There’s nothing quite like a 24-hour stomach virus to annihilate your interest in food in one fell swoop. Even a day or so after the last few nauseous waves have passed through your body, you’re still sensitive to words like “pizza” and “stew”, which make your squirm uncomfortably as the mental images of oozy cheese and braised meat wade in your head.
Once that phase passes, you enter the “I’m feeling back on track holy geez I’m starving feed me now” phase of recovery, causing you to make the premature decision to eat real food again, at which point your body promptly reminds you that getting cocky le gastro will get you nowhere. It’s taken up residence in your body and, no matter how short its stay, it owns you. After a short and regretful holiday with Mr. Grilled Cheese, you begrudgingly return to your sobering diet of soda crackers and water.
You’re only truly out of the woods when food becomes appealing, enjoyable and friendly to your body again. That said, you still need to ease your way back in, with things that are light and nutritive. Nothing with too much pizazz. Nothing with jazz hands.
I found this recipe by searching “immunity food” on the Interweb. Nourishing, gingery and easy on the eyes, this soup hit all the right buttons, becoming the magical cure that made me feel human again.
Eat it hot, straight from the pot and watch as all the bad melts away…
Get-Well Soup (makes approx. 4 servings) – adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- 1 medium onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
- 8 medium garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger, peeled
- 3/4 teaspoon finely ground white pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, trimmed (shitake or brown)
- 8 ounces firm tofu, sliced into thin slabs
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- olive oil for sautéing
- chopped green onions, sliced radish, daikon and sprouts for serving
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, and stir in the onion, celery, garlic, and ginger; gently sauté just until soft. Stir in the white pepper, salt and 10 cups of water. Turn up the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a bit more oil in a pan. Once hot, add the sliced mushrooms and brown until crispy. Remove and set aside. If the pan is dry, add a splash more oil, heat it up and add the tofu slices, cooking them about 2 minutes each side. Ladle the soup into shallow soup bowls and top with lots of green onions, pea shoots, radish and carrots slices, along with some fried mushroom and tofu.