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It’s that time of year again. I was really hoping to have an illness-free winter, given how little time I spend out in public now that I’m not working. But my husband picked up a bug somewhere on his travels and brought it home. In his defence, I was convinced he was having a reaction to bad food so I wasn’t particularly careful about not catching it.

So he spent a whole day in bed with aches and a mild fever, and about five days later I did the same. Luckily it’s a short-lived bug, and I’m already feeling much better two days later. But his illness seems to be dragging on, and he isn’t quite back to himself yet. So I took it upon myself to find a flu-busting soup recipe. And I found this.

The list of ingredients looked amazing, until I got to the sweet potato. Then to goji berries. Goji berries in a soup? Really? The soup is puréed, so you don’t actually have to chew on chunks of goji, but I was still skeptical. On the other hand, I happen to have some old goji berries in the cupboard that I’ve been trying to get rid of, and stewing them in a soup would be a nice way to get rid of them. I’m also a big believer in onion, garlic, and ginger to fight illness.

Flu-fighting soup

Flu-fighting soup

My husband sniffed and made faces as I was frying the magical trio. The ginger was especially strong. I made a few substitutions: I couldn’t find green chilies, so I used half a jalapeño, and the shiitake mushrooms were very expensive, while the white mushrooms were half off, so I used those instead. After it had finished simmering, the resulting soup was not very attractive. (I forgot to take a photo, unfortunately.) But a quick run through the blender turned it into a beautifully thick, orange potage. It didn’t come out quite as red as in the photo, but I’m happy with it nonetheless.

As for taste? It’s delicious. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes and the berries helps mask the intensity of the garlic and ginger. I’m really impressed with this soup. Whether it works as a flu buster remains to be seen, but I’ll be making this recipe again regardless.