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Support your immunity with a flavourful vegetable soup

As the winter chill settles into the nooks and crannies, there’s nothing quite as comforting as a warm bowl of vegetable soup. But what if that soup could not only satisfy your taste buds but also give your immune system much-needed support?

Well, soup enthusiasts! Brace yourselves for a wild ride through the land of veggies and flavours that I have for you this issue. We’re about to unveil a secret recipe for an ultimate immunity-supporting meal: my one and only winter vegetable soup.

This soup is not your average sidekick; it’s packed with colourful veggies, intense tastes and spices that’ll warm you up instantly. And guess what? It’s not just delicious — it’s a true gut-health champion! So fasten your aprons and prepare for an epic veggie quest that’ll leave you with a tummy full of goodness and a body full of superpowers. This hearty soup not only warms you from the inside out but also supports gut health and provides an array of essential vitamins.

The power of vibrant vegetables and spices

One of the standout features of this veggie soup is its vibrant mix of vegetables, including cauliflower, zucchini, green beans and garlic. Each ingredient plays a vital role in supporting your immune system and overall wellbeing.

Cauliflower takes the spotlight for its nutritional value. This versatile superfood is not only low in calories but also rich in essential nutrients such as fibre, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and folate. Its high fibre content promotes healthy digestion by nourishing beneficial gut bacteria. Your good gut flora in your microbiome works closely with your gut immune cells to help reduce inflammation.

Garlic, another star ingredient in this soup, goes beyond its aromatic qualities. With more than 100 sulphuric compounds, garlic possesses potent antibacterial properties, helping to ward off infections and boost immunity. Incorporating garlic into your diet can provide a delicious and empowering punch during the winter season.

Adding to the soup’s health benefits is one of my favourite anti-inflammatory ingredients, ginger, which I look at as a medicinal ingredient and one that has been used for centuries. Studies have shown that ginger boasts antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It aids in digestion, relieves bloating and cramping and supports the immune system. Ginger’s ability to induce sweating can also aid detoxification and help prevent illness.

Prioritise your immune system

When the colder months arrive, it’s crucial to prioritise your immune system. This winter vegetable soup is a fantastic way to fortify your body against seasonal illnesses while treating your taste buds to a flavoursome experience. The carefully selected vegetables, spices and medicinal ingredients work in harmony to provide essential vitamins, anti-inflammatory properties and gut health benefits. You can soup it up by preparing a large batch, allowing you to freeze portions for future meals.

With its vibrant colours, intense flavours and immune-boosting powers, this winter vegetable soup is a delightful addition to your winter menu. Stay healthy and warm throughout the season with this wholesome and comforting bowl of goodness.

Winter Vegetable Soup recipe

Now it’s time to assemble our team of taste sensations and whip up the Winter Vegetable Soup like true soup-erheroes.

Ingredients:

½ cauliflower, cut into florets
2 zucchini, chopped into batons
1 large cup green beans, topped & tailed
12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 carrot, chopped into cubes
½ bulb garlic, unpeeled (about 6 cloves)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 small knob ginger, grated
Pinch chilli flakes
1 knob butter or 1 tbsp olive oil
500g vegetable or beef stock
1 cup coconut water
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp wheat-free tamari
1 tsp grated ginger

Toppings
¼ cup grated cheese or 1 tbsp
nutritional yeast flakes (if dairy-free)
Fresh coriander

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 240°C.
  2. Place the cauliflower, zucchini, green beans, cherry tomatoes, carrot and unpeeled garlic cloves on a baking tray.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with cumin, coriander, grated ginger and chilli flakes. Stir to coat the vegetables evenly.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 25–30 mins, or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelised.
  5. In a heavy-based saucepan, heat the butter or olive oil
  6. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the saucepan and break them up using a wooden spoon. The roasted garlic adds a rich, savoury flavour to the soup and further enhances its immune-supporting properties.
  7. Transfer the roasted vegetables from the baking tray into the saucepan with the garlic. Stir everything together to combine the flavours.
  8. Add the stock, coconut water, tomato paste, lemon juice, tamari and additional grated ginger to the saucepan. These ingredients will contribute to the soup’s depth of flavour and nutritional value.
  9. Stir the soup well to ensure all the ingredients are evenly distributed. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
  10. Cover the saucepan with a lid and allow the soup to simmer for about 10 mins. This will allow all the flavours to meld together and create a deliciously comforting soup.
  11. While the soup simmers, prepare the toppings. Grate your choice of cheese to sprinkle over the soup for a creamy touch. If you prefer a dairy-free option, substitute the cheese with nutritional yeast flakes, which provide a cheesy flavour without the dairy.
    Once the soup is ready, ladle it into bowls and top each serving with a sprinkle of grated cheese or nutritional yeast flakes. This adds a final layer of deliciousness and enhances the visual appeal of the soup.
  12. To complete the soup, garnish it with fresh coriander. The vibrant green leaves not only add a pop of colour but also impart a refreshing and herbaceous aroma to the dish.

Article Featured in WellBeing 206

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes is a nutritionist, yoga and meditation teacher, wholefoods chef, Lifestyle Food Channel’s Healthy Eating Expert, blogger and author of the best-selling books Supercharged Food: Eat Your Way to Health, Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful, Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, Heal your Gut, Eat Right for Your Shape and Supercharged Food for Kids.

Lee’s food philosophy is all about S.O.L.E. food: sustainable, organic, local and ethical. Her main goal is to alter the perception that cooking fresh, wholesome, nutrient-rich meals is difficult, complicated and time-consuming. From posting recipes, her passion to share her autoimmune disease story and help others has snowballed and the blog has recently taken home the overall prize at the Bupa Health Influencer Awards as well as the best blog in the Healthy Eating category. She also runs a four-week online Heal Your Gut program.

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