Recipe time: Wil’s Sinusitis Can Suck It Vegetable Soup

I managed to go eighteen whole months without getting sick, but sometime in the last week or so, something worked its way into my sinuses, and it's been kicking my ass for the last 48 hours.

For most of the last week, I've been waking up in the morning with an intensely sore throat and painful, burning sinuses. I've been coughing and sneezing like crazy, so I figured it was just allergies (If it pollinates, I'm allergic to it. Yay), and dealt with it accordingly.

Clever girl, sinusitis. You had me fooled… but you gave yourself away yesterday with the heavy chest, body aches, and the general fatigue, and now I can fight back! Muwahahaha!!!1 *cough* *cough* *cough* *Krusty The Clown Groan*

Last night, I was so miserable, I just wanted some nice, warm comfort food. Even though I don't eat meat, I gave serious consideration to chicken noodle soup, but I ended up making a hearty vegetable soup instead. Anne loved it, and some friends asked for the recipe, so here it is. I got everything at Trader Joe's:

Wil's Sinusitis Can Suck It Vegetable Soup

  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes, or 4 chopped fresh tomatoes (save as much of the juice as you can)
  • 4 or 5 carrots
  • 3 or 4 medium potatoes (I used the red, gold, and purple medley) 
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 4 or 5 stalks of celery (I used celery hearts)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos (Soy or Tamari sauce also works)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme

I prefer to use organic vegetables, or at least vegetables that haven't been grown using any pesticides, but as Rick Ross said, do watcha like.

Wash all the vegetables. Slice the zucchini and squash. Slice the potatoes, then quarter the slices. Chop the onion, celery, and carrots. Peel and mince the garlic.

Heat a bit of olive oil in a stock pot or large (~4qt) sauce pan. Sauteé the carrots, onions and garlic until the onions are translucent and the carrots are bright orange, about 2 or 3 minutes. Be careful that you don't let the heat get too high and burn the oil. Add the potatoes and stir. About a minute later, pour in the tomato juice and water, and turn the heat to maximum. Add all the veggies and spices. Stir like a boss. If the veggies aren't covered, you can add a little more tomato juice.

Bring it all to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes, then let cool, uncovered, for about 10 minutes (unless you're into burning the hell out of your mouth. I don't judge.)

Serve with some crusty bread (I got a nice artisan boule of sourdough, but I bet it would be great with some spent-grain bread).

Note: You can add other veggies if you want, just make sure you increase the liquid to account for the extra stuff. I considered kidney and garbanzo beans, and I bet you could toss some cauliflower or broccoli florets in there, too, if that was your thing.

81 thoughts on “Recipe time: Wil’s Sinusitis Can Suck It Vegetable Soup”

  1. "And dairy, you are permanently on the ROYAL SHIT LIST"
    That sounds like my friends who are lactose intolerant.

  2. LOL. I suspect it was the Evil Dairy Gods personally. They look like Beholders…only each eye is a cows head. Or maybe my Jewish ancestors found out I was mixing dairy and meat and decided to teach me a lesson. I’m sorry!!! But…it tasted…sooo…good….:(

  3. Are you kidding me? I have a picture of her “Pooch of the Month” sign on my iPhone and have been known to show it to people who mention the word “dog” in passing. Seriously, I would link to it right now if it didn’t give away the name of [insert awesome local doggy daycare name here]. She was PotM back in February, and my husband and I still say things like, “I think Pooch of the Month is hungry. Have you fed her?”
    And yes, we love the place beyond all reason. I wonder if our dogs are friends? Granted, Seamus was not listed as one of Kaylee’s “best friends” on her PotM poster–that honor was reserved for “Maggie (a little boxer mix) and Dragon (a handsome Besengi mix).”
    I’m a teacher. I know the danger of parents who are overly invested in their children’s success. And yet, here I am. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one.

  4. Well, everyone beat me to the punch on adding chilies or hot sauce to your soup… I’d say then, bake something delicious and chocolatey once you feel better 😀 I myself would go for something peanutbuttery and chocolatey, but that’s just me :)

  5. I use the Neti Rinse (the negative pressure squeeze thingee), I swear by that as well.
    As far as the soup, I do almost the same recipe, but I put it in a crock pot on low for about 6 hours, or throw in some nice whole wheat pasta for some kickin’ minestrone.

  6. I’m with you on the minestrone! I just made a fantastic minestrone with some smoked beef sausage for my fiance’. It would be equally great without the meat though. I have learned to ease up on the potatoes and use whole wheat pasta instead.
    As for Wil’s soup, it does sound awesome. My change? I would use vegetable stock instead of plain water. I love using stocks and broths instead of plain water in my cooking! Where I come from, the water doesn’t come seasoned, as Emeril likes to say.

  7. I’m in the middle of dealing with Sinusitis, I’ll be going to the store in the morning to get all the ingredients. While I do love to eat meat, I turn into a vegetarian when I’m sick. Sinusitis really does suck (especially for those who are nose breathers…)

  8. Hey Wil — a few years ago you posted about making the most epic chicken soup ever, but the URL is dead. I’ve made it about 6 times since then but now that the site is down I am making chicken soup that is mediocre at best. Do you happen to have the recipe somewhere?

  9. This may sound weird but here’s what I do…
    about a half glass of very warm water, start with a small amount of salt and add to get it tasting a bit salty… Get a Straw, hold one nostril closed and (Excuse the next word) Snort it up the other nostril with the straw and keep sucking it up as far as you can while holding you head back… Then repeat on the other nostril and hold you head back, do this about 3 times and keep holding your head back for a while… The salt loosens the mucus and make sure you have a lot of tissues or toilet paper or what ever so you can blow your nose and usually I blow tons of crap out in about 10-15 minutes after I do this… I do this 3 times and then maybe later in the evening again depending on how stuffed up I am…
    For me it’s cheaper than buying crap at the drug store… hehe
    Oh yeah Hi Wil, Long time no talk…

  10. lard??? and you say you are “holistic”?
    Sunflower oil is really nice in taste and olive oil is much healthier and it’s tasty… but lard-that cannot be good for you at all

  11. sounds great (the soup not the sinusitis :S)! will definitely try this. also, just saw you on Eureka (space is finally airing the latest season in canada). great job! looks like it will definitely be a fun ride :)

  12. Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it Thursday and we just finished the leftovers tonight. My husband hates tomato soups but I got him to try it by dropping your name. :) I believe his words were “Damn you, Wil Wheaton, for making a great tomato-based soup recipe.”
    On a side note, I went with TJs Rosemary bread. Delicious!

  13. Count me in as a supporter of the No Chicken stock. I use it all the time in all sorts of things. I’ll even use it as a base to make gravy for Thanksgiving dinner.

  14. Sounds mighty tasty. Though I’m not a huge fan of zucchini / summer squash in soups, so I’d probably substitute with the beans you mentioned and/or kale. Which is basically minestrone without the pasta. Yum. :)

  15. Yumm. Sounds delicious. I’m a vegetarian, but my carnivore boyfriend likes my cooking and loves soup. This sounds like one he would love. To whoever recommended the Better than Bouillon — that stuff is pretty great. The last time I used it for soup it came out way too rich, so I think I measured wrong, but it was pretty tasty. We throw a little dab in the water when we make rice and it’s delicious.

  16. Yay you responded! First time evar :p Yeah there are a lot of rumors about what’s “healthy” which are completely untrue. Like lowfat milk products – which are entirely dead and devoid of any nutrition whatsoever. Raw, whole fat milk products (or skimmed if necessary) are the way to go. Any more nutrition questions, I’m happy to answer.

  17. Sunflower oil is like any other veg oil – it burns and becomes rancid (carcinogenic) at very low temps, and has its unsaturated qualities reversed, to boot. We need way more omega-3s (polyunsaturated) fats – which are flax, fish oil, seaweed, chia seeds. Unfortunately the SAD diet (Standard American Diet) is flip-flopped onto monounsaturated fats, which are veg oils. Too many cause insulin resistance. Saturated fats such as lard are good because you only need a little to cook with, and they hold up to high heat. Burning oil is like eating anything else that’s burned. Causes cancer in the long run.
    The general rule with holistic health is – do what we’ve been doing for a LONG time. What have we been cooking with? Butter and lard. Veg oils are a new invention and way overused.

  18. Sounds good!
    I dislike zucchini’s floppy squishiness in long-simmered soups. I mourned squash-less soups until we got a bunch of big patty pan squashes in a CSA box and I hit on the idea of cutting them into wedges and pitching them into a minestrone. And then there was WIN. They held their shape and structure SO much better.
    Hope you feel better soon!

  19. Thanks for info, but some people are allergic to milk protein and cannot touch anything made of it, so cooking with butter is out of question, and lard is a pig’s fat – just not gonna do it, and lard could be from a sick pig on top of other reasons, Oil is ok if used once, and not reused as in french fries in fast food chains -that’s carcinogenic (and corn oil is bad stuff), but using oil at low temperature, and once, is quite all right, and olive oil is the best for that, first cold pressed, stored in a dark, organic olive oil. Even better-just steam the food and add oil later.

  20. Certainly steaming and adding oil later is the best option. Organic pig lard is available in lots of health food stores – no reason for it to be from a sick animal (just like any animal products). I bet you can find it from a local farm if you tried hard enough. When you say using veg oil “once”, do you mean once a day? Most people end up eating it more than that. (That in addition to eating commercially raised eggs, which also have their omegas flip-flopped, causes long term health issues.) Also if you read my previous post I mentioned coconut oil as the veg alternative, which tastes and smells great.

  21. by “once” I ment not to reuse left over oil for next cooking; and I feel bad about slaughter, so lard would be only a last resort, I am a kind of person that cannot kill an animal for food, if I were in a wild and starving, I would not kill an animal, I would rather eat roots and leaves of just die. And coconut was not in the diet of my ancestors, so, it is unusual for my body to digest, I don’t quite like it either.
    (We probably should take this conversation some place else – we are spamming Will’s blog)

  22. While it won’t clear your sinuses, my mom’s potato soup is just about the best thing when you’re feeling gross.
    Boil a couple of peeled, diced potatoes with a couple of diced ribs of celery, a half an onion, diced, a ton of dill (fresh is great, but dried will do the trick), pepper, a really good dose of salt (potatoes suck up the salt like you wouldn’t believe) and just enough water to cover. Once the potatoes are well-cooked, mash a bit with a potato masher to break it up a bit, and add a generous amount of half & half or milk, depending how rich you want it, and a small knob of butter. Re-season to taste.
    Not diet-, vegan- or lactose intolerant-friendly, but incredibly comforting and easy to make. And it goes great with good bread.
    Hope you’re feeling better soon.

  23. Man, seriously feel better. And hey nice soup!
    Even though I’m sure you got TONS of suggestion, I somehow feel the need to suggest this: If you ever want a drier comfort food try boiling some carrots, broccoli, zucchinis, potatoes and celery with nothing else than water and a pinch of salt (amount of water according to the amount of vegetables – amount of salt according to your taste). And after they boil, drain them and add only olive oil and a pinch of dried oregano leaves. It’s simple, tasty, healthy and it kicks the flu and bad stomach aches in the butt.
    Have fun watching it do it!

  24. Thanks for the recipe, Wil! I and one of my two roommates are both vegetarians, and I made a big pot of this soup last night with the addition of kidney beans for protein and a generous dash of cayenne for kick. Even my meat-eating roommate loved it, so thanks!

  25. This recipe is awesome!!! I added ground turkey to it and swapped fresh chopped rosemary for the thyme and it was delish!!! Thanks so much for posting this recipe!! I plan on making a vegetarian version of this in the near future, with some fava beans and a nice chianti 😉

  26. Wil-I thought I was the only one who described my allergies as “if it has pollen-then I’m allergic” I only thank god that we had a freeze last week&for a night I could breathe…and then it went away again-as if it were only a dream. I have avoided the dreaded sinus infection for over a year now, but I’ve found that generic Mucinex works wonders-at 1/4 the cost.
    Feel better.

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