Show Your Summer Head Cold No Mercy

photo courtesy of Kokoro Photography

I realize it’s officially summer now, but unfortunately some of us are plagued by a typically winter infection, the most dreaded of all illnesses–the summer cold! The dastardly summer cold sneaks its way into the most active and unwilling of hosts, bringing the poor soul to his or her tanned knees.Let’s face it: colds always suck. But in the summer?  Colds suck MORE.

My best friend is a dynamic girl-on-the go, spending her summers chasing brides around with a camera. Recently, she fell victim to the terrible summer cold and so, like any good best friend, I whipped up a pot of soup because my Mama taught me that soup fixes almost anything, including a cold.  But in hot hot heat of June, classic chicken noodle soup is a bit too hellish to endure (though tasty, we know).

Cue this recipe, which is lighter in flavor and consistency than it’s noodle-y cousin and is chock full of veggies to soothe that runny nose and sore throat without over-heating the poor sicky. It’s also heavy on the garlic; garlic has been used by many cultures for centuries to help kick colds and other bugs. I have a friend who (force?) feeds her children sauteed garlic cloves at the first sign of any cold or flu-like symptom.  Added bonus: Garlic tastes good, even when you’re sick, as its strong flavor still comes through all the snot…

Summer Cold Chicken Soup
–TBSP olive oil
–4 whole carrots, scrubbed and sliced into thin rounds
–5 whole cloves garlic, sheared into thin slices
–1 shallot, sheared into thin slices
–1 leek stalk, sliced into thin rounds
–3 cups chicken broth
–1/2 rotisserie chicken, shredded
–1 cup water
–salt and pepper
–1 bunch of spinach, thoroughly washed and leaves separated
–garlic powder

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Saute the carrots, garlic, and shallots for a few minutes, until the carrots begin to soften. Add the leeks and cook until the carrots are tender.

While the vegetables cook down, in a large stock pot or dutch oven heat the chicken broth over high heat. Bring it to a rolling boil before added the shredded chicken pieces and the water. Turn down to simmer and add the carrot/leek mixture and add salt and pepper to taste, stirring all together to combine.

Simmer the soup pot for 15 minutes before adding the spinach and some garlic powder. How much garlic powder you add will depend completely upon your personal preferences and how much you can taste through the yucky mucus.  Simmer another 5 minutes–just enough for the spinach to get wilted but not get too soggy–and eat it up.

Dammit Jim, I’m a cook, not a doctor…
Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4
Calories: 336

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