Our senior naturopath and gut guru—Denise Hales—runs us through her fool-proof soup recipe for giving your immune system a boost in cold and flu season.
Even though I would rather be sitting on the beach in Greece, I am based here in Brisbane for the next few months.
So, it’s time for a nice, warming immune soup with all the goodness of pumpkin and chickpeas.
It’s vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and dairy free.
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tsp freshly grated turmeric (or turmeric paste)
- 1 long red chili finely chopped
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 cup raw cashews (activated the best)
- 500g diced butternut pumpkin – roasted
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 2 carrots diced
- ½ savoy cabbage finely sliced
- 1L home-made chicken or vegetable broth (or use Meadow and Marrow concentrated broth)
- 400ml coconut milk
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach
Heat the oil in a large pot over low heat.
Add onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chili, and diced carrots. Stir occasionally until the veggies are soft and caramelised.
Stir in chickpeas, cashews, and tomato. Cook for 1 minute
Add broth, roasted pumpkin, and cabbage. Cover with a lid and simmer 15 minutes, and cook until veggies are tender.
Add coconut milk, stir, and bring back to the boil.
Season with salt and pepper, and stir in spinach.
Ladle the soup into warm bowls, and enjoy!
What are the 12 immune-boosting ingredients in this soup?
This delicious soup has some powerful immune benefits, including:
- Onions: nutrient rich with vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin Bs and potassium.
- Garlic: contains immune-boosting compounds such as allicin (a sulphur compound) selenium, zinc, and vitamin C. Plus quercetin, a potent antioxidant that has antiviral properties.
- Ginger: is antibacterial and can help to prevent nausea and soothe an upset stomach.
- Turmeric: Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
- Chili: Capsaicin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, they are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. We need this as a viral protector.
- Coconut oil: contains medium-chain triglycerides that have strong antiviral, antifungal, antibiotic, and antiseptic properties, all of which can promote healing.
- Carrots and pumpkin: Once again, these foods contain beta carotene (which converts to Vitamin A), a powerful phytonutrient that boosts the immune system and maintains a healthy gut barrier.
- Cashew nuts: are a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, phosphorous, magnesium, and manganese. All needed to maintain a healthy, balanced immune system.
- Tomatoes: are another good source of several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, vitamin K, and folate.
- Cabbage: Cabbage contains powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation.
- Spinach: rich in iron, vitamin C, A ,and K. A powerful combo.
- Chickpeas: are high in fibre, therefore a good prebiotic to maintain gut health by increasing production of our Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA). SCFA are the guys that help our probiotics survive. Remember 80% of our immune system is in the gut. A healthy gut = a healthy body. They are also high in vitamin B6 and tryptophan, which are needed to maintain our sleep cycle.