“Screw-You-Germs” Sweet Potato Soup
Apologies for my absence on here of late – it’s been a full-on, tough week in our house as I’ve been tending to two little snotty germ-balls, otherwise affectionately known as my darling son and daughter. Fortunately I haven’t succumbed (yet!) and I have been manically loading up with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral ingredients that help my immune system fight off those pesky microbes that have literally been sneezed directly into my face. Oh the joys of parenthood!
But these immune boosters also happen to be delicious and flavourful, so it’s certainly no hardship to ‘have’ to eat a tasty and warming soup that also masquerades as a great cold preventer.
The active constituent of ginger is a compound called gingerol that is especially helpful at fighting infections in the respiratory tract. So my kids have been sipping on warm water with fresh lemon, ginger and honey this week and I have even added a clove of raw garlic to mine too. Because garlic is well known for being a powerful anti-microbial food, and even more so if you can actually stomach eating it raw!
And the wonderful anti-inflammatory spice that is turmeric has some of the most reliable scientific backing when it comes to its healing powers. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin and it has potent antioxidant capabilities that have been shown to help with a whole variety of health concerns, from arthritis, to digestive problems and even cancer. But turmeric needs a fat to help the body absorb it, so the oil and coconut milk provide the fat in this recipe. And interestingly, black pepper also significantly increases curcumin’s bioavailability by as much as 2000%, so don’t forget to add a generous sprinkle of fresh black pepper too.
One serving of this delicious soup provides a massive 894% of my daily Vitamin A requirements, which is great news because the antioxidant vitamin plays a vital role in helping our body's natural defence against illness and infection.
· 750g Sweet potato
· 100g Leek
· 200g Red Onion
· 2 Large Celery Stalks
· 2-3 Stalks Lemongrass
· 1 tbsp Chopped Fresh Ginger
· 1 tbsp Chopped Fresh Turmeric
· 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves
· 4 Garlic Cloves – Chopped
· Juice & Zest of 1 Lime
· 500ml Coconut Milk
· 500ml Vegetable Stock
· 2 tsp Oil
· Salt & fresh black pepper to taste
· ½–1 tsp Fresh Red Chilli depending on how spicy you like it (NOTE — the turmeric and ginger already give the soup a little kick, so you might not need as much chilli as usual)
· Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
· Wash and chop the sweet potato (no need to peel).
· Place the chopped sweet potato on a parchment lined roasting tray and toss with a little oil, salt and pepper.
· Put in the oven for half an hour, while you prepare the rest.
· Dice the onions, celery and leeks; and mince the garlic.
· Peel and finely dice the turmeric and ginger.
· Remove the tough outer layers of the lemongrass until it is somewhat bendy. Slice it thinly.
· Sauté the onions, celery and leeks in a large saucepan in a little oil until they have softened, between 6-8 minutes.
· Add the garlic, turmeric, ginger, lemongrass and chilli (if using) and continue to fry for one more minute, making sure the spices don’t burn.
· Add the coconut milk, Kafir lime leaves and vegetable stock.
· Add the roast sweet potato and simmer on a low-medium heat for half an hour.
· Add the lime zest and juice, and season with salt and pepper.
· Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
· Remove from the kafir lime leaves and blitz in a blender until smooth.
MACROS PER SERVING
Calories — 196
Fat — 4g
Carbohydrates — 39g
Protein — 3g
Fibre — 5g
Vitamin A — 894%
Vitamin C — 12%
Calcium — 54%
Iron — 21%