Ask the chef

Eat on the Green’s Craig Wilson on why a bowlful of soup can boost the immune system… Eating healthily, and choosing foods which are rich in immune system boosting ingredients, has never been more important. 

As we are in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, and at the start of the annual cold and flu season, the best way to get the whole family tucking into their five a day is a warming, hearty bowl of soup.

Get into the habit of putting a pan of soup on the stove or a slow cooker each day. It’s perfect for using up any leftovers and sneaking in loads of vegetables. Blend your soups and even the fussiest eaters won’t turn their noses up.

Combining protein rich lentils and pulses with nutrient-dense vegetables such as kale or spinach, can help combat sneezes and sniffles whilst heating you up on a cold, rainy day. Herbs such as coriander are great for reducing any inflammation in the body, whilst aiding digestion. Ginger and turmeric are rich in antioxidants
and delicious when paired with carrots. 

Mushrooms can have high levels of vitamin D while broccoli and red peppers are packed with vitamin C, which is great for fighting off cold and flu symptoms. By weight, red peppers have three times the vitamin C of oranges.

 A simple cream of broccoli soup is quick and easy to prepare and delicious topped with grated cheese. Red peppers go really well with tomatoes and fresh herbs. Adding in fresh or dried pasta or a little chicken or fish can also turn this into an evening meal in minutes. A simmering pan of soup will fill your home with a wonderful aroma that will have the whole family flocking to the kitchen. What could be better than home-made soup and some crusty bread?

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