Serve up a bowl of this vegan healing soup full of wholesome ingredients to help fight colds or warm you up during wintertime.
Winter is often the season for colds and flu and this vegan healing soup can help get you through it. While experiencing my first true winter weather in Japan, I’ve sipped on many bowls of this delicious soup to help fight the flu. It’s gluten-free, oil-free and chock-full of healthy veggies and immune-boosting ingredients to keep you nourished.
The light vegan broth is great for soothing a sore throat and is easy to digest if you have a stomach bug. This is a quick and fuss-free kind of soup that you can make on the stove top, in a slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Here are some wholesome ingredients used in this healing soup and why they are good for you:
Kombu contains a lot of Vitamin C and Zinc. Both are known to help fight flu symptoms and boost your immune system. Kombu is an edible seaweed often used in Japanese cuisine that contains natural compounds (indicated by a white coating) that makes soup flavourful. This flavour is described as “umami” by the Japanese. Avoid rinsing kombu before using as this could wash away the flavour compounds.
Shiitake and oyster mushrooms contain nutrients that help to improve your immune system and lower any inflammation. Not only that, mushrooms also give soup that extra boost of flavour or umami. The texture of oyster mushrooms is rich and “meaty” making this simple vegetable soup a lot more satisfying. Needless to say, mushrooms are definitely worth adding to your soup.
Pumpkin is also full of Vitamin C and Zinc. So add a little pumpkin in your soup for more flu-healing power.
Onion has been used for healing colds and flu for a long time. Some people, rather than eating onions, believe that placing them at the bottom of your feet can make you feel better. Not sure how true that is and since we’d rather not walk around smelling like onions, let’s put them in this soup instead.
It is true that onion is full of nutrients which help to boost our immune system. So a little bit of onion will be great for helping you feel better.
Garlic was used all the way back in ancient times for fighting sickness. It’s said to help get rid of bacteria and viruses.
Carrots are packed with Vitamin A that helps with healing our mouth and sinuses.
Daikon radish is believed to be full of a lot of vitamin C. Japan and China have both used this ingredient as a part of a home remedy for many years. It certainly won’t hurt to add this to your soup.
Bell pepper, particularly the red ones, are also full of vitamin C. You’re going to need all the vitamin C you can get to help fight off your flu.
Thyme is a powerful punch of an ingredient to add in your soup. It’s a decongestant (which means it helps to clear your stuffy nose) and helps boost your immune system.
If thyme is the powerful punch, dried basil is the super kick to your flu symptoms. It’s said to help calm your fever, headache, sore throat, cold, cough, and flu.
Bay leaves are believed to be able to help clear your stuffy nose.
Spicy chilli pepper can also help clear your congested sinuses. Your nose will be a lot happier with this in your soup.
Ginger is great for sore throat. It helps to relieve symptoms of nausea and restore your appetite. It can also help with aches and pain that comes with fighting the flu.
Broccoli is yet another ingredient with that powerful flu-fighting vitamin C. It also has Vitamin E, which also helps fight off the flu as well.
Konjac noodles are made from the root of an Asian plant called Konjac. It’s low in calories and full of easily digestible fibre. It’s often used in Japanese cooking. However, it doesn’t have much flavour on its own so best used in soups. The texture is chewy but easy to swallow.
Konjac can be found in Asia markets or as Shirataki noodles on Amazon. Bear in mind that they do have a fishy smell even though there is no fish included. This is due to the liquid the noodles are packaged in. Drain and rinse well to get rid of the smell, then add to the soup at the beginning or end of cooking.
Other ingredients to add to this soup
- White miso (Check out this Miso Hot Pot Soup recipe)
- Tofu or a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas as a source of protein
Healthy Vegan Healing Soup (Perfect for Cold and Flu Season!)
- 2 pieces of kombu, about 4 inches each or 15g
- 2 tbsps gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 8 oz pumpkin, 226g
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, 70g
- 1 cup oyster Mushrooms, 86g
- 1 medium onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 medium carrot
- ½ daikon radish
- 1 small bell pepper
- 2 cups broccoli florets, 350g
- 1 tsp thyme
- 2 tsps dried basil
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Spicy chilli pepper or ginger, to taste (optional)
- 7 oz konjac or shirataki noodles, 198g
- 4 cups water, (950ml)
- Chop pumpkin, mushrooms, onion, garlic, carrot, daikon radish and bell pepper.
- Add to a large pot with water and remaining ingredients except the broccoli and bell pepper. Bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the broccoli and bell pepper in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Remove from heat and serve.
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