Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Soup as Medicine

Why does a good brothy soup make my nose run? Even when I don't have a cold? It feels so therapeutic, cleansing, healthy.

If I did have a head cold, I'd want a bowl of this soup. It's an old Polish recipe that can be made entirely with Saskatchewan ingredients. Tip: I often use Kissel sauerkraut, made at Lumsden and sold in the produce section of bigger grocery stores.

This soup is particularly suited to using leftover meat of any sort.

1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 loose cup dried mushrooms (I used chanterelle)
1/4 cup canola oil (or drippings from a roast)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 lb bacon, chopped
4 cooked farmer's sausages, sliced (I used leftover bratwurst and pork roast)
10 frozen tomatoes, thawed (I used fresh - it's that time of year)
1/2 medium cabbage head, shaved
1/2 lb sauerkraut
2 tbsp plum jam (or other thick jam)

Pour the boiling water over the mushrooms and leave to soften.

Heat the oil in a stew pot. Cook the onions and garlic until soft. Stir in the paprika, salt and pepper. Add the bacon and garlic. When the bacon and onions are fully cooked, add the meat, tomatoes, cabbage, sauerkraut, mushrooms and mushroom water. Add enough cold water to just about cover the contents of the pot. Place the lid and simmer for several hours, until the cabbage is meltingly cooked. Stir in plum jam and cook until melted.

Like all soups and stews, bigos gets better every time you cool and reheat it, so plan to eat it over a few days. Or as long as your cold lasts.

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