This garlicky peasant soup is the go-to comfort food in our house when we feel a cold coming on or when the snow starts to fall. Don’t let the small amount of ingredients or its short cook time fool you! This is one delicious (and medicinally potent) soup. The antibacterial and antiviral compounds in garlic help keep you warm and healthy during the cold and flu season.

DAIRY-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE, GRAIN-FREE, NUT-FREE, QUICK

SERVES 4 | PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 15 MINUTES

6 cups Basic Chicken Bone Broth or water, divided

2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, divided

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 heads escarole, washed well and coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)

Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

1.Using a stick blender or food processor, blend 1 cup of broth with 1 can of cannellini beans until smooth. Set aside.

2.In a stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

3.Add the chopped escarole, minced garlic, and salt and black pepper to taste and sauté for about 3 minutes, until the escarole wilts.

4.Add the remaining 5 cups of broth, the bean and broth purée, and the remaining 1 can of cannellini beans.

5.Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

6.Ladle the hot soup into individual bowls and garnish with the cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired.

HEALTH TIP: Did you know that chopping garlic cloves and allowing them to rest for 5 to 10 minutes causes the garlic to reveal its full protective, disease-fighting potential? Allicin, a beneficial compound in garlic, is responsible for its antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects, and it increases as the chopped garlic oxidizes.

HERB PROFILE

GARLIC

Cloves, dried powder

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS: Garlic is generally considered safe but may interact with anticoagulant medications and increase the risk of postoperative bleeding. Some may experience heartburn or gastrointestinal irritation.

TASTE/ACTIVITY: PUNGENT/HOT/DRY

PROPERTIES: Anticoagulant, antifungal, antihypertensive, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, carminative, circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, immune stimulant, vasodilator

USES: Treats hypertension; lowers cholesterol; increases circulation; combats colds and flu, wet coughs, upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and fungal conditions; aids digestion; brings on menstruation

SUGGESTED PREPARATIONS: Hummus, infused oxymel and vinegar (paired with other pungent herbs and spices, such as cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves, horseradish, and thyme), infused syrup, pesto

ESPECIALLY GOOD FOR: FIGHTING COUGHS, COLDS, FLU

The pungent volatile oils in fresh garlic have been shown to be excreted through the lungs, making it especially effective in treating respiratory infections and illnesses. Garlic also acts as an expectorant, helping the body to thin and expel mucus in the respiratory tract. Note that garlic capsules do not have the same beneficial effects on upper respiratory health as eating raw garlic.

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