This vegan “Get Well Soup” features sweet caramelized onions, roasted garlic, fresh ginger, and turmeric to help you feel better!
This winter has been germy. It seems like no matter how hard the husband and I ducked and dodged to avoid cold cooties, we caught them. If you too have been battling the cold and flu season, here’s a ‘get well’ soup to get you back on the road to health. This “Get Well Soup” is made from healing ingredients like sweet caramelized onions and roasted garlic, warming ginger, and a dash of turmeric.
How to Caramelize Onions for “Get Well Soup”
I won’t lie— this soup isn’t a quick dinner. (But you aren’t in a hurry today anyway, right? You’re home sick!) This Onion and Garlic ‘Get Well Soup,’ takes about two and a half hours to make. The good news is, though, that for almost the entire cook-time, you can lay on the couch with your tissues and watch a movie. Sound good? Okay then— let’s make it!
Start by slicing up about eight onions. (If you’re staring at your onions, and only see seven… it’s okay. You don’t have to go to the store— just use what you’ve got.) Heat a large pan over medium heat with some olive oil, and add the onions, a little salt, some rosemary, and 2 bay leaves.
Let the onions cook over medium heat with the lid on for a few minutes until they start to look translucent. Take the lid off, turn the heat to low or medium-low, and let the onions caramelize. Plan on this taking anywhere from two to five hours, depending on how high or low your heat is. (I usually cook mine over medium-low and they finish in just under two hours.) You can mostly ignore them during this part— checking on them every 45 minutes or so.
Next, take two heads of garlic (yes, two HEADS, not two cloves), remove most of the papery peel, cut off the pointed top, and then set them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle them with olive oil, and fold the aluminum foil around them (they should be completely covered.)
Set the foil packet in the oven, and roast them at 400ºF for 40-50 minutes. When they’re done roasting, take them out of the oven, and set them aside to cool until the onions have finished caramelizing.
Finish The “Get Well Soup”
When your onions are almost done caramelizing, pop the garlic cloves out of the heads by pushing on the bottom of the garlic heads. Add the garlic cloves to the onions and smash them with the end of a wooden spoon. Add the ginger, turmeric,* and hot water, bring it all to a simmer, and salt to taste.
Make sure you ‘salt to taste’— if you’ve got a cold, and are having trouble tasting anything, you might need a little more salt than you would otherwise. Dig into a big steaming bowl of this while you recuperate, and we’ll all wait together for springtime!
*Note: Turmeric does stain if you spill it on… well, on anything. If you’re so sick that you aren’t confident in your motor skills, skip the turmeric (and maybe go to the doctor.)
"Get Well Soup" with Onion and Garlic
Soup takes 2 1/2 - 5 hours to prepare, depending on how long the onions are caramelized. Most of the time is inactive, while the onions caramelize unattended.
- 2 TB olive oil
- 8 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 1 TB sea salt, divided, to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs rosemary (destemmed)
- 2 whole heads of garlic
- 2 TB freshly grated ginger OR ginger paste
- 1 tsp turmeric
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
In a large heavy bottom pot, heat oil over medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add onions, a pinch of salt, rosemary, and bay leaves. Cover pot, and cook over medium-high for 4-5 minutes, until they begin to look translucent and start releasing water.
Remove lid, and cook onions over low (or medium-low) until they caramelize. This will take 2-5 hours, depending on the size of your pot and the temperature used. The onions can be left alone and checked on about once an hour, except at the beginning and end of the caramelizing process.
While onions cook, peel most of the papery skin off the garlic. Cut about 1/4 inch off the top of the garlic head (the side that comes to a point, not the side where the roots were).
Set garlic heads on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with a little olive oil, and fold foil over garlic. Place in oven for about 40-50 minutes. Garlic is ready when the center cloves are softened. (If the cloves feel soft, but are still pale, you can leave them in for another 10 minutes to allow them to caramelize more.)
Let garlic cool for a few minutes, and then push on the bottom of the garlic head to release the cloves. Set cloves aside.
When onions have reduced and are an amber color, you're ready. Add the garlic cloves, and mash them with the end of a wooden spoon. Add ginger, turmeric, and 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Taste soup-- if you prefer a milder flavor, add another cup of hot water. Salt to taste. Remove the bay leaves.
Ladle soup into bowls, and serve immediately. Alternatively, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal.