Immunity Soup

On Tuesday morning, I woke up with that telltale tickle in the back of my throat, the one that usually means a cold is looming. I felt my energy start to flag, but I knew I still had time to fight back. It's a crucial moment - the one where you notice the first hint of a symptom - because that's your body's way of telling you that something's wrong. Time to reinforce your immune system. There are a million and one supplements out there boasting about their effects on our immunity, so how do we know what to do? I'd always say, start with your food, and use supplements second.

This soup is a great start. It has vitamin C, a known antioxidant and immune booster, in the form of the greens. I went with tatsoi here (a cousin of bok choy) but all leafy greens contain C, so go with what you like or have. Tatsoi is also high in vitamin A, another known antioxidant, calcium and iron. The cruciferous veggies (onion, garlic, scallions) give us sulfur, which have greater concentrations of beneficial phytonutrients, supporting detoxification. Garlic - well, you probably already know how powerful garlic is. We use an entire bulb in this recipe, so you're getting tons of the great antibacterial and antiviral properties garlic naturally holds.

Make this soup on that first day of your symptoms and have a bowl or two for the next few days. Get plenty of rest and drinks lots of water, more than normal, which will allow your body to flush out the bad guys. Drizzle with sesame oil for an extra boost of supportive healthy fats. (By the way, my cold never turned into anything much and I credit this soup and generous mugs of my immunity tea concoction - it really works!)

Super Greens Soup

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Serves 3-4

The particulars:

  • 1 whole garlic bulb
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6-8 scallions, chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen fava beans or green peas
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups greens (spinach, bok choy, tatsoi, kale, dandelion greens, etc)
  • handful flatleaf parsley
  • juice of 1 lemon
  1. First, roast the garlic. Heat the oven to 400F, place the whole garlic bulb on a heat-proof dish, and roast for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly while you start the soup.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oil and add the onion and scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, then add the zucchini, frozen beans or peas, and squeeze in the roasted garlic pulp. Cook for 5 minutes more.
  3. Pour in the veg stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to simmer and leave to cook, covered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Take off the heat and carefully transfer the soup to a blender. Add the greens, parsley, and lemon juice, and blend until smooth. Return to the stove to heat before serving.