I don't know about you and where you live, but here in Canada, winter is in FULL force. Just last week we had over 20 cm of snow fall in one day, and the windchill has us in the -20 range almost every day. As a result, cold and flu season also happened to be out in full force too! It feels like everywhere you go people are coughing and sneezing in your general direction, from the coworker at work to the cashier at the grocery store, the unmistakable sniffle and cough are everywhere.
I've been trying my best to steer clear of a cold because really, who has time for that? Aside from chugging Vitamin C like its nobody's business I have also been trying to incorporate healthier and more nourishing foods in my diet that tend to have great anti viral properties such as garlic and onion.
Onions are really high in antioxidants and possess anti-inflammatory properties. Apparently onions are extremely high in the antioxidant 'quercetin'. Quercetin helps the body fight free-radicals, and boosts the immune response. A recent study from the British Journal of Nutrition showed that individuals who ate foods high in quercetin (onion soup was used in the study), had better immune responses and less likelihood for cardiovascular disease .
Garlic is also a powerful antioxidant, but it also possess antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties! Garlic contains Vitamin C and can apparently provide decongestant effects when you do get a cold. Garlic has been used for centuries as a powerful medicine and was believed to have sacred qualities. In fact, some say that it was so valuable to the Ancient Egyptians, that cloves were always placed in the tombs of Pharaohs! Hey, if its good enough for the Pharaohs then its good enough for me! :)
So if you are looking to boost your immune system to avoid catching cold from icky sickly people, or if you unfortunately have come down with something and you are one of those sickly people, try this delicious soup to get you back to your normal self sooner!
Roasted Garlic and Onion Potato Soup
(slightly adapted from here)
- 1 large head of garlic
- A few tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 1¾ pounds (about 3-4 medium potatoes)
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- 3-4 large onions, chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- ½ cup grated cheese
- salt + pepper to taste
1. Begin by preheating your oven to 400F to roast your garlic. Cut off the top of a full head of garlic, making sure to go back and snip off the tops of the cloves you didn't catch (just a tiny snip to expose the garlic will do!). Place inside a square of aluminum foil and then pour some olive oil on top (it will get absorbed inside the cloves) and add salt and pepper to taste.Then wrap up the garlic and place in the oven for 40-45 minutes until the garlic is soft when you poke it with a knife. Then allow to cool completely before removing the garlic from the peel. While the garlic was baking I proceeded to the following steps.
2. Melt the butter in a large soup pan on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add flour and cook for 1 minute (do not brown).
3. Add chicken broth, milk, cream, and thyme. Allow soup to come to boil then simmer for a few minutes, whisking until nicely blended.
4. Add peeled and diced potatoes (make sure they have been chopped into small pieces so they cook faster!).
5. Once the potatoes have cooked (you can tell by poking them gently with a knife - if it goes in really easily it means its cooked), add in all of your roasted garlic cloves and shredded cheese. Using an immersion blender, blend all the ingredients until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.