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Geneva Wood is a 90 year old resident of Kirkland, Washington. The mother of five lived on her own until very recently when she had a stroke and moved into the Life Care Center to recover. This is the nursing home that became an early focus of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States.
Geneva was to be discharged to go home in early March, but, tragically, fell and broke her hip. Two days later on March 6, she was diagnosed with COVID-19.
The staff at Life Care Center warned Geneva’s family that she might only have 24 hours to live. They rushed to her side, but by March 11, she was moved to a local hospital where they could only see her through a window due to strict isolation protocols.
Noticing that Geneva wasn’t eating, the family began bringing her favorite food…homemade potato soup…to the hospital in the hopes she would rally.
Daughter Cami Neidigh said of the soup:
It’s her comfort food. Mom has told me that her mother taught her to make it when she was a kid. Anytime she gets sick, what she survives on is her potato soup. It has protein and everything she wants and it doesn’t upset her stomach and calms her down.
Seeing that Geneva was starting to eat again, the family kept on bringing the soup to the hospital which the staff kept in a refrigerator.
Whenever Geneva requested the soup, a nurse would come out to the waiting room and tell the family and they would heat some up for her and bring it to the door of her hospital room.
After about a week of eating the soup daily, the family got the news that Geneva was recovered and free of the virus.
She still has a residual cough due to damage to her lungs. Other than that, she is healthy and continuing to recover. (1)
Coronavirus Survivor Potato Soup Recipe
So, what exactly was in the potato soup that Geneva Wood’s family supplied her with during her bout with COVID-19?
I’ve seen a lot of speculation online about it…that perhaps it was made with old fashioned bone broth.
However, it was not!
Here are the ingredients:
- 1 small sweet onion
- 2 medium Russet potatoes
- milk (to consistency)
- half and half (to consistency)
- black pepper
The instructions according to Geneva’s daughter Cami are as follows:
- First, finely dice the onion. Peel and cut Russet potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
- Put the vegetables into a pot and cover them with just enough water that they are submerged.
- Boil until the potato starts to fall apart and do not drain.
- Add milk and half and half to the desired consistency and heat through, but don’t boil.
- Add black pepper to taste.
The recipe makes about two bowls depending on how much milk and/or half and half are used. (2)
Real Food Makes a Difference
While this soup did not contain bone broth, it was still (obviously) very highly therapeutic for a number of reasons.
First of all, it contained a whole onion. According to Natasha Campbell-McBride MD, onions are one of the two most powerful immunity supporting vegetables on the planet.
In fact, Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends that if you are sick, eating a whole onion every day is a very good practice for rapid recovery.
That is exactly what Geneva Wood did!
Onions also contain a significant amount of Vitamin C, which Chinese researchers are finding very important to patients with severe symptoms as well.
Another important aspect of this soup is that the cooking water from the potatoes and onion are retained, much like potassium broth that is so helpful for rejuvenating convalescing patients.
The most important thing, of course, is that Geneva is home, alive and well!
Her story can serve as an encouragement to us all about the importance of simple, wholesome meals for recovery and how they can make all the difference even for those who are most at risk.
View this post on Instagram
Today is the day. COVID-19 CLEAR and grandma is going home! We will be forever grateful for the miracle workers at Harborview. Thank you Geneva for giving us HOPE. . . Also, grandma looks like a total badass in this pic ? #AStarIsBorn #NoPicturesPlease . . #Thankful #CoronaVirusFree #GenevaWood #Seattle #Covid19 #PostiveNews #HOPE #SeattleRefined
(1) 90-year-old woman from Washington nursing home who ‘beat coronavirus’ credits God and potato soup
(2) Here’s the Soup Recipe that Helped One Woman Recover from the Coronavirus
The soup is delicious!
I’ve also made a dairy-free version with cashew MALK in place of the milk/half-and-half ??
My opinion WHY this soup helped with her COVID is that onions contain a good amount of quercetine which performs the same function as hydroxychloroquine.
Hydroxychloroquine gets zinc into the cells which stops the virus from replicating.
Interesting… ?. These old traditional ways truly are genius!!
Such a sweet story and the soup sounds yummy! I will add broth instead of water.
Great article 🙂 I just made this soup with some changes. I made a homemade chicken/venison bone broth and whole onions. My kids don’t like onions so I took them out and strained the broth and then added red-skinned potatoes because that is what I had on hand. Added great farm milk at end and a little extra pepper…. delicious! That was my first try at potato soup and it was easier than I ever thought it could have been. Bacon bits and chives would put it over the top but it’s great AS IS. Thank you again for posting this simple and wonderful recipe!
Mary Kay Miller
I love soup! I’ll have to try this recipe.
My mother is from Portugal and she would make a peasant soup from her mother. It is very good and very healthy and very easy to make.
Boil potatoes in water and do not drain. Mash the potatoes in the water. Take a big bunch of collards. I roll the collards to make them easier to slice. Cut them very thin and it should look like noodles, or you can just chop them. Put them in the pot with the mashed potatoes and water. Cook until the collards are done. Add salt and olive oil.
It seems like this soup is one that you either love it or hate it. I can eat it for days!
Well cooked potatoes are an excellent source of protein! The fats in the milk and half and half would slow the absorption of the potato starch. This soup would be a good source of fat solvable vitamins too. The milk sugars and starch would provide needed glucose/carbs. The body does require sugars for the brain, blood, and energy production. I LOVE potatoe soup!! My mother used to make it too! She would add a little grated carrot and chives for color.
Cooked potatoes are also a rich source of resistant starch, which has been shown to have lots of health benefits.
What a sweet story! Praise the Lord for bringing healing to Mrs. Wood. And thank you to her family and to you for sharing her potato soup recipe.
There’s been news lately regarding an old woman who survived coronavirus. It’s really how healthy our foods really matters when it comes to survival. Thanks for sharing this inspiring information.