Sunshine Soup

 We've been plagued with sickness here for several weeks... sometimes colds, sometimes flu-like... not fun at all. And I'm sure all the April showers haven't helped one bit, keeping us trapped inside. For a brief intermission in rain drops yesterday, we were able to get outside, and it was glorious, despite stuffy noses and the like. Sunshine is a wonderous thing!  I've been trying everything to shake these last bits of winter gloom that have made us sluggish and tired and filled with congestion.  I always drink copious amounts of tea, but I've added a new kind to my arsenal. My local natural foods co-op just added tulsi tea to their bulk bins, and when I read the description as being a healing tea, I had to give it a try. And while I have no idea if it really heals yet, it's warm vapors and sweet earthy taste were very soothing, to say the least.

I also concocted a brothy vegetarian soup filled with good things to help speed recovery. It was supposed to be a lemongrass broth, but part way through the cooking, I realized the dried lemongrass I thought I had was no longer in my kitchen, despite searching high and low and in between so I tried to simulate the flavor using lemon juice and and cilantro. I think it was quite delicious if I do say so myself!

Sunshine Soup Recipe:
-  3-4cloves garlic diced
- half large onion diced (about a cup and a half)
- 1/4 of a head of broccoli chopped
- 3-4 carrots shaved into large chunks
- 2-3 scallions diced
- 5-7 dried kaffir lime leaves (optional... can be found in Thai food section of grocery store or at a natural food co-op... has a lime and cilantro-like taste. You don't have to eat them, just leave them in for flavor like with a bay leaf or remove before serving)
- 1 tsp dried lemongrass (if you have it, hehe)
- 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger diced
- 2-3 tbsp coconut oil
- tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne (more or less depending on how spicy you want it) 
- honey 1/2 tbsp
- 1/4 large lemon squeezed
- 1/2 package of rice noodles
- handful of fresh cilantro chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- one egg (optional)
- water

How to Make it:
- Heat olive oil and coconut oil in soup pan. Add garlic and onion and saute on medium to low setting until onions are a translucent golden color and soft to the touch.
- Add broccoli, carrots, scallions, ginger, cayenne, chili powder, lemongrass, honey and kaffir lime leaves and saute 2-5minutes
- Add water covering vegetables by 2 to 3 inches and bring to a boil.
- Add rice noodles... when noodles are almost tender, add egg if desired... beat into soup with a fork so that it breaks into small pieces. Cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add additional water and heat if needed. Turn off heat.
- Add lemon, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

And you're done! Stand in the sunshine and take in the warm vapors before you have a bite!

This soup has a decidedly Thai flavor and is full of healthy yum things. Leave out the egg and substitute the honey to make it Vegan friendly. To your health!


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