold flavor. I’ve downed two bowls and feel worlds better already.
Don’t wait until you have the flu to make it.
- 1 tablespoon toasted (dark) sesame oil
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 4 green onions, ends trimmed, roughly chopped
- 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- 4 cups roughly chopped broccoli (florets and some stems)
- 4 cups water, divided
- 4 packed cups pre-washed baby spinach leaves
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sriracha or hot sauce/pepper of choice
- Optional: toasted sesame seeds, additional sriracha, additional sesame oil
- In a large saucepan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, green onions, and ginger; cook and stir for 1 minutes. Add the broccoli and 1 cup of the water. Increase heat to medium-high, cover, and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach, recover, and cook 1 minute longer or until spinach is just wilted. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the contents of the pan, along with 1 cup remaining water, to a blender. Puree until smooth, then return mixture to pan.
- Whisk the remaining water, salt, lemon juice, and sriracha into the soup (add more water if too thick). Reheat over medium-low heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Adjust the salt and pepper to taste.
- If desired, serve sprinkled with sesame seeds and drizzled with extra srirach aand/or sesame oil.