Easy soups for cold and flu season - part 2

To follow up on the previous post about easy soups that you can make even when you're sick, here are two more simple soup recipes that got me through my long flu battle. I found my diet lacking in fresh vegetables while I was sick, so I made a conscious effort to make sure these two soups had lots of veggies. I used vegetables that were easy to store (longer shelf life), wash, and only required coarse chopping. I also made large batches so that these could each last me multiple meals.

Wonton Soup with Napa and Tofu

Taking frozen wontons or dumplings and turning them into a healthy soup is really easy - it just means boiling a few more things.

  • 1 qt chicken broth (low sodium if you prefer)
  • 12-16 frozen wontons (alter batch size based on your preference)
  • 1 cup tofu, cubed
  • 2 cups napa cabbage sliced cross-wise into 1" strips
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro or scallion for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Put the chicken broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Add the tofu and wontons (get the time to boil from the instructions that come with the wontons).
  2. When the wontons are cooked, remove them from the broth and place the desired number in each serving bowl.
  3. With the broth still at a simmer, add the napa cabbage slices and cook until the greens are wilted and the whites start to turn tender.
  4. Spoon out the desired amount of tofu, napa, and broth over the wontons and garnish with cilantro or scallion.

Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Cream of vegetable soups are really easy to make if you have a hand-held immersion blender. It's reasonably priced for a trendy kitchen gadget (I have this one from Cuisinartwhich you can usually find for $25-$30), and it hardly takes up any room. If you don't have one of these though, I'm not sure this soup will fall in the "easy to make while you're sick" category because you'll have to pour the hot veggies and broth into a heat-safe blender or food processor (assuming you have one).

If you're not in the mood for cauliflower, you can also substitute another hearty vegetable like butternut squash (which you can often find pre-cut), broccoli, potato, or asparagus.

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks
  • 4 cups chicken broth (low sodium if you prefer)
  • 1 head of cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
  • 1 cup 2% milk (alternatives: whole milk or half and half will give a more creamy and rich consistency to the soup, 1% or skim milk tend to make the soup taste watery)
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  1. Trim and wash the leeks (trim off all but 2" of the green, slice the leeks in half lengthwise, and rinse between the layers to remove dirt). Shake off excess water and then chop the leeks into thin slices crosswise .
  2. Melt the butter in the soup pot on medium heat. When all the butter is melted add the leeks and saute in the butter until soft.
  3. Add the broth and cauliflower florets, turn to high heat and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat back down and let the soup simmer until the cauliflower is cooked tender (10-15 min).
  4. Turn down to low heat and use the immersion blender to puree the cauliflower in the pot until the soup is a smooth creamy texture .
  5. Stir in the milk and add pepper to taste.

Hope you stay healthy through this last stretch of flu season, and these soups can just warm you up on a cold day. But if you do happen to catch what's going around, hopefully these soups will help you feel better!

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