Defense-up! Give your body the oomph it needs with this simple carrot soup infused with immune-boosting ingredients and adorned with golden cauliflower croutons. Give yourself a pat on the back. You made it to the final S T R E T C H of winter. With the promise of spring in the air, and the abundance of seasonal produce underway, now may feel like the perfect time to pack away your sweaters and scarves and bury your soup accouterments in the cupboard. But wait! Did you know that viruses (which cause the common cold) thrive off of temperature shifts—especially around seasonal changes? Give your body the defense it needs with this immune-boosting carrot soup with cauliflower croutons!
A go-to in your recipe arsenal, whipping up a pot or two of this cheery number is sure to soothe and nourish. Packed full of vitamins and minerals from delicious ingredients like fresh carrots, ginger,garlic, roasted cauliflower, and protein-rich miso,this immune-boosting soup can be used as a preventative measure too. Of course, sometimes we need good old fashioned Western medicine to step-in, but as wise Hippocrates once said, “Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
So what exactly are we working with here?
Carrots – This root vegetable is rich in beta-carotene (the antioxidant that your body converts to vitamin A). Vitamin A is essential for healthy mucous membranes (which lines the lungs, intestinal tract, nasal passages, etc.) and serves as the body’s defense against pathogens.
Cauliflower – An excellent source of vitamin C, the antioxidant power of cauliflower helps strengthen your immune system.
Chipotle Pepper –Sweat it out! Peppers contain capsaicin which stimulates secretions that help clear up congestion.
Coconut Oil – Contains antiviral compounds, lauric acid and caprylic acid, which stave off infections.
Ginger – Sweat from the inside out! The warming effect of ginger has been found to be helpful with colds and the flu.
Garlic – Known as nature’s antibiotic, garlic supports your immune system with various antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and immune enhancing compounds (e.g. allicin, garlicin, etc.).
Orange Juice and Zest – High in vitamins C and A, oranges help to boost your immune system.
Miso – This fermented food adds beneficial probiotics and enzymes to your overall intestinal flora, which enhances your immune system!
Turmeric – Contains curcumin which acts as an antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory superhero!
But let’s be clear. While this immune-boosting carrot soup with cauliflower croutons does wonders for your body, it also makes your taste buds happy! It’s creamy, flavorful, bright, delicious and comforting. Finished with luxurious coconut cream, top it with microgreens and a dash or two of chili oil to make it extra fancy. Cheers to healthy eating, immunity and spring on its way!
1 head of cauliflower (roughly 1 lb) chopped into bite-size florets
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chipotle powder
Immune Boosting Carrot Soup
In a large pot, melt the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, fresh ginger and garlic and saute until fragrant and onion is translucent (about 5 minutes).
In a small bowl, whisk the miso paste, orange juice, ground ginger and turmeric together.
Add the miso mixture to the pot along with the carrots and vegetable broth. Add a bay leaf.
Bring soup to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid slightly askew (to let the steam out).
Allow soup to simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until carrots are tender. While soup is simmering, prepare the cauliflower croutons.
Once soup has finished simmering, using a spoon to remove the bay leaf. Ladle the soup carefully into a blender (do this in batches and be careful! soup will be hot) and whirl away until smooth. Transfer blended soup back to the soup pot. Conversely, you may wish to use an immersion blender if you have it handy.
Once soup is blended, turn heat to very low and add in coconut cream. Swirl in orange zest as well. Season with salt to taste.
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Toss cauliflower florets with 2 tbsp olive oil, sea salt and chipotle powder.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil and roast the cauliflower until tender and golden (about 20 minutes)
Transfer to a serving bowl and top as “croutons” on the soup!
Ladle immune-boosting carrot soup into soup bowls and top with cauliflower croutons, microgreens, dashes of chili oil or other toppings of your choice. Enjoy!