Look, I’m not about to tell you that food will cure you, but after two weeks of having the flu and still feeling pants, I decided that my diet of hot cross buns and more tea than I thought humanly possible could probably do with some help. So I decided to make this medicinal soup, and bonus points it’s vegan too.
Without descending into too much woo, this has a bunch of stuff that supposedly has some health benefits: onions have been used for centuries to reduce inflammation, coconut is apparently helpful to balance gut bacteria, and limes are full of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant and stops you getting scurvy. Although if you’re worried about that, I recommend drinking daiquiris.
I have no idea if it’d cured me, but it tasted good so I figured I’d share. I stuck with it as it is in the recipe below because I didn’t want to challenge my stomach any more than I was already, but the punchy lime, sunny colours and slight heat meant that next time I’ll be adding shredded chicken or pork, some beans, maybe a pinch of cumin and upping the chilli slightly to make it a more filling soup. But as it is, it’s a pretty nice medicinal soup, although pretty citrusy (some people might want to tone that down, I quite like it). It’s also vegan if you use right kind of vegetable stock; I used Marigold Swiss vegetable vegan bouillon powder in this recipe. I also mentioned garlic and ginger pastes because I have them both in my fridge and was too poorly to be faffing about grating ginger.
- 1 large onion chopped
- 100g red lentils
- 2 heaped tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp coarsely grated ginger or paste
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced or tbsp of garlic paste
- 1l vegetable stock
- 400ml can coconut milk
- 2 generous handfuls baby spinach (approx 50g)
- 1 lime, juice and zest - you may want to reduce this if you don't like things too citrusy
- In a large pan, fry the onions in a little oil until soft and golden
- Then add the lentils, turmeric, ginger, garlic and pour in the stock.
- Cover the pan and simmer until the lentils have softened, this should take around 15 minutes
- You might want to season with some salt now, depending on how salty your stock is
- Pour in the coconut milk, give everything a good stir and simmer for another 15 minutes or so
- Add the spinach, and cook it until it wilts.
- Stir in the lime juice and zest, and serve.
Disclosure: Brought to you by the flu and the realisation that after two weeks I was starting to get bored of bread, which is more painful than the flu itself. Also, if you’re really sick, go see a doctor and get actual medicine. But only have antibiotics if you *really* need them.