In fact, I avoided thinking about it for years after I went veg. Partly because I was never much of a chicken noodle soup girl (Campbell's isn't very good, after all). And partly because I was so busy figuring out other stuff. Like how to get Doritos or Kraft Mac and Cheese to New Zealand (girl cannot live on falafel and tim-tams. Sad, right?).
Then 3 years ago I moved back to the land of chips and orange cheese. That first winter I got pneumonia. It happens more than you might think in Wyoming-I've also never seen so many people with their own personal oxygen supply. Pneumonia at high elevations is about as exciting as you might imagine, in all bad ways.
But anyway, I had to come up with something healthy to eat, that didn't take any effort to make ('cause I was kinda cyanotic), and that got at least *some* nutrients into me. That time I went with jarred matzah ball soup (veggie, oddly enough). That's not an option now- not because it isn't veggie anymore. I'm pretty sure they still make a veggie version. Nope, it's not an option because that stuff's expensive. And it's got eggs in it. Pleh.
So this time I (finally) went with the endless vat of lentil soup.
Lentil Soup of Cheapness (+2)
- 1lb dry lentils, checked for trash and rinsed
- 1/2 onion, sliced thin
- 1/2 head garlic, peeled and rough chopped
- 1 sm can tomato paste
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2-3T salt
- 1T oil
- Optional other stuff
Put the lentils in a crock pot and fill to within about an inch of the top, cover and turn on high. If you don't have a slowcooker, use a large stockpot on medium. In a pan, fry the onions and carrots in the oil with a bit of salt. When the onions start to brown add the garlic, stirring for about 2 minutes. Add veggies and the oil they cooked in to the crockpot. Dump in the can of tomato paste and stir until everything is mixed in. Leave cooking on high for about an hour, then stir and taste test. Add salt and whatever spices you have, and cook until the lentils are soft.
- peeled diced potato
- fresh tomato
- sautéd zucchini
- soy sauce
- fresh herbs
- diced celery
Trust me on those last 4- no good can come from using them. I'm sure there are other things you should leave out, but those 4 are pretty much guaranteed to make the pot smell like things you don't want to eat.
The real benefit to this lentil soup-o-doom isn't that it's easy. It's not even that it's cheap- though as written it's about $2 for a big pot. The major win with this one is that- as long as you keep the stuff hot- you can just keep adding to it. It starts out very lentil-y, more like a bean stew. Eat some beans, add more water and a random veggie, and you've got the same amount of soup as you started with. Seriously, though, you could probably feed 50 people with just what I've listed here.
Ok, and some bread.
But yeah, this is what I make when I'm sick. When I've finally got enough energy to drag myself to the kitchen, anyway. Now at least I've got a full tummy, a pot of soup, and a burnt tongue. No photos, though.
How about you guys, what's your go-to sick food?