Coughing fits and runny noses; all the joys that come with cold and flu season. It wasn't until I had my babies that I realized how quickly a cold could spread! It seems like every other week my daughters have picked up something and it takes them just as long, if not longer, to get over it, am I right? My toddler isn't exactly one for vegetables, so I knew I had to think of a way to get some nutrients in her somehow.
That's why I'm so glad that this Spiced Harvest soup is jam-packed full of plant-based protein, whole foods, and all of the spices that boost the immune system, and it makes me even happier that it tastes SO GOOD - even to the kids! Healthy comfort food at its finest.
Health tip: cinnamon, ginger and turmeric are LOADED with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that work hard to fight off the common cold. Just be sure to add ground black pepper when using turmeric; without it, our bodies can't properly absorb the antiviral benefits.
Spiced Harvest Soup:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1⁄2 cup white onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated/ minced
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled, grated/minced
1⁄2 cup red or brown lentils
1⁄4 cup white quinoa
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 celery sticks, roughly chopped
1 medium size apple, peeled and cubed (honey crisp or gala preferred)
2 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth (low or no salt)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄4 teaspoon chili powder
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 can or 400 ml full fat coconut milk
1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the coconut oil and bring it up to temperature.
2. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they become translucent and soft (we aren't looking for any colour here).
3. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for another minute until they both become fragrant.
4. Add the lentils and quinoa and cook for another minute or two, and then add the carrots, celery and apple. Cook for about 5 minutes to soften the produce (again, no colour).
5. Add the broth and the spices (you can also add a pinch of cayenne if you like things spicy), and bring the soup up to a boil. Once boiling, turning the soup down to a simmer, and cook until the lentils and quinoa are thoroughly cooked and the produce is fork tender.
6. Using an immersion blender or a blender that can handle high temperatures, puree the soup until smooth. Add the coconut milk and adjust the seasoning to your preference.
Garnish with your choice of seeds (I like to use a blend of pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds for some texture and extra iron) and a swirl of extra coconut milk if you like your soup creamy.