Spicy Cabbage Soup for Sassy Sinuses



We meet again.

I am not pleased to see you. There, I said it. I get that you are just hypersensitive and want to be all up in my biznass, but seriously, Immune System – I’m a big girl now and I can take care of myself! You are way too overprotective. It’s embarrassing. I walk around with swollen eyes all day long, totally drained, with these powerful headaches, just because you apparently didn’t get the memo that lilacs are not poison. They just smell nice. Chill out, antibodies.

As a result of this autoimmune fun (and by “fun” I mean “horror”), I was in a daze yesterday. Occasionally, my allergies get debilitating — seriously. I’ll spare you the details, but imagine the worst headcold you can, and then throw some Satan into the picture for interesting twists. Yep, that’s about accurate. It can drag me down to just laying on a couch, mumbling incoherently about how I want BFF Manfriend to “pull the plug.”

He is a patient, saintly man. I know this. (And yes, I did drama in high school — why do you ask?)

Anyway. I suspect there may be an actual cold in the background of the allergies as well right now. It’s hard to distinguish the two sometimes, because they tend to go hand in hand, egging each other on in their torturous ways. So I finally went ahead and tried to make something that would kind of “clean out the attic” – if the attic is my head, and my sinuses are the forgotten corners. (Can you tell I’m still delirious? Good metaphor. Not.) There is one type of soup I crave when I feel unwell – whether it be a flu, a cold, a life disappointment, or a paranoid immune system that hates lilacs (WHO HATES LILACS?!?! Come on, I.S.!) It has to include a tomato base, cabbage, garlic, and some heat. Everything else is take-it-or-leave-it. I made do with what I had, and it was amazing. So, for all my fellow allergy and/or cold sufferers, know that while this won’t cure you, it definitely takes the edge off. And the congestion out.

This is yet another free-and-easy, loosey-goosey, do-what-you-will-and-hyphenate-extravagantly kind of recipe. There’s nothing all that creative going on here; it’s really just vegetables. I’m sure there are a bazillion (roughly) other similar recipes out there. And with good reason. It’s utterly simple – the only added spices are salt, pepper, and cayenne (well, and enough garlic to keep the Twilighters away. Joke.). Yep. It’s easy, crazy healthy (I mean – CRAZY), and comes together in probably 15 minutes. Chop chop, stir, pour, stir, shake, stir, eat. It’s even pleasant to make – rhythmic chopping and a comforting smell wafting through your kitchen. What’s not to love?

The fact that I’m allergic to the best smell in the world – lilacs. Ah. Touché. That’s not to love.

This soup can be eaten cold, like gazpacho, warm/room temperature, or hot. Because things are sort of, kind of, maybe, but not for sure yet, starting to warm up around here (it’s Colorado. We have 4 seasons in every single day so…we have to be noncommittal about our assessments.). I devoured this after I got home from working out – two big bowlfuls. It was spicy enough to keep me downing the H20 to rehydrate, but not to the point that I couldn’t taste and enjoy my meal. It was the perfect ending to my day! And it definitely made a difference in my…uh…overcapacitated sinus cavities, and itchy throat.

It a happily-ever-after soup.

extra virgin olive oil
½ head or 1 very small cabbage
½ small red onion
2 medium-sized carrots
2-3 stalks celery
6-8 cloves garlic (I used 7, varying in size)
1 28 oz can chunky tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
~ ½ C water (optional)
salt + pepper
cayenne (or hot sauce, or both)

1) Chop cabbage by first slicing the head into ribbons, and then slicing in the other direction.
2) Chop onion, carrots, celery, and garlic as well. I like mine diced quite small in this recipe, but do what you like.
3) Drizzle enough olive oil into a large pot so that when heated to medium, it covers the bottom in a thin layer.
4) Add vegetables, salt generously (to make them sweat a little), and stir.
5) Once veggies are starting to soften, add tomato sauce/diced tomatoes. and stir. You may want to add some water to thin it out to your desired consistency — I used about ¾ C or so.
6) Add salt, coarse ground pepper, and cayenne and/or hot sauce to taste. Stir, reduce to a lower heat, and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Serve.

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I like it with some crunch still in the carrots, so my times reflect this. Feel free to cook longer if you wish. It’s even better the next day! I feel so much better after eating this. It’s not a panacea, but it is delicious, healthy, and quick.

Take that, Sinuses.

Do you have allergies? Any special cures?

My doctor relative swears by drinking a teaspoon of your urine in a glass of water every morning. Something about the amount of antibodies… I mentioned this on Twitter once to some hilarious reactions… Thoughts?

(Do you hear the desperation in my voice?)

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I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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Kara Bout It