Magic soup; a cure for any cold*

It’s that time of year  again, when the coughing and sneezing and sore throats start; and didn’t mother always tell us that it was a nice thing to share?!

I came down with my annual cold a couple of weeks ago and it was a bad one. After all, if you’re going to do something you might as well do it properly, right? And so it started, the sore throat on day one, heading up to a swollen and blocked nose by day three and shocking headaches after that.

I’m the sort of person who tries to resist medication at almost all costs. Not because I’m daft or because I want to play the martyr but because paracetamol, aspirin and ibuprofen really don’t agree with me and I end up curing one ailment and giving myself another. But I really needed help with this last cold (which felt closer to flu at times) and you know what they say – “feed a cold”…

My good friend, nutritionist Sally Wisbey (yes, her of Closer magazine’s fridge raider fame) told me that turmeric had excellent anti-inflammatory properties and I knew that ginger was something else I needed – along with a LOT of vegetables! So I made a carrot and ginger soup with turmeric and cayenne pepper. Now I can’t make any medical claims about my soup but I can tell you that my own personal experience was my swollen nose and sinuses feeling a million times better within minutes of drinking the soup (thank you turmeric, I’m crediting you with this miracle) and my throat was no longer swollen and sore (thank you ginger). I didn’t manage to fully avoid the cold capsules but my magic soup really did help make me feel human again!


Magic carrot and ginger soup


A knob of butter

1 white onion

3 carrots

2 pints of vegetable stock (or any other stock you like)

Freshly ground ginger, grated or finely chopped

2 tsp of turmeric

1 tsp of cayenne pepper



Melt the butter and add the onion, chopped. Cover and sweat on a low heat. Chop the carrots and sweat on a low heat until soft.

Add the stock and simmer for around 15 minutes, adding the ginger, turmeric and cayenne pepper. You can add as little or as much as you like but when you have a cold you’ll probably lean towards more rather than less.

Once the soup is cooked and cooled blitz in the blender – or with a handheld blender (you can get these very cheaply from large supermarkets) and box up into individual containers ready to reheat and enjoy as required.

*not medically proven but it still tastes great!


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