Immune-boosting Soup Recipe

If you’re feeling sniffly or simply in need of a warming bowl of deliciousness on a chilly day, then pack yourself a large serving of this fiery, orange soup, filled with an army of cold-busting ingredients.


4 lunches

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp frozen chopped garlic or 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp frozen chopped ginger or 2.5cm/1in piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 400g/14oz pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into cubes
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1.50l/52fl oz/6½ cups vegetable stock
  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup dried red lentils
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper/bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 400ml/14fl oz/1¾ cups canned coconut milk
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pumpkin seeds, for sprinkling (optional)


1. Heat the oil over a medium heat, then add the garlic, ginger, pumpkin and onion. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened.

Time to eat

Reheat at work, if necessary, and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds before eating.

Packed with... Turmeric, the bright yellow spice commonly used in Indian cookery, contains the potent compound curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. If you can find the fresh root, that’s even better: use 1cm/½in, peeled and grated.

2. Add the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Stir well then pour in the stock and lentils.

3. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat, add the pepper and chilli, and stir in the milk.

5. Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper.

6. Divide the soup among four freezerproof containers, and freeze for up to 3 months any that you don’t want to eat soon. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Reheat a portion before you go to work and transfer to a vacuum food flask – or reheat it at work. Pack the pumpkin seeds to take with you, if using.

Recipe taken from Packed: Lunch hacks and recipes to squeeze more nutrients into your day by Becky Alexander and Michelle Lake. Nourish Books, 2017. Commissioned photography by Haarala Hamilton.

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