How have you been faring this cold season? My daughter and I got hit by a particularly nasty bug that left us coughing and congested for weeks—and neither of us had an appetite for anything other than soup and ice cream.
I’m a firm believer that when you’re sick, you should listen to your body. When I don’t feel like eating, I don’t eat. And if I’m craving something when I’m sick, I believe it’s because it’s something my body needs. (Okay, maybe my body didn’t need that bowl of Fat Elvis Ice Cream. But it sure made me feel better.)
The soups I found myself craving were vegan pureed soups made with lots of veggies. This makes sense: when you’re congested, dairy can make you feel worse. And all those veggies? They’re full of vitamins and other compounds that help boost immunity.
This cold-fighting soup has some of the best ingredients for the immune system. Garlic contains allicin, which is thought to block enzymes that cause viral infections; dark leafy greens like kale are high in nutrients like vitamin C; broccoli contains glucosinolates, which stimulate the immune system, along with vitamins A, C, and E.
Eating a single bowl of this cold-fighting soup certainly isn’t a cure-all, but when combined with a steady diet of nutrient-rich foods, it’ll give your body what it needs to fight off all those nasty germs so you can feel better again.
Photo and recipe by Ana Stanciu
Cold-Fighting Creamy Broccoli and Kale Soup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups roughly chopped kale
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 medium head broccoli, broken into florets
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- To garnish: Mixed seeds and nuts, fresh parsley or cilantro, and sprouts (optional)
- Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium. Once it's melted, add the onion and garlic; cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Stir in the kale leaves and cook for 5 minutes, until cooked down and wilted. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
- Add the broccoli florets. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Add the coconut milk and blend to incorporate, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Divide the soup into 2 bowls and garnish as desired.