Despite the peaking temperatures, I’ve been on a real soup kick over the last few weeks. Believe it or not, soup can actually have a cooling effect on the body due to its water content. More so than that, it’s also a great filler and makes for a perfect meal accompaniment. Depending on your mix-ins, soup alone can be a meal in itself. As long as you’re not heavy handed on the cream and cheese, soup epitomises good health in a bowl.
When I’m sick, my body literally craves hot liquids, and soup is by no means an exception to that. Forget southern fried chicken, a hearty bowl of soup is what you call soul food. Each bite fills your heart with warmth…literally. Here’s the recipe for my current favourite. Sorry for the lack of proportions, I just wing it. Along with oozing flavour, this soup acts as a ‘weapon’ against this nasty cold that I’m currently housing. En garde!:
- Half an onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 can of tomatoes
- Bay leaf
- Vegetable stock
- Carrots, okra, courgettes chopped into bite-size pieces
- Kidney beans
In a pot, fry the onion and garlic till they start to brown. Add in your can of tomatoes, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Let this all cook for 2-3 minutes, and then add in the vegetable stock and oregano. Bring to a boil, and then add the carrots, okra and courgettes. Leave the soup to simmer for 7-10 minutes. Stir in the kidney beans before serving.
Serving suggestion: Top with your favourite cheese before serving. Cheddar makes all better- I’m just sayin’ !
Medicinal benefits of the above:
- Garlic: Acts as an antioxidant against damaging free radicals.
- Peppercorns: More than just being salt’s buddy, peppercorns assist in digestion and reduce the formation of intestinal gas.
- Onion: The powerful odour of onions stimulates the immune system to fight viral or bacterial infections, thus helping the body shed the virus and reduce inflammation from congestion.
- Tomatoes: Lycopene, a pigment that is responsible for the tomatoes’ red colour, is one of several carotenoids (a group of antioxidants) that may help to decrease the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
- Carrots: Along with being an excellent source of beta-carotene, carrots contain folic acid (a group of vitamin B) which has good effect to fight against free radicals in our body.
- Okra: Good source of many nutrients including vitamin B6 and C, fibre, calcium, and folic acid.
- Courgettes: Contains vitamin A and C, potassium, and, folate in good amounts that are essential for good health.
- Kidney beans: Its high fibre content lowers cholesterol and stabilises blood sugar levels.