It is more important than ever to have a robust immune system. With McCain frozen vegetables, it’s more convenient than ever to create wholesome, hearty and nutrient-packed soups – straight from the freezer. And not only is it comforting and warm, but it will also strengthen your immune system.
5 ways to strengthen your immune system
1. Chicken soup for the soul
Chicken is rich in a compound called carnosine, studies suggest that carnosine helps reduce the stuffy, congested feeling in the nose and throat when you have a cold. It also reduces inflammation in the upper respiratory system by stopping the migration of white blood cells. Make a hearty chicken broth by frying 1 chopped onion in 30ml olive oil in a large soup pot. Add 1 whole chicken, seasoned with salt to the pot and cover with 2L water. Add 3 bay leaves and 3 sprigs of thyme. Cook for 1½ hours. Remove the carcass and bones from the broth, leaving the chicken meat in the soup. Check the seasoning. Add 250g frozen McCain Baby carrots and simmer for 10 minutes until the carrots are cooked. Add 250g frozen McCain Baby Peas and 250g frozen McCain Sweet Corn and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve the soup piping hot.
2. Zest for life
Lemons, limes and oranges are high in antioxidants such as carotenoids and flavonoids that boost your immune system. Citrus fruits are also high in vitamin C, which activates your immune system to produce white blood cells needed to fight infections. Make a classic Greek lemon and rice soup by adding 250ml raw rice to 1.5 litres of your favourite chicken broth, allow to simmer until the rice is cooked. Finish the soup by adding 125ml lemon juice mixed with 2 eggs. Add a little bit of the soup to the lemon and egg mixture to prevent the eggs from curdling before adding it to the rest of the soup.
3. Spice it up
Add spices such as turmeric, ginger and garlic to your favourite soups for an immune-boosting punch. These spices have strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that strengthen your immune system in the fight against diseases. Spicy foods are known to ease congested nasal passages, help with breathing problems and relieve flu symptoms. Make a quick spicy pumpkin soup by frying 1 chopped onion in 30ml olive oil in a large saucepan. Add 5cm of freshly grated ginger, 3 finely chopped cloves of garlic, 1 chopped red chilli and 30ml ground turmeric. Add 750g frozen McCain Pumpkin Chunks, 1L quality chicken stock and 1 can (400ml) coconut milk. Season to taste and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked. Puree with a stick blender and serve.
4. Give it the green light
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, kale and cabbage were proven to help boost immunity. According to researchers, sulforaphane, a chemical in broccoli, activates antioxidant enzymes in specific immune cells, which can prevent you from getting sick. Make a quick broccoli soup by frying 1 chopped onion in 30ml olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add 750g frozen McCain Broccoli Florets and cover with 500ml cream and 500ml chicken stock. Season with salt and black pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the broccoli is cooked. Use a stick blender to puree the soup. Serve with dollops of crème fraiche.
5. Turn over a new leaf
Add immune boosting leaves like spinach to the soup. Spinach is packed with numerous antioxidants, which increase the infection-fighting ability of the immune system. Make a delicious cream of spinach soup by heating 15ml olive oil and 30ml butter in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and 1 chopped onion. Add 30ml flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add 750g frozen McCain Garden Spinach, 500ml cream and 500ml chicken stock. Season with salt and black pepper and simmer for 20 minutes. Purée the soup with a stick blender and serve with dollops of crème fraiche.
For delicious recipes with McCain’s extensive range of frozen vegetables, go to: www.mccain.co.za/retail/recipes.