Spicy Garlic Vegetable Soup


Two weeks ago, I got hit with the flu. I saw it coming and it wasn’t at all a surprise when early Monday morning, at 1:15 am to be exact, I woke up with a very sore throat. So sore, it hurt to swallow. I didn’t get much sleep that night, repeatedly waking up at various times throughout the night, swallowing to be sure it was still sore.

And so it lasted for four days. And then I got bronchitis. That lasted for another five days. It was awesome. NOT!


When I say I saw it coming, I’m not kidding. I had been racing every weekend since mid-September, and while I had a two-week break coming up on the schedule soon, the workouts during the break were not going to be any easier and the rest wasn’t going to increase beyond the usual. But I like it that way! And most of us type-A athletes do. It means that we are working. We are pushing ourselves. We are doing more than/are harder than/are tougher than the competition. I’m not wrong, am I? But I should have been resting harder than the competition as well.

The first weekend I had “off” from racing, I filled my free time with everything I was not able to accomplish in the weekends prior. I got my hair cut, renewed my car tags, updated my passport, completed a very challenging plyo workout, visited with long-lost friends, and imbibed a little–and that was just Friday. The rest of the weekend was filled with many miles and likely too little hydration.

I also ride the train to work. Being stuck sardine-style in a tube for 90 minutes a day with germy people is likely the root cause of the virus.

And so for those 10 sick days I ate nothing but soup, drank copious amounts of tea, and sucked down veggie-smoothies loaded with vitamins. Vitamins! I must have nutrients! I tried to sleep, but mostly I just laid on the couch and ordered sweet-and-sour soup from the Thai restaurant down the street because I didn’t have enough strength to cook.


I made this soup twice while I was sick–it was that good! Spicy, salty food tastes amazing when you are sick. (Anything tastes better than drainage or NyQuil.) The soup is also really easy to make, which was another reason it was a repeat. You don’t have to be sick to enjoy it, though. It’s the perfect winter warmer and may even help prevent you from getting sick if you feel a cold coming on. Take care and be well, people.

Spicy Garlic Vegetable Soup

Serves Four

1 yellow onion, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 (14 oz) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 cups water
One bunch kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
2 andouille sausage, links (optional)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil



In a large stock pot, heat 1-2 teaspoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions to pot and cook, stirring frequently, until soft. Add garlic, carrots and red pepper flakes and cook 1-2 minutes more. Add the canned tomatoes, broth, water. Bring the soup base to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, add the beans. Cover the pot and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, slice the sausage and brown in a skillet. Set aside.

After the soup has simmered, remove the lid and stir in the kale and sausage. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread or toast. A sprinkling of shredded parmesan wouldn’t be bad either.