He was turning red and salty sweat drops started raining down on the table top. Courageously he continued shovelling the red liquid into his mouth. He tried to look normal and wiped the sweat off his face but he couldn’t hide what he was feeling.
– Is it too hot for you? I asked innocently.
(Story continues at the bottom of the page)
I’ve found out that every time I’m about to get the flu, I only have to prepare this shamanistic wonder drug to exorcise all virus and bacteria out of my body. It just works every time! The only thing you have to remember is to cook it immediately after the first symptoms of getting ill, or you’ll be too exhausted to do all that peeling and chopping of vegetables. It’s also the perfect cure after a long tour on the road with my band or long weekend or just a very long night at the bars.
However, a piece of advice is also needed: do NOT have this soup for dinner before going out, because it contains almost no calories and (depending on your intoxicant of choice) you might end up either under a table (or something/or somewhere/ with someone worse), or the shamanistic quality of the soup may manifest itself in some unwanted hallucinations…
Anyhow, I hope you enjoy my soup!
Ingredients for 6 portions:
- 1 litre or 1.5 pints of water
- 2-3 vegetable bouillon cubes or packet of good quality instant soup. Make sure it’s a quality brand with no nasty artificial stuff in there
- 1 big onion
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- 3 carrots
- 2 zucchinis/courgettes
- 2 sticks of celery
- Any other vegetables of your choice (I recommend whatever veggie’s the freshest and most appetizing at the time of shopping, but my favourites are: broccoli, cabbage and green paprika)
- 1 big can of crushed tomato
- Fresh chillies or chilli powder or bottled hot sauce
- A big chunk of fresh ginger
- Sea salt and pepper – other spices of your choice, like curry powder, coriander powder, and paprika powder
- Fresh coriander or parsley as a finishing touch
- Your choice of protein: I usually use fresh mushroom, but I tried and loved it with chickpeas, tofu or fish. Use whatever you have in the fridge!
Put the water on the boil and add the bouillon cubes or soup sachet.
Peel, chop and add to the pot the onion, vegetables, chilli, garlic and ginger in order of hardness (i.e. carrots first, broccoli last).
Add the crushed tomato and the spices.
Cover the pot with a lid and boil slowly for 20 minutes and then add the broccoli and tofu or fish.
Check for salt and add spices to taste.
I personally started making it spicier and spicier until it didn’t satisfy me if it didn’t give me a runny nose and flaming ears.
Let boil another 15-20 minutes. Let it cool for a moment then decorate with fresh coriander or parsley leaves.
No more colds or flu.
– No, no… His eyes looked like tomatoes as he raised his head from the plate…
– Or, I mean… maybe a little bit… ahem… I noticed that they were also covered with sweat and tears as he finally admitted:
– It’s the hottest damn thing I’ve ever eaten in my life!!! and abandoned the half-full plate (I don’t know why, but a plate always looks half-full, whereas a glass looks half-empty).
– Oh, really? I don’t think so, I said. Meaning the spiciness as well as his future with me.
Actually we stayed together for another year or so, but this was the moment I should have realised we were not meant for each other. “If you can’t stand the heat, stay away from my kitchen.” And why couldn’t he eat my delicious tomato-veggie-Super-Soup, anyway? Maybe I had tested him with a little more generous whisk from the Hot Sauce bottle than usual, but it was not that hot. He was just from Spain, the land of zero-tolerance-for-all-things-spicy (that’s right folks, jalapeño comes from Mexico, not Spain). Hell, I’ve heard Spaniards say ketchup is too spicy, so what did he know! Or maybe he was just not used to the powerful combination of tomato, chilli, garlic and ginger I was so famous for.
My friends are always begging me to cook my shaman soup for them whenever they needed that extra blast of vitamins, energy and the sensation of blood running through their veins like after a good…ahem,,exercise.