There is the theory that hot soup of any kind raises the temperature in the nose and throat and so creates an unwelcoming environment for viruses that otherwise thrive in cool, dry places or which often find a way in via our frigid gardening faces. Our noses running while we weed or try get the bulbs in is really an automatic response to try flush out any potential grip opportunities for invading viruses. This is why broths are traditional flu cures in many cultures across the world.
Now imagine the benefit of hot soup with ingredients to boost your immune system and your stamina to weather extremes. Stews or chunky soups that are made with root vegetables are true winter warmers because root veg require more energy to digest than leafy veg and as your body works to break down the roots, that energy and the amped up process of metabolism enables a thermogenic effect – the process creates internal heat and safely increases body temperature.
And at a time of year when comfort food is often high on the agenda it’s good to point out that thermogenic foods in boosting metabolism help us more efficiently burn excess fats too. Win win.
So here is my gardener’s winter warmer broth.
•1 large potato – thermogenic and nutritious but also delivers vitamin c to boost immune system
•1 small beetroot – thermogenic and contains phytonutrients called betalains that boost muscle stamina and speed recovery from exertion.
•1 average parsnip – sweet and earthy flavour with vit c and thermogenesis.
•1 small red onion diced small– contains allion and allicin, the same antival agents as garlic
•1 teaspoon of coconut oil – thermogenic and the “medium chain” fatty acids bolster immunity.
•1/2 teaspoon of turmeric – packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals that boost the function of the immune system.
•Pinch of black pepper – thermogenic and the piperine content counteracts stagnant circulation (that’s cold hands and icicle feet)
•3-4 cups of water
Method – wash, peel and roughly chop the veg. Add to water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for twenty minutes. Stir in coconut oil and spices. Its ok if the potato breaks down – It will add thickness to the broth. Season to taste, serve and enjoy.