There have been two predominant ways to describe the air this winter.  It is smoggy or it is snowing.  Today it was snowing again which was actually quite a relief from the smog, but not a welcome site for the endless mountains of snow we have already piled in all available spaces.  Now, add to this ping-pong game of air quality a wicked head cold.  Needless to say, I am desperately longing for weather that is warm and clear at the same time.

I’m thinking a few weeks on a sunny beach is an ideal cure for a cold, but since that is not currently an option, it is definitely time to bring out the spicy foods to act as a natural decongestant.

I recently saw a recipe in Good Housekeeping for Broccoli Soup.  It looked delicious, so I decided to make a quick batch.  I added some extra ingredients to make it a bit more spicy, which is exactly what my body needed.  The spicy chili pepper sauce, along with curry and fresh lemon juice is a wonderful combination for clearing the head.

This is the perfect healthy comfort food recipe.

Spicy Broccoli Soup

16 oz organic frozen broccoli florets, thawed
16 oz reduced sodium soup broth
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
7 drops Ghost Chili Pepper Sauce
dash of cinnamon if desired

There are a couple of items I need to clarify for this recipe.

Soup Broth:

For the broth I used Organic Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Base.  I buy it at Costco and it comes in Beef, Chicken or Vegetable.  For this recipe I used 2 teaspoons of bouillon base mixed with 16 oz of boiling water.  Any favorite reduced sodium soup broth would work in this recipe.

Chili Pepper Sauce:

I use Melinda’s Original Naga Jolokia Pepper Sauce which is supposedly the World’s hottest pepper from India.  The ingredients in this sauce are wonderful.  It includes carrots, papayas, lime juice, vinegar, onions, passion fruit, citric acid, garlic and salt.  This sauce is also known as Ghost Chili.  Beware.  It is hot!  I only used about 7 drops in this recipe.  This sauce is sometimes difficult to find, so tabasco sauce or any other favorite hot sauce could also work in this recipe.

Puree the broccoli with the soup broth.  Pour the soup into a pot and add the milk, curry powder, salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice.  Stir in several drops of Ghost Chili Pepper (depending on your preference).  Personally, I think the spicier the better, especially for head colds.

Heat the soup until hot, but do not boil.

Stir in a dash of cinnamon if desired.  Spoon into 3 cups for serving.  This is a very thick soup.  Add additional broth, milk or water, if you prefer a thinner soup.

This soup is not quite as good as the beach vacation option, but it works.  If anyone has extra plane tickets to a warm climate, send them my way:)    Enjoy.

Broccoli Soup