First of all, let me share with you a little bit of my story. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, and after going through chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment I am now in remission. It will be an understatement to say that the experience of having cancer was horrific/ traumatic/ and every other words in that group of synonyms. Obviously, I never want to go back to that again; in all honesty I’m s***-scared of recurrence.
So I actively look out for myself, and aim to never have it again. I care for my body by nourishing it and exercising it so that it is in good condition to keep the disease at bay. I go to around 4 or 5 exercise classes a week that ranges from zumba, pilates, yoga, cardio/ strength exercises with weights. – I also sleep much earlier than before. – I conciously try to stay away from teflon and plastics. – I stopped wearing wired bras. – I eat a lot less sugar too (although not completely…) – I’ve given up eating meat and now a pescatarian. – And I eat macrobiotic-ally most of the time too.
This carrot soup is part of that anti-cancer regime. During my cancer treatment, I made this soup religiously to nurse my self better, and I still continue to make this when I feel my immune system is weak. It has multiple key ingredients that has especially powerful medicinal properties that are beneficial to ward off or fight cancer. The health benefits of the carrots, turmeric, garlic and ginger will boost immune system, improve memory, contribute to healthy digestion, combats nausea and sickness, improve cholesterol level, and reduce blood pressure. Furthermore it also has superb antioxidant properties which decrease swelling and inflammation.
Quite a list, no? 🙂 So, without further ado, lets get on with sharing the recipe with you! All the cooking happens in one pot, so it’s less washing up, and there is a margin of freedom to change the quantity of the ingredients depending on what you have to hand; soups present a great opportunity to be creative and experimental, so just use this recipe as a starting point and explore different amounts and combinations!
So! Let’s make!
– Anti-cancer carrot, turmeric and ginger soup recipe –
This soup is packed full of healing properties, and is dairy free, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, macrobiotic. Do use organic ingredients for this and eat the skin/ peel as well.
about a teaspoon of coconut oil
4 stalks of celery
half a bulb of garlic
large thumb-size ginger root
5 – 7cm of fresh turmeric root (if you can’t get hold of fresh turmeric root, use 1 and a half teaspoon of dried turmeric powder instead.)
1kg of carrots
vegetable stock – homemade or store-bought. (As much as I’d like to rock the domestic goddess image, I don’t always use homemade stock…! I often use powdered bouillon like this).
50g of whole rolled oats
salt and pepper
plain yogurt to dollop on soup (optional)
1. First, heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a large soup or stock pot and ‘sweat’ the sliced or diced celery (4 stalks) with a tiny sprinkle of salt.
(a) It doesn’t matter if it’s sliced or diced, so long as each piece is about the same size so that it cooks evenly.
(b) The salt helps draw the moisture away.
(c) The flavour note of coconut oil go fantastically well with the carrots, so I definitely recommend using coconut oil, although you can use any other types like olive oil or butter if you would like to. Either way, it’s important to use oil/ fat here because the carotenoids such as the beta carotene in the carrot is a fat-soluble nutrient which requires oil/ fat to assist its absorption.
(d) Keep the heat low to medium so that the vegetable doesn’t scorch and brown.
2. Whilst the celery is sweating, mince the garlic, slice the fresh turmeric root and the ginger root. Toss these in to the pot to join the celery.
(e) Garlic, turmeric and ginger are the superfood trifecta! Invest in buying organic so that you can consume it as a whole with its skin still on. There are lots of nutrition in the peel so why throw it away? 🙂
3. Slice the carrots and put them in the pot too. Stir it around to coat everything in the oil. Let this sweat with the lid on for a further 5 to 10 minutes on low heat.
(f) It doesn’t matter if it’s sliced or diced, so long as each piece is about the uniform size so that it cooks evenly.
(g) Try to buy organic, so that you won’t need to peel the skin. There are good nutrients in the peel too. Just give it a good scrub with the vegetable brush under running water.
(h) Cooking the carrots breaks the thick cell walls and release the carotenoids, which are antioxidants with strong cancer-fighting properties.
(i) The lid will keep the moisture in, effectively steam cooking the vegetables.
(j) By sweating, the cell wall of the vegetables break, making them softer. It also gives depth of flavour that makes a perfect base for the soup.
4. Add 50g of whole rolled oats in to the pot.
(k) The oats act as a thickener. It adds creaminess without having to use cream, which makes for a healthier option. Oats are also a gluten-free whole grain and slows digestion, keeping you fuller for longer.
5. Add vegetable stock until the vegetables are just about covered and let it simmer with the lid on, until the carrots are very tender (about 15 to 20 minutes depending on how chunky your carrot slices are).
(l) I don’t measure the amount of stock, as it’s always a bit different every time. So long as the liquid covers all the ingredients so that it cooks them it should work out fine, as the thickness of the soup can be adjusted at the end.
(m) The carrots should be tender enough to be able to effortlessly cut in to with a spoon.
6. Use an immersion blender or a food blender to liquidise the soup until smooth. Return to the pan. Then if necessary, thin down the soup to your liking with more water and check the seasoning for the final time.
(n) Let the soup cool down for a bit first before liquidising, so that it’s not dangerously hot just in case the soup spits at you.
(o) Optional: Once the soup is ladled in to the bowl, dollop a tablespoon of plain yogurt and artfully swirl it on the surface (the yogurt is tangy and it adds an interesting dimension). Then freshly crack some black pepper. (The piperane in the pepper increases the uptake of curcumin in the turmeric.)