>Got flu? Get soup.

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Rebecca “Maud” Newton is a brilliant Brooklyn writer who started her blog, maudnewton.com, as an excuse to procrastinate. (As a new blogger, I can relate completely.) Newton shares my interest in recipes from writers although in my case, said recipes from writers need to include lotsof garlic.

When Newton was sick, she offered this adaptation of “Spicy Tomato Soup” from the legendary Moosewood Cookbook. Any recipe that calls for between six and sixteen cloves of garlic and tons of black pepper works for me. Flu season starts to peak in November. Get a flu shot and/or make this soup.

Olive oil

1 large white onion, minced

6 – 16 cloves garlic (depends on your fortitude), crushed

1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons salt

1 large bunch fresh dill (minus stems), chopped
Tons of black pepper

1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

3 oz. (or 1/2 of a small can) tomato paste
1 1/2 – 2 c. water

1 tablespoon honey

2-3 medium fresh tomatoes, diced

3-4 oz. goat cheese (or 2-3 tbsp. sour cream or yoghurt)
 

First you’re going to sauté the onion, garlic, and dill, with salt and a little pepper, so warm up whatever amount of olive oil you’re comfortable with — I use a lot — over medium heat, and then throw in those ingredients. Stir everything around for 5 to 8 minutes until onions are translucent, then lower heat and cook a bit more, adding oil if necessary, until onions are soft. (You can do this in the same large pot you’ll be using for the soup.)

Next add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and honey, with as much pepper as you can stand. If you’re grinding it, turn the top of the grinder at least 20 times. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Taste. If you’re like me, you’ll maniacally add more pepper at this stage. Heat another 20-30 minutes, adding water as necessary — personally, I like this soup very thick — and possibly a little salt. Throw in fresh tomatoes. Simmer another five minutes. Taste and add more salt if desired.

Turn off heat and stir in goat cheese (or sour cream, or yogurt) until dissolved. Taste again, add pepper or more cheese if necessary, then serve with stoned wheat crackers, water table crackers, or whatever you like.

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