When I’m feeling a little under the weather I don’t feel like cooking, but this soup is so quick to prepare and exactly represents what we do here at Eatdrinklivewell – manipulate ingredients to get the most out of our foods and support whatever we need that day. Certain ingredients can help relieve tiredness, counteract stress, enhance detoxification and help balance hormones but in the case of this soup, it’s fantastic for giving the immune system a whopping boost.
This soup has all the elements my immune system needs to drive my cold away and provides just the nourishment we need to fight off bugs.
There are many variations – adding toasted cashew nuts, using chicken or prawns, putting lemongrass in the paste – but today I want to keep it simple and I’m limiting my protein as my digestive system is weakened by my cold and I just want a tonic to lift me up.
I selected each element of the soup for their effect on the immune system but I’ve decided to single out two – coconut milk and shiitake mushrooms.
When buying coconut milk, don’t buy the low fat version as many of the beneficial fats are removed. About 50% of the fats in coconut are lauric acid which is converted in the body to a compound that’s anti-viral, anti-bacterial and a very effective natural anti-microbial. The anti-viral properties of coconuts are so potent that scientists are now studying them as a treatment for Aids. Preliminary research shows that the oil does indeed reduce the viral load in Aids patients. Coconuts have so many medicinal uses but today I want them to be my natural antibiotic.
Shiitake mushrooms are esteemed in Asia for their therapeutic value – they’ve played a central role in Asian medicinal traditions for over 6,000 years and are a symbol of longevity. Evidence continues to grow as to their health benefits. As well as various nutritional benefits, specifically they get the immune system going, strengthening its ability to fight infection and disease (including cancer).
Combining these effective immune-boosters with other powerful ones such as ginger, garlic, coriander and most importantly home-made stock my illness won’t really get a look in and hopefully I’ll wake up fully healthy again.
- 1 inch ginger
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 handful fresh coriander
- 2 red chillis
- 2 small red onions
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 2 tins coconut milk
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 red pepper
- 1 large handful shiitake mushrooms
- 1 large handful fresh spinach
- 100 g mung bean vermicelli or thin rice noodles
- 1 handful cashew nuts optional
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- Place the ginger, garlic, coriander, chillies, onions, coconut oil and turmeric into a food processor and blitz to a paste.
- Put the paste into a wok or deep pan and fry until the aromas are pungent (about 3 minutes).
- Add the chicken stock to the paste and bring to the boil, simmer for around 7 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk to the pan and once that is boiling add the remaining vegetables, you can use any other veg here too. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked but still crunchy.
- Meanwhile, boil some water and cook the noodles according to their instructions.
- Serve the soup in deep bowls - first place some noodles, then ladle in the vegetables and lots of the nutrient-rich liquid. Sprinkle with cashew nuts and a little fresh coriander.
We hope you love this soup as much as we do. Let us know how you get on in the comments below or on our facebook page and don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter to receive more recipes, nutrition tips and expert advice.