Of all the recipes in Sarah Kramer’s La Dolce Vegan, I make the “Cures What Ails Ya” garlic soup the most. In addition to being very easy to make and delicious, it also fully delivers on the promise of kicking the ass of any minor cold or illness that may be making its way into my own body or that of a loved one. That is mainly due to the large amount of garlic and the added boost of a few teaspoons of miso, which is incredibly good for your immune system, provided that you don’t boil out its curative qualities. (For example, a study conducted in 2003 found that women who consumed three or more bowls of miso soup a day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 40 percent.)
The Japanese traditionally eat a bowl of miso soup as part of breakfast. Considering that it is now December, and cold and flu season is already in swing, this may be a good item to add to your daily menu. Packets of instant miso soup are sometimes available in bigger groceries, but primarily in Asian groceries and health food stores. At Lotus Foods in the Strip, a package containing three packets runs about two bucks. A good deal when you consider how much it can do for your body. (It is worth noting, however, that miso does contain a large amount of sodium. If you have a dietary restriction regarding sodium intake, be watchful.)
I’ve made the “Cures What Ails Ya” recipe so many times, that I’ve developed a pretty solid variation. Try it next time you get the sniffles!
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 1 head of garlic, finely minced
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 1/4 lb mushrooms (any type will do, but shiitakes are especially delicious), sliced
– 1/2 lb firm tofu, roughly chopped
– 2 cups vegetable stock
– 1/2 cup water
– 2-3 tsp miso
– 1 tbsp tamari
– Heat the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and tofu, then vegetable stock and water. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes.
While the soup is boiling, mix the miso and tamari together, plus a few tablespoons of hot soup. Add this mixture to the simmering soup. Let the pot sit at low heat for up to twenty minutes. Serve with a crusty bread.
For a spicier variation, stir in a few teaspoons of chili garlic sauce to the finished soup.
(Recipe adapted from La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer)