Thursday, 12 November 2009


I've had a horrible cold this week which has turned into a chest infection. While I'm taking all my usual asthma medication I'm also trying to listen to my body and work out what else I need.

I haven't got much of an appetite which isn't like me but I do have a craving for hot drinks and soup. I decided to make a massive batch of vegetable broth and used Grow Your Own drugs by James Wong as inspiration. He had a TV series on BBC2 earlier this year combining horticulture, pharmacology and ethnobotany which I found interesting from both a gardening and science point of view. There's a recipe for Chinese chicken soup in the book which I adapted for my vegetarian needs.

Here's my recipe:

Fry two loosely chopped onions in rapeseed oil for a couple of minutes in a big saucepan. Add 8 cloves (yes, EIGHT!!!) of crushed garlic, 2 inches of grated ginger and 1 chopped medium heat chili. Fry on a low heat til the onions start to soften but not brown. Add loads of chopped veg (carrots, spuds, squash, celery, whatever you have in) stirring regularly . After about 10 min add water til the pan is almost full. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 1 hour.

I've used the broth as the basis for my meals this week, reheating small amounts and adding different flavours and veg protein to vary the flavours. Eg I added veggie hot dogs and mustard for a Germanic soup, fried tofu & mange tout, lemongrass, lime, coconut and soy sauce for a far eastern flavour, and curried chickpeas for, yes you've guessed it, curry. It's really cut down on cooking time but helped with eating well. Despite still feeling a bit groggy I feel quite healthy too, if that makes any sense.

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