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Home remedies – sick chick soup!

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I lost the battle! A nasty cold was ready to pounce even before I left Monday for Bangkok. A couple plane rides, killer air conditioning and sleep deprived day or two later, I returned home well and truly sick. Naturally as I’m a generous sort – my partner also is blessed with sniffles and cough.

With only three sleeps to go before our big Canada trip, we knew we needed to up our ‘home remedy’ game. So in addition to the tried and true (list below), I also made a couple of soups. By Sunday, it was full-on comfort food craving time. Rummaged around the fridge and found carrots and ginger – and voila! A savoury Sunday soup for a ‘sick chick’!

As with the Monsoon Soup, a pressure cooker sure makes this easier. So does a blender – which alas I don’t have! Here is the gist of this ‘quick fix’ soup:

Serious comfort food...

Serious comfort food…                         (photo: Carissa Hickling)

1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil
1 large onion
3 – 4 large carrots chopped small
1/4 cup of masoor dal
Lots of grated ginger – min 1 tablespoon
Veggie broth cube, dissolved in a cup of warm water
Ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
Ground nutmeg

Nearly everything goes into a pressure cooker:
– Peel & chop the onion. Then sautee with butter in the cooker until translucent
– Cut the carrot into small cubes then add to the cooker
– Add the grated ginger, broth, black pepper and salt
– Add water to more than cover all the ingredients

Pressure cook for about 15 mins. Once it cools a bit, blend into a nice relatively consistent soup. In my case, I don’t have a blender so did it in small batches in my all purpose wet & dry mini mixer, deliberately leaving a few chunks. If its too thick or just if you want, can dilute with orange juice or cream.

Last step is to grate nutmeg to taste. If needed, add more salt n pepper too.

Could accompany with crunchy baguette or croutons. However in our case, all we wanted was something warm, flavourful with ginger to sooth our sore throats.

Here are a few ‘home remedies’ to chase away colds:

Home remedy haven! (photo: Carissa Hickling)

Home remedy haven! (photo: Carissa Hickling)

1. Warm feni with cloves, cinnamon & sugar – Goan recipe with special home delivery by my adopted family of feni from their ‘special stash’
2. Chai with crushed black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, javitri (dried flower covering mace), grated ginger. Strain then add honey & lime. Naturally Old Monk rum or a cheap local whiskey can add a little medicinal kick! And no milk in this tea….
3. Warm milk with turmeric or honey turmeric – yuck!
4. Amla aka Indian gooseberry– We have it in two forms. I prefer the tart concentrated liquid – one shot and I’m done! My partner prefers the fruit in a sweet sugar syrup.
5. Lots of fruit, healthy food like home made soups, constant sipping of warm liquids…
6. Karvol steam inhalation. Only encountered these capsules in India tho certainly Vicks vapour rub was common in Canada. It’s a capsul of camphor, chlorothymol, eucalyptol, menthol which is dissolved in hot water. You then use a towel over the head and breath slowly and deeply in the steam. If your nose is initially blocked, this will open it for a bit!
7. LemSip aka Neo Citron – No its not strictly a home remedy. But just helps. 🙂

So to all my friends also suffering from monsoon sniffles – Get well soon! Would love to hear what does the trick to get you back on your feet quick??



  1. I’ve not had a cold in over a year, and am very much hoping that reading this will keep the evil germs at bay for another year at least 😉
    Hope you won’t suffer too much on your flight… the pressure change sure is horrible when you’re all blocked up.

    • Keep up your brilliant track record!! Evil germs should be kept at bay. Worst case, have some de-clogging stuff to knock me out with en route. I’ve travelled with a head cold before – you start miserable and end waaaaaaaay worse! Its not fun and best avoided. Here’s hoping will chase this nasty thing away before we step onto the plane Wed night!

  2. ottominuti says:

    I am a big fan of neo citron 🙂 get well soon!

  3. gina4star says:

    Hope you get well soon, before your trip! 🙂 Carrot soup is one of my favourites… I’ve not tried it with ginger though… will have to give it a go…

  4. pollyheath says:

    Thanks for the veggie recipe! I’ll try it sometime when I get sick (hopefully not too soon).

  5. Margo says:

    All of the above with replacement of eucalyptus oil for Karvol inhalation. You can also rub some on your chest, sprinkle on a hanky and on the bedding to help clear and soothe those traumatized airways.
    Love your posts Carissa.

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