I just caught a cold that my littlest one was generous enough to bring home from preschool. I haven’t found any cold remedies that I like, but steaming miso soup always makes me feel a touch better. It takes ten minutes, and then you can climb back into bed. This is really free form, and you can adjust it however you like.
Dice an onion and mince 3 garlic cloves and sauté in a soup pot in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add about 1-2 cups of any rough-chopped veggies you have on hand. Today I used a mix of parsnips, carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli stems. Season with some salt or tamari and pepper. If you like ginger, dice a 1″ chunk and throw in (or throw in the whole chunk and discard later.) Stir another couple of minutes.
Add a kettleful of water (something like 6-8c), and then your sea vegetables: 1 kombu stick crumbled, a few shakes of both wakame and bonito flakes (the latter give it that great, earthy flavor). Simmer a bit longer til veggies soft enough. Take off the fire and stir in 3-4 T of miso (never boil your miso!). Taste a bit and adjust seasoning one last time. Finally, you can sprinkle some minced parsley or cilantro on top (or not, it looks pretty, though, and tastes really fresh). Sometimes I also toss in diced tofu. I leave the pot out all day and refill my mug frequently. It really soothes the throat and nourishes. Oh, and did I mention that, sick or not, my kids totally love it?