January is the peak flu season – and this particular season has been intense! Tons of colds and flu that seem to last forever.
Did You know that high stress and nutrient deficiency is the most frequent cause of a depressed immune system?
Here are some key nutrient-dense ingredients you want to have handy, especially when you feel like you are coming down with something:
Ginger – MY LIFELINE and go to the second I feel a tickle in my throat!
I am excited to share 5 amazing soups that will boost your immune system and keep you nourished.
Garlic has been historically used as an infection fighter. It contains a component called allium, which has antiviral and antimicrobial properties.
Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 60 min (V, GF)
· 2 heads of garlic
· 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
· A handful of herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, and/or sage)
· Sea Salt, freshly ground pepper
1. Slice 1 head of garlic in half crosswise; set aside. Separate cloves from the remaining head, peel, and crush lightly.
2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add crushed garlic cloves and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and softened, 8–10 minutes. Add 2 quarts water, increase heat to high, and bring mixture to a boil.
3. Add herbs and reserved halved head of garlic. Reduce heat so the broth is at an active simmer and cook until garlic is very tender, and the broth is reduced by nearly half, 30–40 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
4. Strain broth through a mesh sieve into a large bowl (or, pass a wide slotted spoon through it a few times to fish out garlic and herbs).
5. Divide broth among bowls. Sip it as is, or you can add any vegetables or herbs of your choice!
*Do Ahead: Broth can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.
*Recipe Sourced from Bon Appetit: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/garlic-broth
Broccoli is high in Vitamin A, K, and C making it a potent antioxidant that will fight off those free radicals when we are sick or becoming sick. It is also anti-inflammatory due to its sulfur and high carotenoid compounds. This cruciferous vegetable is a fantastic addition to any soup to ramp up the nutritional benefits!
Prep Time: 15 min Total Time: 25 min (V, GF)
· 2 cloves of garlic
· 1/2 chopped onion
· 1/2 chopped leek
· 1/2 cup frozen peas (60 g)
· 1-inch piece of fresh ginger (about 2 cm)
· 1/2 head of broccoli, chopped. Discard the stem (180 g)
· 3 handfuls of fresh kale or spinach (60 g)
· 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (400 ml)
· 3 cups water or vegetable broth (750 ml) (make sure ingredient list is CLEAN)
· 1/8 tsp cayenne powder (Optional)
· 1 tsp sea salt
· Ground black pepper to taste
· 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
· The juice of half a lemon
1. Place all the ingredients in a pot, except the nutritional yeast and the lemon juice.
2. Bring the soup to a boil and then cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes.
3. Pour the soup into a blender, add the yeast and the juice and blend until smooth.
4. Serve the soup in a bowl and add your favorite ingredients on top. We added pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, and almond flakes.
*Recipe sourced from – https://simpleveganblog.com/immune-boosting-green-soup/
CHICKEN SOUP WITH LEMON & GINGER
Ginger can be used to treat various symptoms such as a cold and fever. It has antimicrobial effects and diaphoretic properties which warm you from the inside to promote perspiration!
Prep Time: 30 min Total Time: 30 min (GF)
· 4-5 chicken breasts skin on, bone-in
· 8 cups chicken broth (ORGANIKA ONLY)
· 2 cups of water
· 1 knob of ginger sliced and peeled
· 2 large onions chopped
· 5 celery ribs chopped
· 2 cloves garlic peeled
· 2 cloves garlic minced
· 1 teaspoon olive oil
· 4 carrots peeled and sliced
· 4 teaspoons lemon zest
· 4 bay leaves
· salt & pepper
· 6 slices Lemon wheel shape
· Parsley or basil to garnish
1. Place chicken, 2 whole garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, sliced peeled ginger, salt and pepper, broth and water in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce to low and simmer for 1 hour.
2. After the chicken has cooled, shred chicken from bones and discard skin.
3. Heat oil in a large pot, sauté onion, celery, garlic and lemon slices in hot oil in the pot over medium-high heat 5-6 minutes or until tender. Remove the lemon slices to a plate. Add the shredded chicken, broth, carrots, lemon zest, bay leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and reduce heat to medium, and cook approximately 20 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
4. Remove ginger and bay leaves.
5. Garnish with Parsley or Basil, and thinly sliced lemon.
*Recipe Sourced from Highlands Ranch Foodie – https://highlandsranchfoodie.com/ginger-lemon-chicken-soup/
SWEET POTATO SOUP with LEMONGRASS
Lemongrass is anti-bacterial. It also contains substances that can reduce fever and has antioxidant properties. The diaphoretic effect is extensively used in Ayurvedic medicine for curing fever by inducing sweating.
Prep Time: 20 min Total Time: 50 min (V, GF)
· 2 large shallots (or one white onion) diced
· 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
· 6 cloves garlic, chopped
· ½ cup finely chopped lemongrass (packed) 2-3 stalks
· 1/4 cup ginger, chopped
· 1 small Serrano chili (or jalapeno for less spicy), diced *optional
· 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
· ½ teaspoon turmeric
· 4 cups veggie or chicken stock (ORGANIKA)
· 2 cups of water
· 2 lbs yams, peeled, cubed ( or sweet potatoes)
· ½ cup to 1 can coconut milk
· 2 Tablespoons lime juice
· salt and pepper to taste
· Garnish OPTIONS: Cilantro, coconut milk, scallions, and lime wedges
1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add shallot (or onion) and stir for 2 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and chili, cook for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant and golden. Add spices, and stir for 1-2 more minutes. Add stock, scraping up the spices from the bottom.
2. Bring to a boil and add yams and optional carrot. Simmer on low, covered, until yams are fork-tender, 15-20 minutes. Let cool a bit, while you prepare your garnishes.
3. Puree soup until very smooth. Either blend in small batches in a blender or use a submersion blender. Get it as smooth as you can. Return to the stove and heat on med-low.
4. Stir in ½ cup of coconut milk — or, if unconcerned with fat content, or a richer soup, add more, or most of the can, reserving some the harder “cream” for the garnish.
5. Now it’s time to season. Add lime juice, salt, and pepper. Taste. Depending on how rich and flavorful your stock is, or how much coconut milk you added, you will need to adjust the seasonings.
6. Garnish with cilantro, scallions, coconut milk (whisk with a little warm water to loosen) and serve with lime wedges.
*Recipe Adapted from Feasting at Home – https://www.feastingathome.com/thai-yam-soup-w-lemongrass-ginger-and-sorghum-flowers/
SPICED CARROT APPLE SOUP
Carrots contain beta carotene that our bodies break down to make Vitamin A. Vitamin A keeps our respiratory system healthy, by enhancing the function of several types of white blood cells.
Prep Time: 10 min Total Time: 40 min (GF, V)
· 2 tbsp coconut oil
· 1 medium onion chopped
· 1 clove garlic minced
· 1 “-piece ginger peeled, chopped
· 6 medium carrots peeled, chopped
· 1 medium apple peeled, chopped
· 1 liter 1-quart chicken or vegetable stock
· 1 tsp honey
· 1/8 tsp allspice
· Salt and pepper to taste
· Fresh parsley to garnish optional
1. Melt butter or coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and translucent (reduce heat if browning). Add garlic and ginger, cook a minute more.
2. Add remaining ingredients, cover, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until carrot and apple are very tender about 25 minutes.
3. Transfer soup to a standing blender and puree (do it carefully in batches unless your blender is designed for hot liquids!), or use an immersion blender.
4. Taste and add more salt if needed. Garnish bowls with chopped parsley, freshly ground pepper, as desired.
*Recipe Sourced from Foodess – https://foodess.com/spiced-carrot-apple-soup/
Written By: Melissa Cosentino, B.Comm, CNP
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