Monday, March 25, 2013

Healing Vegetable Soup

There is nothing worse than being sick, except maybe when your spouse is also sick. Ryan and I spent the better half of the nasty, rainy, cold weekend fighting coughs and colds. We certainly took it easy most of the weekend, but did muster the strength to whip up some home remedies to fight our illnesses.

Healing Vegetable Soup
Warm water with lemon and honey is my go-to for coughs and colds for several reasons. First, you need tons of liquids when you are sick to flush out all the crap in your system. Secondly, you need vitamin C to boost your immune system and fight the illness. The honey is just a nice addition to the warm water :)

Anti-inflammatory remedies are also very important for illness, especially for people with autoimmune diseases like Crohn's. I find the best way to accomplish this is with a Healing Vegetable Soup.
Healing Vegetable Soup

I like to add two essential anti-inflammatory ingredients to my soups when I am sick. Both of these should actually be incorporated into a daily diet - turmeric and cayenne.

Turmeric and Cayenne

Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family and usually presents itself in a bright orange-yellow powder form. It is a key ingredient in many Asian dishes and often used for medicinal purposes due to its anti-inflammatory properties. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which has been linked to fighting off colds and breaking down mucus congestion. I started taking turmeric/curcumin supplements about a month ago as another anti-inflammatory vitamin to help prevent my flare-ups. So far, so good!

Cayenne, a hot red chili pepper, is another wonder-spice that I always include in my daily diet. I actually have this in the morning with warm water and fresh lemon for a daily liver cleanse. Cayenne is also an anti-inflammatory spice that has many, many other health benefits. Check out this list of 17 Health Benefits of Cayenne Pepper. This also adds a bit of spice to the soup, which helps break up congestion.
Healing Vegetable Soup

Hopefully, you don't get a cold or cough, but if you do, there are many things you can do besides revert to DayQuil (which for me, never really works).

Ryan and I certainly are on the mend AND enjoying some delicious soup leftovers!!

Healing Vegetable Soup

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 T butter
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp turmeric
½ dried Italian herbs
¼ tsp dried tarragon
salt and pepper
6 cups chicken broth (or vegetable for vegetarian version)
1 bay leaf
Parmesan rind
2 parsnips, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup frozen peas (or snap peas, chopped)
Brown rice, cooked
Plain Greek yogurt for garnish
Fresh chives for garnish

Put on the brown rice to cook if not prepared already. 

Start by chopping all of the vegetables and aromatics. Warm a large soup pot over medium heat and melt the butter. Saute the shallots, garlic, carrots and celery for about 5-7 minutes or until starting to soften. Stir in the cayenne, turmeric, herbs, tarragon, salt and pepper and cook another 2 minutes until very fragrant. Pour in the chicken broth and add the bay leaf and Parmesan rind, then bring to a slight boil. Stir in parsnips and peas and cook for 15 minutes or until parsnips are cooked through and soft.

Healing Vegetable Soup

Serve with a small scoop of brown rice, yogurt and chives.


  1. Ohhhhhh so tasty and divine. My husband made this while I was sick. I asked him for second batch :) blessing to all

    1. Glad you liked it and hoped it help you get better!! Soup always makes me feel better.