Ilva at Lucullian delights – an Italian experience tagged me for the Common Cold Remedies Meme. This was started by Raquel over at Raquel’s Box of Chocolate when she asked what people do when they have the sniffles – and to pass on any remedies. This is a particularly good time of the year to be investigating ways of killing a cold but – fortunately – I’ve not had this problem yet. That doesn’t mean that I don’t know what to do, however…
When I start to get that throat-scratchy, stuffy-head feeling of a cold coming on, Echinacea and food are my first lines of defence. I’ve been known to cook my reliable Chicken with Garlic and Lemon albeit with lime, instead of lemon, and using masses of chilli and fresh ginger with the garlic. Actually, most times that I feel under the weather, chilli, ginger and garlic are remedies that I rely on. Chicken Noodle Soup is another winner when I’m not feeling good but, when I can’t quite manage to drag myself out to the shops, this Lentil Soup is a storecupboard winner. The recipe actually comes via an ex-housemate’s mother and, over the years, was passed on to all inmates of 13 Richmond Hill. If you can manage to shuffle into the kitchen you can make this soup and lace it with extra garlic if you’re feeling under the weather. It’s so simple that, if you have a tin of lentils on the shelf (a must in my kitchen!), it can be whipped up in a matter of minutes. Thyme is an optional extra – if you have it, great. If you have fresh thyme, even better. If you don’t have it at all, that’s fine too. This is a terribly forgiving soup – just the thing you need to make you feel better. Comfort in a bowl.
Fran’s Best Lentil Soup
Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
Onion – 1, chopped
Garlic cloves – 2, chopped
Tinned lentils – 1 x 400g tin
Dried thyme – ½ teaspoon
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and cook over a medium heat for about five minutes until softened. Add the tinned lentils, liquid and all, and the thyme. Season and heat until simmering. Leave chunky or blend carefully with an immersion blender for a smoother texture. Gorgeous with some crusty French bread or your own homemade brown bread.