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December with a kid in pre-school, or a job in an office, or, basically, a place in society, is an exercise in fending off a cold. Between the tissues and the tinsel (and all the sweets that come with it), I find I'm always trying to bolster my family's immunity by cooking for them. Take after my Italian Grandma much?
It seems like everyone has their own ritualistic practices surrounding food as remedy. For us, it's lots of vegetables and fruits (big surprise), brothy soups and herbal tea. One of the easiest and most savory broths to brew up with on-hand ingredients is miso broth. It has a satisfying flavor of its own but still accommodates a wide variety of soup ingredients.
This version is vegetarian, which also allows you to skip straining the broth. For a slightly deeper flavor, you can add a handful of bonito flakes to the broth after simmering the kombu. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes, then strain both the kombu and bonito flakes from the broth, return the broth to the pot, and proceed as directed below.
What are you favorite get-better foods?