Immune Nourishing Seasonal Soup


Immune Nourishing

The Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 3 cups of chicken stock or vegan stock

  • 1 can of coconut milk

  • 1 cup of red lentils (soaked & rinsed)

  • High mineral sea salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon of dried turmeric & cumin

  • Butternut squash (or pumpkin)

  • Coriander to garnish

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 large onion

  • Dash of apple cider vinegar

The Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200oC

  2. Pre-soak lentils with a dash of apple cider vinegar & pinch of salt, rinse and set aside

  3. Roast the whole squash in the oven until soft (no need to chop first)

  4. Sauté onions with salt & pepper in olive oil on a high heat until the onions begin to soften.

  5. Reduce heat & add the crushed garlic & grated fresh turmeric & continue to sauté for a fee more minutes.

  6. Add the lentils, coconut milk chicken stock or veggie stock (Try my feel better bone broth), bring soup to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes until lentils soften.

  7. Once the butternut squash feels soft, remove from oven, scoop out the centre & add to the soup pot.

  8. Cook together for a further 10 minutes until combined then cook & whizz in a blender until smooth

  9. Set aside seeds, rinse and then roast for a further 10 minutes.

  10. Serve soup with a topping of roasted butternut squash seeds, generous handful of coriander & drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

The Science

It’s not only infections that are more prevalent in winter, but a host of health conditions including heart attacks, autoimmune flares and even depression.  Scientific evidence demonstrates seasonal changes in our immune system by different genes switching on & off in response to environmental cues like sunlight & temperature.  Have you ever noticed that you crave different foods at different times of the year? Luckily, seasonal produce has us covered in providing key immune nourishing nutrients for each season.

Butternut squash with its sweet flavoured, brightly coloured flesh is a great source of immune nourishing vitamins & minerals but more importantly, this recipe is bringing a host of phytonutrients & fibre, providing fodder for our good bacteria to ferment & creating ‘postbiotics’ – our own personalised pharmacy of bioactive compounds.

The science on the health benefits of turmeric is solid. But there is huge variation in supplement bioavailability & digestive uptake.  Although much of the research is on curcumin, this is only one of the 300+ bioactive compounds so stick to the whole root over pills. Fresh & dried powder provide different yet complimentary benefits so grate in the whole root & add some powder to dishes! Bioavailability is a huge hurdle to accessing turmeric's benefits, but when eaten with a source of fat (e.g. coconut milk) & a pinch of black pepper (due to the function of piperine ) there is exponential improvements in digestive uptake.