During the autumn and winter months, you may find yourself reaching for soups and stews to help keep the chill at bay. These are great to help fill up your family’s tummies, keep off the chill, and help you maintain healthy eating in your family. But have you considered using winter soup to boost your family’s immune systems. Here are a few of the soups that have wonderful immune boosting properties.
You may have heard of pho soup on cooking shows or seen it on a menu at a local Asian restaurant. What you may not know is that this soup is not only easy to make, but it is also an immune boosting superfood filled soup. With ingredients like rice noodles, chicken stock, boneless chicken breasts, mint, coriander, basil, bean sprouts, red chilies, shallots, lime, and fish sauce, it a great budget meal. This soup should be made and eaten to immediately rather than made ahead. There are several variations to this, but this is the basic recipe. I had run no chicken in the house and so I substituted it with strips of thinly sliced pork fillet. The result reminded me of the Hot Pot I had on my last visit to Taiwan.
- 120g dry egg noodles
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 Tbs fish sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 1 Tbs lemon grass, minced
- 5 spring onions, chopped
- 2 cups chicken breast, cooked and cubed OR pork
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup bok choy, chopped
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat, add noodles and return water to boil.
- Boil until soft, about 8 minutes. Drain and reserve noodles.
- Bring chicken stock, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, and green onions to a boil in a large pot.
- Reduce to a simmer; cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken, bean sprouts, and bok choy.
- Cook pho until heated through, about 5 minutes.
- Divide the cooked noodles between 2 large bowls.
- Pour pho over noodles and serve immediately.
Garlic and Tomato
If you want to get the power of superfoods behind your fight to boost immune system, then there is no better option than a garlic and tomato soup. It can be made with very few ingredients but still packs a powerful punch. Both the garlic and tomato are superfoods that can deliver a powerful number of vitamins and nutrients.
You can make the soup ahead and freeze it as part of your meal preparation for the week.
- 25 roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large sweet onion or Vidalia onions, diced
- 1 leek green top removed, diced
- 1 tsp thyme, dried
- 1 tsp oregano, dried
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- springs of fresh oregano, thyme, rosemary and chives minced
- Place cut tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onion, leeks, oregano, thyme, sugar, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
- Stir well to combine ingredients.
- Place tomatoes cut-side-up in a roasting dish.
- Spoon onion, leek and drippings from bowl over top of each tomato as evenly as possible.
- Remove oregano leaves, thyme leaves and rosemary from stems and mince. Sprinkle over top of tomatoes.
- Bake at 160 degrees (celsius) for about 1 hour.
- Increase heat to 200 degrees (celsius) and roast for about 30 more minutes until tomatoes char or brown slightly.
- Remove from oven and place tomatoes and veggies in a large stock pot and heat to medium.
- Add vegetable broth and heat to boiling.
- Turn off heat.
- Check seasonings and add more, if desired.
- With an immersion blender, puree tomato mixture until smooth.
- Ladle soup into individual bowls and garnish with fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano and chives, as desired.
Mushroom soups are not what you typically think of when you think of soup. However, mushroom soup can be a great way to pack in Vitamin D and help kickstart your immune system. The soup is fairly easy to make. Use steamed portobello chunks and combine them with a heavy cream and milk. You can leave the soup chunky or you can puree with an immersion blender for a creamy texture. Like the Vietnamese Pho, portobello soup is better made and eaten immediately (in my opinion).
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 large portobello mushrooms, dark gills scraped out, chopped
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 1⁄2 tsp thyme, dried
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp salt
- 1⁄2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Saute the leeks and onions in butter in a large pot over medium heat, stirring constantly, until tender (about 2-3 minutes).
- Lower heat, add the mushrooms, and cook about 10 minutes longer, covered.
- Raise heat to medium, stir in the flour, and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the thyme, bay leaf, broth, salt and pepper.
- Simmer, partially covered, for about 10 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf, then puree the soup with an immersion blender.
- Return the pureed soup to the pan and add the cream.
- Cook over low heat until just heated through, but do not boil.
- Adjust seasonings if necessary, and serve garnished with parsley.
- You can rotate these soups to add them into your weekly meal plans and routines. To make any of these soups a more vegetarian friendly option, either simply remove the meat or make the appropriate changes such as a vegetable broth instead of bone.
What is your favourite winter soup?