Noodle around with different pasta shapes. Your little ones will love pastina or alphabet-shaped pasta (no need to precook). Or try cooked egg noodles for richer flavor, or a flavored pasta, such as tomato or spinach.
For an Asian twist, add 2 tablespoons grated ginger, 1 stalk lemongrass (smash the stalk to release some of its flavor), and a few pinches of dried red pepper flakes when you’re sautéing the other vegetables. (Remove the lemongrass before serving.) It may not cure a cold, but it’ll certainly open your nasal passages and offer some relief — oh, and it tastes great, too.
Go Greek and make avgolémono soup. Substitute 1 cup cooked rice for the pasta, and whisk together 2 eggs and the juice of 1 lemon. Add 1 cup of hot broth to the egg and lemon, whisk well, then whisk the mixture back into the larger pot. (Don’t boil it again.)
Matzoh balls, also known as knaidels or knaidelach, in soup have been known to cure everything from skinned knees to broken hearts. Instead of pasta, try these doughy treats.
- 4 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons seltzer water
- 1 cup matzoh meal
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and combine just until they come together. Cover and chill in refrigerator. Then wet your hands and form golf-ball-sized spheres of dough. Place them gently in the lightly simmering broth (substituting them for the pasta). Cook about 30 minutes.