Spinach, Garlic & Basil Soup
The inspiration for this wonderfully smooth and zesty soup was "food as medicine". To minimalize the severity and duration of a serious head cold was my culinary challenge. Garlic and lots of it, was my answer.
Actually, spring garlic and lots of it. Spring garlic is immature garlic that has a bulb, and has a milky, milder flavor than fully matured garlic. I found mine at the Farmer's Market:
I have to say, I think it's rather lovely.
Usually to offset a cold, I go for sinus-busting jalapeno. Perhaps it was the "warding off evil" quality of garlic that made it spring (ha!) to mind. Although garlic is, perhaps, better known as an anti-bacterial and an immune system enhancer, it is also said to have anti-viral properties.
What's great about this soup is that it requires very little time to prepare, is soothing, and easy on the stomach. It tastes and feels very healthy... in a good way.
I made a small batch and ate it for my first meal, so the following recipe produces about 6 cups. It's also one of those recipes you can rift on forever. I'm going to try adding some Indian flavors too. I thought the bright green color would fade, but it's still going strong. Lovely.
Spinach, Garlic & Basil Soup:
1 TBS olive oil
3 bulbs of spring garlic
32 oz vegetable broth
14 oz organic spinach
basil as desired ( I used 1/3 cup)
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed large saucepan. Chop the spring garlic bulbs, removing any papery skin. Saute the garlic over medium low heat for 5 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, cover, and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the salt, black pepper and spinach and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the basil and cook for one minute. Remover from the heat and use an immersion blender to blend. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.