Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sick Person Soup

I further desecrate Japanese cuisine.

One of the best things about miso is the ability to make a single serving of soup in five minutes. You might say that's one of the nice things about canned soup, but I affirm that miso is slightly cheaper, slightly lower in sodium, and has never been consumed cold out of the can while standing outside in a downpour. That is to say, miso does not taste like sadness and poor career decisions.

As I stated earlier, I am currently ill. This soup contains several ingredients that holistic medicine proscribes for colds, and three that evidence based science suggests have merit. Why yes, I did go to the health food store in a small town with an obvious cold. Why yes, I did get advice. The pseudoscience will be scattered throughout, the evidence will be at the end. Think of it as a treasure hunt.

Take two cups of water. Simmer over medium heat and add the following ingredients.
Two sliced shiitake mushrooms. Chinese medicine suggests this as a remedy for upper respiratory disease.
One tbs cilantro leaves- used as a cold remedy in India.
(The goal is for the mushrooms to get cooked through, as twelve units of mycology have made me terrified of uncooked mushrooms. Prepare the following ingredients, and then add them just before removing the broth from heat.)
Three cloves garlic, smashed and chopped. The Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans suggest this as an antibiotic and as a gentle way to lay waste to disobedient bacteria and virii colonizing your body. And it's supposed to sooth sore throats.
1/2 inch grated ginger The entire western world and China suggests ginger for colds and coughing.
Juice of 1/2 lemon. Vitamin C, need I say more?
Blend in 2 tbs. red miso. I'm kinda reaching here- it's supposed to rebalance the hormones and suchlike. Reduces the risk for breast cancer- always a good plan. Salty, so my reduced tasting ability is sated.
Drink very hot. If you feel less abraded and lazy than I do, you might consider adding some red pepper flakes- also a holy rain on your internal fauna- or black pepper, or a grated chile.

What does science suggest reduces the duration and severity of a cold? Drinking lots of water, drinking hot liquids, and getting adequate electrolytes. Which is lame, and does not allow me to imaging thousands of viruses writhing in terror. "No, no, increased hydration! Aiiiiii, soothed mucus membrane tissue! Anything but that!

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