Monday, February 27, 2012

Feel Good Soup

Thanks to my brother, I am now the proud owner of a head cold.  Less than 24 hours since symptoms began and I've already got a nice red ring around my nose that only too much rubbing with tissues can get you.  Now I don't want to seem over dramatic, its not a bad cold at all, its just annoying.  It makes even the simplest task (like changing my sheets this morning) exhausting and overwhelming. 

Normally I milk the whole sick thing, making others fetch me orange juice and tissues, and make me soup, but alas, my family members are all staying late at work/school tonight, so I was forced to fend for myself.  I decided to cook up a soup with garlic, spinach, and winter wheat berries.  

Do you know what's even worse than having a cold?  Chopping onions with a cold.  The sinus pressure increases so that your head fells like it's going to spontaneously implode and your whole face begins to leak various liquids.  It's terrible.  I suggest that if you have a non-sick person around, act really week and feebly, guilting them do the onion chopping for you. 

I also suggest you eat this soup out of a big mug with a slice of good bread for sopping up the broth.  Even if you're not sick, this soup is soul-warming and best served while watching your favorite feel-good movie - for me, It's Complicated always does the trick.  So whether you're under the weather, or just looking for something to cozy up with, this soup is the perfect feel good soup.

Feel Good Soup
1 tbs olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
¼ red onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
¼ carrots, diced
1 tbs dried minced sage
1 tbs dried minced thyme
1 tsp pepper
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 large handfuls spinach, chopped
5 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
2 tbs soy sauce
1 cup uncooked wheat berries

+ In a medium pot, combine 1 cup of vegetable broth, 2 cups water, and wheat berries.  Bring to boil, then lower to simmer and cover.  Cook for about an hour, or until the berries split open (when they're done, they'll be slightly chewy).
+ While the berries are cooking, in a large pot, saute the onion, celery, and carrot in olive oil until the onions become clear and soft.  Add the sage, thyme, and pepper.  Stir and continue to cook until the veggies begin to brown.
+ Add the garlic and cook until that begins to brown as well.  
+ Add the spinach, then pour the remaining 4 cups of the vegetable broth and soy into the pot.  Lower to simmer and cover.  Cook until berries are done.
+ Once the wheat berries are cooked, add them to the broth.  Add seasoning to taste.  Cook for at least another half hour (the longer it cooks, the more the flavors will develop and the berries will absorb some of the flavor).  

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