A warming anti-inflammatory, digestion-friendly soup with a sweet, intense flavour bought out by the roasting of the vegetables and the warmth of the ginger.
With the winter season upon us, we share with each other more than just good wishes – often viruses or infections that just love to replicate and cause misery with a set of nasty symptoms such as headaches, sinus problems, coughs, aches & pains. These symptoms indicate inflammation in your body, so rather than reach for the anti-inflammatory medications in your medicine cupboard, reach for nurturing phytonutrient-rich plant foods which may help, but without disturbing the digestive system.
All the ingredients are digestive friendly too – functional gut disorders such as IBS and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases such as Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis have inflammatory components so this recipe is a double whammy for soothing gastrointestinal inflammation.
GLUTEN-FREE (GF), DAIRY-FREE (DF), YEAST-FREE (YF), VEGETARIAN* (V), VEGAN* (VV)
Butternut squash – anti-inflammatory
Sweet potato – immune support
Ginger – anti-inflammatory
Coconut oil – anti-viral properties to fight colds
Rosemary – anti-inflammatory
Red lentils – digestive support, fibre aids constipation
Red onion – digestive support, prebiotic which feeds your good bacteria
Bone broth option (*N.B. not suitable for vegetarians or vegans) – digestive support (if you use bone broth from leftover organic roast chicken carcass then the gelatin aids digestive healing)
Parsley – immune support and/or Coriander – digestive support, carminative (reduces bloating, nausea & gas)
1 large butternut squash, diced but with skin left on
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
2cm piece of root ginger, finely chopped or grated (add more to taste)
Coconut oil for cooking
1 teaspoon of mixed dried herbs
2 teaspoons of fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
½ large red onion, finely chopped
250g red lentils
1-1½ litres GF/DF/YF/V/VV (as you require) vegetable stock (Bouillon or Kallo are good or use home-made organic vegetable or bone broth)
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200⁰C/400⁰F/Gas mark 6.
2. Place squash, sweet potato and ginger into roasting tin with oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Mix well and roast for 25 minutes until the vegetables brown and the skin starts to crisp.
3. Meanwhile, cook the onions gently in a large pan in oil until softened.
4. Add the squash, sweet potato, ginger and lentils to the onions.
5. Add 1 litre vegetable stock to cover (reserve rest if need to thin) and simmer until the lentils are cooked, about 20-30 minutes.
6. Season to taste. Transfer to a blender in batches to process to a soup. Use more stock to thin if required
7. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and parsley or coriander.
Jane’s top tip
Cook double the recipe and freeze into smaller portions ready for when you need the anti-inflammatory boost and don’t feel like cooking.
Recipe attribution: Adapted from Dale Pinnock’s The Medicinal Chef