I hate flu season. I always get the flu whether or not I get a shot and as every mom knows, mom does not get sick days. Worst is when dad's sick. I have all the patience in the world for animals and babies but zero tolerance for sick grownups. Poor guy.

I do have some secret weapons when it comes to battling the flu. There's good old fashioned chicken soup, of course, but the husband likes a vegetarian option. For him there's mushroom miso and onion soup. Mushrooms and onions are virus fighting powerhouses and miso helps restore the balance that is upset by the purging process and unwell body can inflict upon its pilot. Just a touch of ginger helps it all stay down.

Next is the lemon, honey, ginger combination. It needs to be adjusted based on symptoms. Ginger kicks body ache butt in large quantities and settles the stomach in smaller quantities (but can upset an already irritable stomach in large quantities). Lemon soothes coughs and congestion and packs a vitamin C punch. Honey also soothes the throat and has immune boosting power. It also helps the lemon and ginger go down nicer.

Here's the recipes:

Mushroom, Miso and Onion Soup

You need:

A big yellow onion, sliced
1 lb mushrooms (portobello or a variety) sliced, reconstituted if dried (reserve the liquid and add it to the broth later)
1 tbsp Miso, your favorite variety
4 slices fresh ginger, sliced to make strips
1 clove chopped fresh garlic
Coconut oil
1 qt Vegetable broth (or chicken broth if you do chicken)
1 qt water

Saute the onions in coconut oil over very low heat for 20 minutes. Don't let them burn! Add mushrooms, garlic and ginger and saute over very low heat for 15 minutes more. Add vegetable broth and 1 qt water. Mix well getting all the good stuff off the bottom. Simmer 30 minutes to allow everything to infuse the broth. Remove from heat. Stir in miso and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the patient is nauseated, just give him the broth plain at first. Once he can hold a little food down, give him some white rice with a little broth. If there is no tummy trouble, but the patient is very congested, add some hot pepper oil or hot sauce at the end to help break up the congestion.

Lemon, Ginger and Honey Tea

You will need

1 lemon
4-5 slices of fresh ginger
1 tbsp honey

Gently simmer the ginger in 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes or until the water is strongly ginger flavored.

Meanwhile, squeeze 1 lemon into a standard sized coffee mug and drop the honey on top. Once the ginger water is ready, strain it into the mug. Add hot water on top to fill the mug. Mix well and serve. If there is much tummy trouble, omit the lemon and make a very weak ginger/honey combo. If there are body aches, but no nausea, increase the amount of ginger.

Enjoy in good health!

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