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Feel Better Soup & The Magic Elixir

December 27, 2011

Need some feel better recipes to help your worn down body feel better?

Consider these:

Feel Better Soup Ingredients

Feel Better Soup Ingredients

(Original Post from 12/27/2011)

Following the gluttony of endless holiday partying, my body starts to respond in all sorts of frightening ways to the unusually large inputs of sugar, fat, caffeine and alcohol. Sure, we tell ourselves all those “bad-for-you-foods” don’t count during the holidays, but right after the season-of-too-much-cheer, everything counts (including the stuff we said didn’t count as we stuffed our pie holes with that totally unnecessary third slice of pie — for breakfast — topped with both whipping cream & ice cream…and maybe a dollop of marscapone since it was in the fridge…and a handful of Chex Mix from the container next to the pie plate…oh, and perhaps a couple of sausages…and heck, why not an eggnog latte with lots of rum to wash it all down?).

Without fail, it begins the moment the fancy china has been washed and packed away. Flabby formations begin to build near the hips. Salty bloats threaten to dislodge rings. Sugary crashes bring on the blues. Caffeine withdrawals promise pounding noggins. And dehydrated skin leaves us wondering why we ever thought that third (or fourth or fifth) martini was a good idea. Let’s face it. This kind of eating can’t go on forever.

So, if you’re feeling bloated, coated in sugar, dipped in fat, and fresh from the fryer, and if you’re ready to set aside the holiday junk, consider these simple recipes to lighten up your meals and refresh your body!

Oh, and for goodness sakes. Get out of those pajamas and go for a walk! You never know — that Lenten Rose or Yuletide Camellia might just be in bloom by now!

(The following article and recipes were originally published 12/3/2010)

About a year ago my sister sent me a recipe for what we now call The Magic Elixir.  Usually it will knock out a cold fast and from it I found inspiration to create Feel Better Soup.

Yesterday I started feeling craptacular (to use one of my favorite made-up words). So, I heated up some of the Magic Elixir to sip while I pulled together a pot of Feel Better Soup. I still don’t feel great, but I know the leftover soup, more elixir, a hot shower and more time in bed are going to help. But while I have a brief burst of energy and simply can’t stand being in bed one more minute, I wanted to write this up.

Feeling under the weather? Try one or both of these easy recipes, maybe they’ll help:


The Magic Elixir Print Print

This is a spicy, warm drink that really does make you feel better. The garlic can be off-putting, so if you absolutely can’t stand the taste, omit the garlic next time. You’ll be eliminating some of the “magic”, but it’ll taste better and still be good for you.


  • 4-6 cups water
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/8-1/2 t. cayenne (to taste)
  • 1-2 cloves halved garlic
  • 1-3 T. sliced fresh ginger (1 t. powdered or a sliced piece of crystallized will do in a pinch)
  • Lots of honey

Pour water into large sauce pan. Squeeze lemon into water. Add squeezed lemons to sauce pan. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer until lemons are soft.

Strain & ladle into mugs and add as much honey as is needed to handle the taste. Don’t be shy with the honey. When used during allergy season, the elixir helps and so does the honey!

I make a big batch and keep some in the fridge to warm up as needed during the sick days.


Feel Better SoupPrint Print

I only buy chicken from local Skagit River Ranch. Because they only sell minimally processed, whole birds, I cut them down for recipes. I save backs and wings in the freezer until I have enough to cook down for broth. When the broth is done cooking, I pick bits of the cooked chicken from the bones to add to this soup. It is fairly bland at this point, but this way we minimize the waste and always have homemade broth on hand. If you don’t have time or energy to make a homemade broth or if you prefer to keep this recipe vegetarian, go ahead and use purchased broth just be sure to taste it before adding soy. My homemade broth is unsalted and needs a bit more than processed broths do.

Vegetable choices can be varied based on what’s available in your garden or at the farmer’s market. My recipe below reflects what what we were fortunate to pick up last week at the farmer’s market.


  • 8-10 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-2 T. minced fresh garlic
  • 1-2 T. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 T- 1/4 cup soy sauce coconut aminos (we stopped using soy & feel even healthier)
  • 1 t – 1 T. sriracha hot sauce (or other chili sauce); sriracha often has sugar; look for a sugar-free option!
  • 1 T. vegetable olive oil
  • 2 large carrots sliced in 1/4″ rounds
  • 1 small bunch of broccoli florets and stems peeled and chopped
  • 2 bunches bok choi (or other choi) chopped
  • 1 cup chopped chantrelle (or other mushroom)
  • 1 cup cooked soup pasta (likes stars or alphabets) – don’t add uncooked to soup or your broth will be significantly reduced; don’t over cook the pasta or it will fall apart in the soup. Best to cook al dente before draining to add to soup.  Skip the grains; you’ll feel better for it!

In large soup pot, bring broth to a simmer. In a smaller pot, warm cooking oil. Add garlic and ginger and saute briefly until garlic loses its sharpness. Add mushrooms and saute to release a bit of moisture. Add in carrots, broccoli stalks and bok choi stems. Toss briefly.

Add saute mixture to simmering broth. Taste for saltiness. Add sriracha and soy to taste. Simmer about 10 minutes. Add in Bok Choi leaves and broccoli florets. Simmer another 5 minutes or until veggies are done to your preferred texture. Add in cooked pasta. Stir briefly to warm.

Ladle into bowls. Serve with extra sriracha and soy, if needed.


  1. Cath says:

    Sound wonderful, I hope you feel better.
    I have a tip for adding pasta to soup. Cook a batch your favorite pasta al dente and just add it to the individual soup bowls when serving. Store it separately and then it doesn’t break down and turn to mush in the main soup kettle.

  2. rhaglund says:

    Cath – thanks for the pasta tip. That’s a great idea!

  3. […] by some of the harvest to get us through winter. Last week, when I was sick & wanted some Feel Better Soup, I was so thankful I had taken my food preservation guru friend Theresa Loe’s advice last […]

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