Sunday, November 6, 2011

Eat Those Onions!

Did you know that sulphur is in every cell in your body? I didn't, until this morning that is, when I was reading a Natural News article about it. It is one of those essential minerals, which do all the marvelous invisible things that contributes to your overall health.

Sulfur is a mineral that is present in every cell of the body. It plays a key role in liver metabolism and the function of the joint cartilage and keratin of the skin & hair. It is also critical for metabolism and anti-oxidant defense systems that protect the aging patterns of the brain. Some of the healthiest cultures in the world have the highest levels of sulfur in their diet while the US has some of the lowest levels.
Industrial farming, that speciality of huge agribusinesses, depletes the soil of sulphur. Chances are, unless you are eating lots of a certain vegetable family, you may be sulphur-depleted.

And guess what vegetable family that is? Of course, the alliums! Onions, garlic, chives, leeks, shallots are all members of the allium family.

At our house, we eat garlic every day (or nearly every day--some days I forget until the Gruff Lord growls that he's being deprived of an essential health ingredient...). And I can't even imagine cooking without onions. I ran the dehydrator ragged last summer dehydrating onions, just to make sure we'd always have some around.

I have a wonderful cookbook, the Gilroy Garlic Festival Cookbook. If you think Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic is a bit garlicky, take a gander at this cookbook! All the recipes have lots of garlic: breads, soups, meat dishes and appetizers. All made with huge amounts of garlic. Here's one of my favorite recipes from the book:

Garlicky Tomato Saffron Soup
6 cans (10.5 oz. each) chicken broth (I use my homemade broth...)
1 cup boiling water
1/4 gram Spanish saffron threads
1 lb. Roma tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped in bits
1 bunch leeks (3 medium or 1 1/2 cups), white part only, well-cleaned
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
5 large cloves fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 whole fennel seeds
8 large fresh spinach leaves

Place canned chicken broth in the freezer so the fat will rise to surface for easy removal. (Personally, I like a bit of chicken fat in my homemade broth so I skip this step.)
Bring water to boil. Add saffron threads and let steep, uncovered, off heat.
Skin tomatoes by putting them in boiling water for 1 minutes. Skin, seed and chop.
Chop leeks fine. Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. Do not let oil smoke. Add chopped leeks and saute until limp but not brown. When leeks are limp, squeeze garlic cloves through press into the leeks and mix over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Remove chicken broth from freezer and remove fat clumped at the top. Add chicken broth, saffron water including threads, tomatoes, thyme and fennel to leeks in soup pot.
Simmer mixture, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Five minutes before soup is ready, add spinach leaves.
Serve hot, room temperature, or cold with hearty, crusty bread. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Sounds good, doesn't it? It's one of my favorite soups for when I feel like I'm coming down with a cold. Delicious and it will beef up your sulphur intake too.

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