This soup is intended to show winter with its freezing temperatures, howling gales and accompanying colds (body aches, congestion etc)—who's the boss.
In traditional Chinese Medicine terms, these relentless bouts of weather are understood as Wind Cold Attack and the treatment principle is Expel Wind, Warm Cold and Rectify Qi. Sounds like a battle plan. And it is. A strong broth as foundation plus garlic and mustard greens (both of which are pungent in flavor, moving in nature, and purifying in function) as secret weapon is just what is needed to send the cold virus on its way – February too.
Chicken Broth with Chickpeas, Garlic and Mustard Greens
1 pound dried chickpeas
8 cups rich chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and thinly sliced or minced
2 1/2 tablespoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
Juice of 4 limes, plus some zest if desired
1 bunch mustard greens, trimmed and thinly shredded
Soak chickpeas in cold water, enough to cover by several inches, overnight. Drain and rinse.
Combine chickpeas and chicken stock in a large soup pot. Add garlic, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer until chickpeas are soft, about 1 hour. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice. Stir in mustard greens and simmer until wilted and soft, about 8 minutes. Adjust seasoning and serve hot. A little bit of parsley at the end of the meal helps aid digestion and brighten the spirit.
Frances Boswell is a licensed acupuncturist at her practice, Qi Sera Sera Acupuncture, in New York City. She focuses on a lesser-known branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which identifies poor diet as a common cause of disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine understands that the importance of food goes beyond ingredients' vitamins, mineral, nutrient and caloric content—food has its own energetic and spiritual role in our health. Frances' aim is to teach this ancient wisdom, apply it to everyday cooking, and work with patients to modify their diets, in addition to acupuncture, to help them live, eat, and be well. Contact Frances here.