Updated: Feb 16
In the face of the rapidly spreading coronavirus, not to mention everyday colds and the flu, it's more important now than ever to practice nutrient-dense eating for a robust immune system. The term "nutrient-dense" refers to foods that have a high nutrient content (vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, otherwise known as plant nutrients) in relation to their weight. A good example of this is blueberries that pack a ton of nutrition for just one 85-calorie cup:
24 percent of the recommended intake of vitamin C
9 mg of calcium
9 mg magnesium
9 mcg folate
114 mg potassium
4 grams of fiber
plus, an abundance of disease-fighting anthocyanins that have been shown to help prevent heart disease, create gut health and improve cognition
Fun fact: spices and herbs pack more nutrition per gram than many fruits and vegetables! You may already know about ginger and turmeric, but other spices like clove, sumac and cinnamon, and herbs like rosemary, oregano and thyme pack a big punch when it comes to nutrition. The great news is that you only need a little bit to get a lot of nutrition. Many healing spices are included in The Ultimate Immune-Supporting Soup such as clove, turmeric, ginger, mustard seed, cumin and paprika. Check out 9 spices and herbs that can support immunity and start making this delicious and simple soup below that is nutrient-dense and perfect for building a strong immune system.
Turmeric Ginger Cauliflower Chickpea Soup (a.k.a. The Ultimate Immune-Supporting Soup)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
one leek, white and light green part of the stalk only, thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
2 tsp mustard seed
2 Tbsp avocado oil or vegetable broth if oil-free
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, minced (or 2" if you love ginger!)
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets*
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup light coconut milk
1 BPA-free 15-ounce canned chickpeas, drained
1-2 cups chopped spinach or kale (destemmed)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional) or substitute parsley
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
dash of smoked paprika (optional)
*I recommend a small cauliflower head for this recipe, which equals about 4-5 cups of cauliflower florets.
How to make
In a large pot, heat a large stockpot over high heat. Add the mustard seeds and leek. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring until the onions are translucent.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the cauliflower, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper, if using. Sauté to lightly toast the spices, 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with 2-3 tablespoons of water or vegetable broth as needed to keep the vegetables from sticking.
Add the vegetable broth.
Boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk, chickpeas, and kale. Heat through until the kale is slightly wilted.
Taste for more salt and pepper, if desired.
Divide between bowls and serve with chopped cilantro, a dash of cayenne pepper and a dash of smoked paprika, if desired.
My husband likes plant-based "meat" with some of his meals so we added No Evil Foods sausage, "The Stallion," to his soup. Photo below!
Per serving (4 servings): 616 calories, 79 grams carbohydrates, 23 grams fiber, 28 grams protein, 24 grams fat, 148 milligrams sodium