I always think we’re in the clear for getting sick once spring rolls around, and then inevitably, there’s one last flu that makes the rounds through our house.  When we’re feeling under the weather I like to give make soup with a little extra kick using three “secret” ingredients, all in large quantities: garlic, ginger and lemon!

One of the easiest soups I made recently consisted of leftover wild rice, some sauteed garlic and onion, chicken broth and a whole box of spinach (you could use any greens you have on hand though).  Sprinkled with a little Parmesan it was so soothing and delicious, and all those good greens felt so nourishing.  Coming into spring we may even be getting some baby spinach and roquette from our own garden, making this the perfect spring soup.

But for banishing the flu, the ginger and lemon is really the ticket.  And surprisingly, the flavors work well with a lot of broth-based, root vegetable soups.  Carrots, potatoes and onions love a little garlicky kick and the heat from the ginger is a nice, round, warming flavor.  I love the extra layer of flavor some lemon gives it (My husband doesn’t actually like the citrus, so I guess it’s not for everyone…), you can take it out partway through cooking to give it a less intense flavor, or just add the juice, not the peel too.  You’ll be surprised at just how much ginger you can grate into it; keep on shredding that little root into the pot, stirring and tasting until you feel just enough heat to clear your sinuses; then it’s perfect!

Do you have a special soup recipe you make when everyone’s coming down with something?  Any magic secret ingredients?

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