This Soup Recipe Is Thick With Lightly Cooked Vegetables
In winter you may find yourself near people who are coughing and sniffling. You don’t want to be next. Or maybe you’re already fighting a nasty cold yourself or, even worse, in bed with achy flu. Is there a soup that can enhance your odds against the viruses that cause such misery, that may boost to your own immune system and quell symptoms if you’re infected?
Lucky for you, research indicates a yes answer. You might have heard the urban legend that chicken soup is the best soup for a cold. Scientists actually did a study on this. Their data indicated it was actually lightly cooked vegetables in their soup, not chicken, that gave their preparation anti-inflammatory power to reduce the unpleasant symptoms of a cold. Read my post, What Kind of Soup Is Best for Colds, for a rundown of this research.
Adding mushrooms to your vegetable soup can power up your immune system even more. My post, How To Make the Best Soup for a Cold Even More Powerful, lists some of the published studies that indicate mushrooms can help ward off illness from colds to breast cancer to gingivitis.
While vegetable soup recipes abound, many advise cooking the vegetables longer than I prefer. So I created this hearty plant-based chowder with immune-boosting mushrooms, thick with your own favorite vegetables, and appetite-busting potatoes for chilly winter days.
Listen to music while you prepare the soup. A 2013 published review of medical articles concluded that the few studies that have been done on this subject indicate that music boosts the immune system. Whether or not further studies support this conclusion, the music is still enjoyable and makes cooking more relaxing.
Eat the soup as warm as you can tolerate and breathe in the steam to help keep your respiratory system clear. Consume this soup slowly, spoonful by spoonful. This gives your digestive system time to register what you just ate, reducing your overall food consumption to keep winter weight gain at bay.
COLD-FIGHTING SOUP RECIPE
3 cups chopped potatoes about 1 inch dice (potatoes of your choice)
1 bay leaf
2 cups vegetable broth
STEP 1: Bring broth to boil, add bay leaf and potatoes, and cover and simmer 16 minutes
STEP 2: Then add:
1 and 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms of choice
1 and 1/4 cup chopped fresh or frozen veggies of choice (e.g. peppers, carrots, celery, string
beans, fennel, or zucchini – whatever you like and have on hand)
1 large onion chopped (in addition to other veggies)
1 large garlic clove minced
1/2 teaspoon each of dried sage, rosemary, and basil
2 cups frozen corn kernels
2 cups unsweetened soy, rice, or almond milk
STEP 3: Add all ingredients, stir well, and return to boil. Cover and simmer 8 minutes.
STEP 4: Turn off heat and take lid off pot. Add a handful or two of chopped greens if you’d like (such as spinach, chard, or kale) to wither in the broth’s heat. Add fresh ground black pepper (another anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial ingredient) to taste. If you really need salt, sprinkle a bit on top of your bowl of soup instead of adding to the pot – you will end up with less sodium that way.
Add chopped baked tofu or cooked garbanzos if desired to make the soup even heartier.
STEP 5: Repeat frequently during cold and flu season. Experiment with variations of your choice in ingredients, spices, and cooking times.
If you enjoyed this post, you may want to check out more whole foods, plant-based recipes on my site.
Intrigued? Now you can use our Whole Foods Blog Finder to target informative, fun postings on whole foods, plant-based diets. Quick information at no cost!
Blog posting by Janice Stanger, Ph.D. Janice authored The Perfect Formula Diet: How to Lose Weight and Get Healthy Now With Six Kinds of Whole Foods, a book that shows you how to thrive on whole plant foods. Soup is Janice’s favorite kind of food to cook.