'Tis the season for merriment … and, then, the after effects of said merriment.
Yes, I am talking about holiday hangovers.
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Not that I ever overindulge, mind you, and not that you do either. If, however, you find yourself in that hazy and head-pounding situation, a bowl of green bean soup and Marmite will get you back on track.
Yes, you read that correctly. Green bean soup spiked with Marmite is an antidote to "the divine punishment," as my Irish grandmother called that morning-after feeling.
When my friend Catriona first mentioned this strange soup and its curative powers, I balked.
First of all, why mush up a vegetable that's meant to be served with a snap? (Blanched then sauteed with butter, shallots, chopped hazelnuts and rosemary, perhaps?)
As to the Marmite … I really didn't know exactly what it was and wasn't sure I want to know.
For the uninitiated, Marmite is a sticky brown yeast paste that's basically the gunk left in the bottom of the barrel during beer making. Let's just say it's strictly a love it or hate it proposition, which actually is the company's slogan. For some reason, the English like to smear it on toast.
It is a true testament to my faith in Catriona that I plunged ahead and decided if Marmite was good enough for her, it was good enough for me. I took a heaping teaspoon of the paste and popped it into my mouth.
Arghhhhh! Do not try this at home! It tastes awful -- like pasty soy sauce -- only worse.
Yet in true faux-English fashion, I carried on and tried it in the soup. And you know what, the soup was delicious. The green beans were sweet and the milk was creamy and the Marmite, well, the Marmite added just the right amount of spunk to the whole endeavor, as did the sprinkling of Tabasco sauce and red pepper flakes.
So this soup tastes really good, even if you don't need it as a hangover cure. Actually, it makes sense that Marmite helps when you have been over served. A rich source of vitamin B complex, Marmite helps replenish your system's essential nutrients. It also has a high sodium content, which can replace salts lost in your body after consuming alcohol.
Of course, I haven't tried it on a real hangover, but it does have that perfect combination of comfort and kick that one needs to get out of the fog of over indulgence.
• M. Eileen Brown is the Daily Herald's director of strategic marketing and innovation, and an incurable soup-a-holic. She specializes in vegetarian soups and blogs at soupalooza.com.