While I have come through this winter with a full bill of health (knock wood) poor AB has succumbed to "a sore phroat (throat) and I coughing"
My nursing treatments have included multiple lozenges, eucalyptus oil burning, ice cream to soothe the sore phroat and even a fruit jelly mostly due to the fact I'd eaten all the phroat soothing ice cream.
I would like to thinking that my doting attention towards the patient has conjured the essence of Florence Nightingale but in reality it's probably a little more Nurse Ratched.
This soup comes from my university days when before most exams or concerts I would end up with a throat infection. Probably exam stress, fear of failure or perhaps just working too hard in the pursuit of vocal perfection (read drinking at the uni bar).
I worked on the more is more principle thinking that if a bit of garlic was good a whole truckload must be bloody marvellous!
Shamefully my early student diet consisted largely of 2 minute noodles and beer so the higher the vegetable content per spoonful the better. With the pumpkin and onions providing I think they're called vitamins, low and behold after a bowl of this I was cured.
There is no scientific testing to back this claim apart from the fact I have been surrounded by sick people and the communal germ fest that is most offices with air-conditioning yet have managed to stay well.
I'm hopeful it will cure AB too and it doesn't turn into an life threatening case of Man Flu though I am a fair more pathetic and demanding patient allegedly.
Perhaps it is the amount of garlic that creates an invisible force field around you that makes all the coughing and spluttering people keep their distance........works for me!
"Miracle" Pumpkin Soup
This is a full flavoured soup, not for the faint hearted
- 2kg mixed pumpkin (kent, butternut, jap)
- 1kg mixed onions (red and brown)
- 2-3 whole garlic
- 250g bacon
- 5-6 small red chillies chopped
- 1.5-2 litres chicken or vegetable stock
- Large handful of flat leaf parsley
- Zest of 1-2 lemons
- Peel and quarter the onions
- Peal garlic (I know it's a lot but you want to get well)
- Roughly chop bacon
- Chop pumpkin, the skin can be left on for a more nutty flavour
- Cut the pumpkin in varies sizes depending on how quickly they cook, e.g. Kent cooks faster that Jap so cut the kent into larger pieces
- Add a splash of olive oil to a boiler
- Fry off the bacon, onions, and garlic on a medium heat, a little browning will add to the flavour but too must will taste burnt.
- The onions need to be softened as boiling raw onions changes the texture
- Add the pumpkin and chillies and stir to coat
- Add the stock to just below covering the pumpkin
- Simmer on low for about 45 minutes
- Blend to smooth (for a thicker soup reserve 2-3 cups of liquid before blending)
- Serve topped with a gremolata of chopped parsley and lemon zest minus the garlic (we probably have enough already)
- Grab a box set of bad TV, get some eucalyptus oil going in the oil burner and stay at home so as to not continue infecting your co-workers, even though you got it from them!
If the symptoms persist a change in crockery may be in order.