If fire cider was a soup. This is the wicked spicy version of Italian penicillin soup (aka pastina) I make when feeling sick. I take the age old pastina soup remedy up several notches by adding extra garlic, fresh ginger, hot chilis, lemon juice, and black pepper. Plus I add reishi mushroom powder to offer the body extra support (it’s an adaptogen). When I get a bowl of this into my system 2-3x a day when sick, nasty bugs head for the hills fast.
Unlike traditional pastina where a portion of the soup is blended and then returned to the stockpot as a thickener, there's no blending here. When I'm not feeling 100%, I want a quick one-pot meal with as little prep as possible.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon garlic, minced
crushed red pepper to taste (I use about two teaspoons)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 large carrots, washed and sliced or diced
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1/3 cup pastina or orzo
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dried oregano or parsley
1 teaspoon reishi mushroom powder
juice of 1 lemon
Add olive oil to a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and soften, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and ginger, and stir. Allow to cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add the sliced carrots and cook one minute more. Pour in the vegetable stock and water. Bring to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, stir in the orzo or pastina and add the salt, pepper, and parsley or oregano. Stir. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the reishi mushroom powder along with the lemon juice. Serve warm.
Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container and reheated as individual servings.
Here's why I've included what I've added to the classic Italian penicillin recipe:
Permaculture Tip: I use homegrown ingredients for this soup and make my own vegetable stock. Crops that are deemed too small or imperfect are great for drying or freezing, and then using in soups and homemade broths later on, all winter long. And, yes, I even grow my own ginger. Homegrown ginger does well in a sunny windowsill for those of us in cold climates.
*Panossian, Alexander and Wikman, George (2010) Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity. Pharmaceuticals (Basel) 3(1): 188–224.
So what do you do with all that food you grow? This blog has some ideas.
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