I really took a hit from the cold monster this week, and food was about the last thing on my mind.

However, Andrew (my sweetheart) understood the need for comfort food and extra hydration, so he pulled out the soups.

First was some hot miso with extra tofu. Next was his delicious chicken and dumplings, with a new dumpling recipe. They were very light and similar to sponge cake. Another meal was lamb sausage with extra garlic and cannellini beans.

Say a prayer for my coworkers; last night was a brothy garlic and scallops with roasted garlic and potatoes, sauteed garlic and spinach and a side of garlic toast.

Making soup at home is a great thing. You control the content — especially sodium and fat — and the steam from cooking helps humidify the house.

Being confined to the bed or couch isn’t healthy, so a bit of fiber and an absence of things that upset the tummy are essential.

Y’all get cooking; I’m going back to bed.

V V V

The dumplings Andy made this time were adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s “Duck Stew with Dumplings,” an excellent recipe and yet another wonderful way to enjoy our feathered friends.

It’s a small recipe, perfect for two, and we kind of had to discuss who would get the last dumpling in the pan. The cayenne is optional, but it is good for colds. Trade it out for black pepper. You might also toss in a little turmeric for health and up the garlic to your favorite level.

The stouter the beer, the stouter the flavor, but you can also use any kind of stock or even milk or water. This is just the dumpling part of the recipe and assumes you’ve already made your stew out of whatever you like.

‘Regina Doesn’t Feel Good’ Dumplings

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 egg

1/4 cup beer (or broth)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 Tablespoon minced onion

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

In a bowl, combine the ingredients and whisk batter until smooth.

Uncover stew, increase heat until bubbling briskly (but not a roiling boil — that will tear up the dumplings) and add about 16 golf-ball-size spoonfuls of batter to stew.

Cook dumplings 2 minutes, reduce heat to simmering and cook 1 minute more. To serve, ladle stew into each of 4 shallow soup balls and top each portion with 4 to 5 dumplings.

V V V

When you are sick, you need something warm, soothing, moist, fiber-ish and sustaining (i.e., protein). Since I am an egg addict, particularly poached, this is a keeper in my house.

Veggies, Beans and Eggs

1 Tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, sliced

10 – 12 baby portabello mushrooms, quartered

2 cans (15 ounce) tomatoes, chopped (stewed optional)

1/2 cup vegetable stock (unsalted is best)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (15 ounce) can Great Northern beans, rinsed, drained

1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, packed

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

Freshly ground pepper

Your favorite hot sauce, optional

Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes or until browned.

Add tomatoes, stock, salt and beans and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes or until mixture thickens and about half of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile bring an inch of water in a large saucepan to a hot simmer and add the white vinegar to it.

Add spinach to the soup pot; cook 2 minutes or until wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm.

Gently break eggs into a shallow bowl, one at a time, and slide them into the simmering water; cook 3 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are still runny.

Ladle the soup into a shallow bowl (this recipe serves four normal people or two people like me and Andy). Top each serving with an egg; drizzle with vinegar, and sprinkle as much ground pepper and hot sauce as you like.

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