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Sometimes It Ain’t Purty

Well, I’m sick, sick as a dog.  I hate that stupid expression, because, right now, I’m sicker than any dog ever even THOUGHT of being.  After the last 24 hours of fever, chills, coughing, congestion and general malaise, I’m pretty sure I have the flu.  In addition to my actual illness, I also have this mental illness wherein I fully believe, with every fiber of my being, that I will ALWAYS be this sick.  This is it.  This is how I’m going to my grave.  Of course, I realize I’m being dramatic and that I’m a big baby, but that doesn’t stop my torrent of self-pity.  When I’m sick, I mope around, feel sorry for myself and wonder why the whole world doesn’t show up at my bedside with mint-chip ice cream and bouquets of flowers.  I’M SICK, DAMMIT!  Why is everyone just living their lives as if nothing’s happened???

The first step to my recovery is a delightful combination of DayQuil, NyQuil, Advil & Tylenol.  BUT — the next step is soup and lots of it.  Chicken soup is traditional, but, last time I checked, it contains the little feathery friends I have in my front yard, so it’s not an option.  Instead, I go for my Very Green Soup — lots and lots of it.  It’s a pretty simple recipe — in fact, I had to work to even come up with an actual, legit recipe — because you basically cook all the greens you can find in a big pot and puree them.  Kale, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard — whatever you’ve got, throw them in!  Greens give you boatloads of Vitamin A, C, fiber, and are a natural anti-inflammatory, which is awfully helpful when every tissue of your body feels inflamed.  I’ve sketched out a recipe below, but don’t be scared to experiment with whatever greens and herbs you can find.

** You may notice that I’ve not included a photo of this soup.  Well, that wasn’t an accident.  It’s literally the ugliest thing you’ll ever cook, but, I promise, it will make your body oh-so-happy.


1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

2 T. olive oil, divided

1 T. chopped ginger

¼ c. rice, white, basmati or Arborio (If you want to use brown, use cooked rice, and add it toward the end of cooking)

1 bunch collard greens, roughly chopped

1 bunch kale, roughly chopped

1 bunch spinach, roughly chopped

Chopped, fresh, soft herbs — cilantro, parsley, thyme, tarragon, basil (whatever you like)

Pinch of cayenne

Salt & Pepper

Tofu, cubed (optional)

Lots of fresh lemon juice

Start by caramelizing onions and carrots.  In a small pan, heat olive oil over high heat and add onions & carrots and a pinch of salt.  When the veggies start to brown,  add a splash of water, turn the heat down, cover and let them caramelize (about 20 minutes).

In a soup pot, heat 3 c. water and a teaspoon of salt and add rice.  After 15 minutes, stir in the collards and the kale and bring back to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Add spinach, along with caramelized onions, carrot and ginger to pot and season with cayenne & salt & pepper.  Cook about 5 minutes, until spinach is just cooked through.  Toss in fresh herbs.

Puree soup either in blender (in batches) or with an immersion blender until it’s the consistency you like.  Season again with salt & pepper to taste, add tofu (if using) and squeeze lots of fresh lemon juice to serve.

6 responses »

  1. I had the flu last year for the first time that I can ever remember, and it was by far the worst I’ve ever felt in my life. At the time I would have ate anything that would make me feel better (even the very green soup.)

  2. get better megyn flus are no fun i usally do the vicks vapor rub and lotsa sleep

  3. …but Brian, then you emerge from your sickened fugue state and must live with the knowledge that you willingly ate Soylent Green Soup (the vegetarian version, of course). But I will admit, the caramelizing process during the soup’s inception does lend it some serious possibilities for tastiness…certainly enough possibilities that I am willing to give it a shot the next time my sinus cavities seize up and tiny flecks of my lung come flying out of my mouth with each barking hack!

  4. Woof! Hope you’re feeling better by now. It’s cold and rainy in San Francisco, this “very” green soup should warm things up. Farmers’ Market is closed until March, where do you buy your fresh produce during the Winter?

  5. Hope you’re feeling better! We saw you tweet that you’re running the Tinkerbell Half Marathon this weekend. We’d love to send you a skirt & wings! Send us an email at & we can ship it out tomorrow. You should receive them just in time! Why run when you can fly?!


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