Turkey Soup for the Soul

I thought I was going to make it through this winter without getting sick, but unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. On Thursday, I woke up with a scratchy throat, which – despite my best efforts – developed into a sore throat, headache, and stuffy nose by Saturday.

When I get sick, I’m pretty strict about the foods I won’t eat. While these may not be official recommendations you’ll hear from a doctor (if you choose to go to one), I have found that my recovery time is a lot quicker when I avoid these types of foods: dairy products (because they make you more phlegmy, i.e. help you produce more snot), anything with sugar (sugar feeds the cold), greasy foods, and I limit the amount of fruit I eat.

turkey soup

Nothing more comforting than homemade turkey soup.

This restricted diet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat anything though, and I find that soups are the best way to go because they let you pack a lot nutrients into one meal. Not to mention the heat helps soothe sore throats a lot. I combine this dish with regular doses of airborne and a lot of mint tea when I’m sick.

Turkey Soup
Shredded meat from a leftover whole turkey (about 3 – 4 cups or more), roughly chopped
onions, roughly chopped
carrots, cut into chunks
celery, chopped into 2-inch pieces
garlic, finely chopped
cumin
cayenne pepper
salt
ground black pepper
oregano
chili pepper
1 – 2 tbsp. tomato paste
sweet potatoes, sliced and then quartered
chicken broth, 2 32oz. boxes
half a bag of frozen peas

In a large pot, heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil (this time, I used coconut oi, but you can use any) over low-medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until slightly softened. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant.

Add the rest of the spices. You’ll notice I didn’t add quantities for these. Generally, I’ll cover the top layer of the vegetables (except for the cayenne pepper, I just add a couple shakes of that) with the spices and stir to combine. Once the spices become fragrant, add the tomato paste, stirring until well mixed. Cook for a couple minutes.

Throw in the sweet potatoes. Cook for a few minutes, then add 1 cup of the chicken broth. Let that heat for a little and add the remaining broth from the first box. Turn the heat up to medium. Cook until the sweet potatoes start to turn soft.

Add in the turkey chunks and the second box of broth. Let come to a boil, add the peas, and then turn down the heat to simmer. Once the peas are heated up, serve this nice an hot.

You can use shredded chicken (or beef) in place of turkey, and also add noodles or rice. Please excuse the lack of photos, when I was cooking this I was really focused on getting something to eat and didn’t think to write a post until after I was done.

What are some dishes you eat when you’re sick?

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