Get Well Soon: Spiced Tomato Soup

So somebody went a bit crazy with sugar after our detox ended and got themselves a cold. Surprisingly, that somebody was not me! I mean I did eat a chocolate bunny here and there, but the boyfriend is the one with a sore throat now. Elated to finally be done with the six weeks of health, he gorged on unhealthy snacks and sweets Tuesday night while watching a soccer game. Come Wednesday morning, there was no getting out of bed.

Six weeks of eating and being healthy. Less than one week of returning to old habbits and he's got himself a cold. Go figure. To be fair, his body had a rough weekend: He travelled all the way to Amsterdam and back to play rugby. Some sleep deprivation and extreme physical exertion were involved (not to mention some celebratory drinking!), but he was doing fine until the sugar got involved. I consider this a testament to how dangerous it can really be especially when your body is already in a weakened state.

To help get him back on his feet and hopefully to help me stay healthy, I made spicy tomato soup.

This soup is a great go-to for when you are under the weather* for a number of reasons:

1. It’s fast and easy. It took me about 15 minutes to prepare. So even if you are feeling rough and have no one to take care of you, making it won’t take too much out of you.

2. It hydrates you. Staying hydrated when you are sick is important, because it helps flush out toxins and waste, thins mucus so you can breath better, keeps your fever down and replaces liquid lost from your hot and cold sweats.

3. Liquid nutrients are easy to digest. Because your body spends less energy digesting fibrous food, it has more left over to heal you. It takes considerably more energy to breakdown a chunk of chicken.

4. Vitamin C in tomatoes is good for your immune system. Adding sautéed red peppers is another great way to add more to the soup.

5. Capsicum (red pepper flakes and cayenne) aid digestion, stimulate circulation, help neutralize acidity (tomatoes) and are an anti-inflammatory (which is great for a sore throat).

6. The garlic has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties when crushed and not over cooked. The alliinase and alliin found in separate areas of the plant react to create allicin, a defense mechanism used by garlic to ward off pests that help us essentially do the same.

7. No added sugar or excess sodium that you will find in most canned soups. The carrot sweetens the sauce without adding unnecessary sugar which will only feed the bacteria you are trying to fight off.

*Although not when you have a stomach bug or an extremely raw throat. Then the acidity in tomato soup can be rough on your body. In that case, it’s better to turn toward clear broths and soups.


Olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1-2 celery stalks, diced
1 carrot, chopped
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. Chili powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne (optional)
1/4 tsp. oregano
1 T. grated or finely chopped fresh ginger
24 oz. (2 cans) canned tomatoes
2 cups broth
1-2 garlic cloves
1 cup unsweetened plain soy yogurt (optional, to taste)
Salt & freshly ground pepper (to taste)

In a medium pot on medium heat, add oil, onion, celery and carrots. Sauté until soft about 3 minutes. Add spices and ginger and cook for about 1 minute before adding tomatoes and broth. Bring to simmer for 5 minutes (longer if desired -it just lets the flavors meld). Add garlic and blend with immersion blender until smooth. Stir in yogurt and season with salt and pepper. Serve with parsley or fresh basil.

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