IMMUNE-BOOSTING ROOT VEGETABLE SOUP

IMG_7633.jpg

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Paleo-Friendly

Now that the temperatures are starting to drop, our bodies begin craving warming, grounding and denser foods to prepare for the winter months. This soup is spicy from immune-boosting spices like curry, ginger and turmeric and filling from seasonal veggies and coconut milk. You can use any combo of root vegetables you have on hand: sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, or even squash. Whole Foods and Wegman’s have pre-chopped root vegetable “roasting kits” if you want to save some time. Some of the incredible health benefits of these ingredients in this soup:

  • Lemongrass is anti-bacterial and can aid our bodies in fighting infection, and contains citral, which can aid in digestion. Lemongrass is also rich in Vitamin C, Potassium, and antioxidants. You can find fresh lemongrass in the herb section at most grocery stores.

  • Curry Powder contains warming spices like turmeric, which reduces inflammation and is a powerful antioxidant.

  • Ginger promotes digestion, has been shown to regulate blood pressure, and reduces inflammation markers in the body.

  • Sweet Potatoes have been shown in clinical studies to stabilize blood sugar levels. Beta-Carotene gives them their bright yellow color, and is a powerful antioxidant. Sweet Potatoes are also packed with immune-boosting Vitamin A.

  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil is one of the most powerful health foods on the planet. It contains a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid that has anti-cancer properties. Consumption of olive oil has been scientifically linked to a reduction in the incidence of cancer, heart disease, and cognitive decline. Healthy fats are also linked to a reduction in depression and diabetes risk. It’s important to buy the real thing to take advantage of these health benefits—look for cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil with a seal from the International Olive Oil Council on the bottle.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

  • 1 parsnips, chopped

  • 4 carrots, chopped

  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp. fresh grated ginger

  • 1 tsp. fresh lemongrass, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder

  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

  • 1 15-oz. can full-fat coconut milk

  • cilantro, pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat root vegetables on a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

  2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and curry powder, stirring constantly for 5 minutes until onions and spices are very aromatic.

  3. Add broth and roasted root vegetables, and salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

  4. Transfer contents of pot into blender, puree until creamy. Return the soup to the pot over medium low heat.

  5. Add coconut milk, stirring until incorporated over medium low heat. Add additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

  6. Divide in bowls and garnish. Some garnish options: coconut cream, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, thai basil.

Serves 4-6 people.