Here are some very simple recipes, where you can substitute a lot of different ingredients, depending on what is available at the moment. Creativity is the way forward, using healthy immune boosting ingredients. In my recent article I outlined nutrients to include over the next few weeks to keep you strong and in good spirits, for a lot of people boredom is setting in and worst still, anxiety. Immune boosting foods also support mental clarity and gut health – all so closely linked.
Also, frequent warm drinks and liquids are key to keep your respiratory pathways clear if you are feeling unwell, so soups and broths are excellent, nutritious options. Also gargling with water and lemon, salt or apple cider vinegar daily protects you too.
Some basic ingredients to include daily are ginger, garlic, local raw honey, coconut oil and sauerkraut.
COCONUT & BROCCOLI SOUP
Creamy and protein rich, high in antioxidants, iron and Vitamin C
- 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 400ml tin coconut milk
- 1 head broccoli (including steams)
- 100g spinach leaves
- 400g jar cannellini beans, rinsed
- 2 tbsp parsley
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
- Heat oil then add garlic and cumin. Heat for 1 minute.
- Add stock, coconut milk and broccoli, simmer 10 minutes.
- Stir in spinach, cannellini beans, parsley, nutritional yeast and let spinach wilt 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, blend and serve
THAI SWEET POTATO, LEMONGRASS & COCONUT SOUP
Delicious Asian flavours, bursting with vitamin A. You may substitute spices (lemongrass, ginger and chillies) for Thai green curry paste
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 chili, sliced
- 1cm fresh ginger and turmeric, chopped
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- Coconut oil
- 2 stalks lemongrass
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 x 400ml coconut milk
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil, gently fry onion, garlic and chili, put on lid and allow to sweat.
- Add carrots, ginger, diced potatoes and bruised lemongrass.
- Pour in stock and half the coconut milk, season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to boil then simmer 15 minutes. Stir in rest of coconut milk and lime juice.
- Remove lemongrass and blend the soup. Serve with chopped Thai basil or coriander & a sprinkling of black sesame
IMMUNE BOOSTING SOUP
Rich in Vitamin A and C, Quercetin and beta Glucans
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 fresh chilli, finely chopped
- 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
- 2 handfuls of goji berries
- 100g of fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 500ml vegetable stock
- Sauté the onion, chilli, ginger, and garlic in a little olive oil along with a good pinch of sea salt, until the onion has softened
- Add the diced sweet potatoes, goji berries, and shiitake mushrooms. Cover with stock and simmer until the sweet potato softens
- Blend into a thick vibrant soup and serve
It is anti-inflammatory, supports colds and respiratory infections, gut supporting and calming, protein and mineral rich plus supports skin health.
This can also be made after your roast chicken using the carcass.
Ingredients (Organic is Best!):
- 2 carrots chopped (medium)
- 2 celery stalks chopped (medium)
- 1 onion chopped (medium)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1.5kg beef (or chicken bones see below)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Place the bones your slow cooker. The bones should fill up about 3/4 of the slow-cooker
- Chop your vegetables and garlic, no need to peel. You can also add vegetable scraps and rinsed, crushed egg shells into your slow-cooker. You’ll be straining these out before consuming the broth
- Fill the slow-cooker with water. Season with a generous amount of salt (about 1 teaspoon)
- Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (you won’t notice the taste)
- Cook on low and cook for 18-72 hours (or alternative with chicken it takes about 4 hours on stove-top in big pot)
- Strain the broth through cheesecloth or a strainer and cool.
A good broth will usually have a layer of fat on the top and will gelatinise when thoroughly cooled. Remove the fat with a spoon and discard.
Healing mineral broth, a cup a day assists detoxification, any veg goes!!
- 2 potatoes & 1 sweet potato, scrubbed
- 3 carrots, scrubbed
- 1 beetroot, peeled
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 onion, chopped
- ¼ red cabbage, shredded
- 1 handful parsley
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- Chop vegetables roughly and put in a pan with 2.5 litres water, bring to simmer, cover and keep on lowest heat for 2 hours
- Strain through muslin cloth or fine sieve. Additional options to taste – allspice berries, bay leaf, cumin or fennel seeds
About the author
Suzanne is a Nutritional Therapist trained in London at College of Naturopathic medicine. She has 25 years experience as a chef and recently trained in raw foods, at a gourmet level with Matthew Kenney.
Suzanne’s business is Vital Nutrition which she founded in 2008. She offers private consultancies focusing on diet and lifestyle improvements supporting patients on their journey to optimum health.
Her regular cookery workshops are delicious, fun and educational and her cooking skills are available to private clients, on retreats and for chef training.