It’s another rainy, cloudy day here today. I can hear the water dripping onto the wheel well from the roof of our tiny house and it sounds like it's pouring outside. I’m not going to lie, I’ve really been enjoying a little something different than our usual blistering sunshine. Our plans to go climbing this weekend have been shot, so a muddy trail run may be in the works instead. I can’t complain. But one thing this weather has made me want to do is eat soup allll day long.
I normally eat soup throughout the fall and winter and by the time spring rolls around, I am shifting to foods that can be consumed raw or cooked on the grill, preferably with a couple of drinks on the deck. But since winter is still lingering around with spring, it’s time for warmer meals and comforting spices.
This soup is one of the recipes I created in school while working on a therapeutic project for Rheumatoid Arthritis. While creamy, comforting, warming, and healing, this soup also hosts several other health benefits. Turmeric and ginger, two of the primary spices in this dish are both incredible digestive aids and help to reduce inflammation in the body. Curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric helps protect healthy cells from damage caused by free radicals. All three are important to recover optimally from training
DIGESTION, ANTIOXIDANTS, INFLAMMATION & RECOVERY
Good digestion is everything (another blog post for another time) but without proper digestion, nothing is assimilated, meaning that we don’t absorb the nutrients and with the high demands of training, not only do we want to be absorbing the nourishment that we need to rebuild and stay energized, we also want to make sure that everything is moving properly (ya know?).
Inflammation reduction and antioxidant action are another two key components of recovery. When we stress our body, particularly during a tough workout or day in the hills, we release extra free radicals. These can cause damage to our body's cells if they are not neutralized by antioxidants. Increased training = increased need for antioxidants.
We often emphasize the need to reduce inflammation if say, we sprain our ankle. That is one kind of inflammation, referred to as acute inflammation. Any time we have a damaged cell, inflammation occurs as part of the response to heal it. So anytime we break down muscle, inflammation will occur. The goal of recovery is to repair faster and stronger so that we can get out for the next training session quicker and in better shape. If not, injury and gradually degradation can occur. Anti-inflammatory foods in the short term help us recover faster, and in the long haul can help keep us from unpleasant diseases like arthritis.
So now you know why you should go make this soup. Let me tell you why you want to: It’s easy as pie, tastes great, packs in a heap of vegetables without you having to chew a single one, is perfect comfort food when the weather is on the chilly side and comes together fast.
CARROT GINGER SOUP
Prep Time: 10min.
Cook Time: 45min-1 hour
Hands On Time: 20 min.
- 2 Tbsp. unrefined coconut oil
- 4 cups bone or vegetable broth
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 cups carrots, chopped
- 1 cup sweet potato, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. orange juice
- 1-2 tsp turmeric
- Toppings: salt, pepper, parley, chives, plain yogurt, cheese
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Place chopped carrots, sweet potato and 1 Tbsp of coconut oil on a cookie sheet and roast until tender.
- In a large pot, heat onion, celery, ginger, garlic, and remaining coconut oil. Cook, stirring, until onions are translucent.
- Then turn off heat and add bone brother, juices, and spices.
- When carrots are done roasting, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Return to pot and heat on the stove until warm.
- Serve with desired toppings.