Between autumn allergies and seasonal viruses, we could all use some sinus clearing this time of year. Before you reach for over-the-counter remedies that cause rebound reactions (clear your sinuses in the short-term but aggravate them afterward) you might want to reach for some delicious and healing soups.
The ginger, chilies and other anti-inflammatory ingredients will help clear your sinuses and reduce inflammation at the same time…with no rebound reactions.
Soups and Stews to Clear Your Sinuses
Hot and Sour Soup
This is one of the easiest soups to make, but don’t let its simplicity fool you. It is a meal in a bowl (or pot) depending on how you choose to serve it. Add brown rice vermicelli noodles and grated carrots to turn it into a one-pot meal, if desired.
8 cups of water
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 teaspoons freshly grated ginger (approximately 1-inch piece of ginger)
1 to 2 small dried chilies, depending on the level of heat you prefer
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
5 Tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
small handful of dried arame (seaweed) strips, or one small piece of dried kelp
juice of 1 lemon
In a medium-sized pot, sauté the onion, ginger and chilli in one tablespoon of olive oil until the onion is transparent. Add water and all additional ingredients and let simmer for 10-30 minutes (depending on the time available). Longer simmering times allow the flavors to mingle.
Moroccan-Inspired Vegetable and Wild Rice Stew
Don’t let the ingredient list fool you. This is a quick and easy recipe to make, especially if using the slicing blade of a food processor. The result is a rich and hearty soup that is almost a stew and is loaded with cleansing vegetables and fiber.
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
8 cups water
1 sweet potato chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery
4 small red-skinned potatoes, sliced
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup wild rice
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon molasses
2 teaspoons Celtic sea salt (or to taste)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons cumin
dash of cayenne pepper
1 dried chili pepper (or more if want a spicier soup)
1 red pepper, sliced
½ cup cooked kidney or pinto beans
In a large pot, sauté the garlic cloves onion in the olive oil. When the garlic and onions are slightly browned, add water, wild rice, sweet potato, celery, carrots, potato, peas, wild rice, cinnamon, allspice, molasses, Celtic sea salt, garlic powder, cumin and dash of cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil. Once the water begins boiling, turn down the heat and let simmer for 45 minutes. Add the red pepper and kidney or pinto beans and simmer for an additional 15 minutes or longer, until the vegetables are cooked and the wild rice is soft. Simmer longer, if desired to allow flavors to mingle. Stir any spices that sit at the top of the pot into the broth before serving.
Spicy Carrot Soup
This tasty soup is fast and easy to prepare but hearty and delicious, especially on a cool autumn evening.
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 onions, chopped
6 to 8 carrots, chopped
2-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp vegetable salt or Celtic sea salt
Pinch or two of cayenne pepper, to taste
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat, making sure it never smokes. Sauté onions and carrots for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Transfer to a blender or food processor and add water, cumin, salt and cayenne; purée until smooth. Serve immediately.
Winter Vegetable Soup
This easy, creamy soup is perfect when you want something warm and soothing on a cold fall or winter night but don’t have a lot of energy or desire to cook. It takes about an hour or so for the vegetables to roast, but the preparation time is only about 5 minutes. Rutabagas are roundish root vegetables. The skin is mostly white or cream-colored, with a hint of purple. Cut the outer skin off to reveal a firm, golden vegetable inside.
3 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 cloves garlic
1 small rutabaga (or 1/2 large), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 large onion, cut into large chunks
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp vegetable salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
Pinch ground nutmeg
2 cups water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit In a large bowl, combine carrots, sweet potatoes, garlic, rutabaga and onion. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with basil, cumin, salt, cayenne and nutmeg. Toss to coat vegetables evenly.
Spread vegetables in a thin layer on a baking sheet (or 2 baking sheets, if necessary). Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned.
Transfer to a blender or food processor and add water; purée until smooth.
Thai Ginger-Coconut Soup
This is one of my favorite soups. It is perfect for a cool autumn or winter dinner but it so good you’ll probably want to make it year-round. Plus, it’s one of the easiest soups you’ll ever make. It takes about 45 minutes to prepare and cook but the actual prep time is closer to five or ten minutes.
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 cup brown rice
2 large carrots
2 stalks celery
1 large onion
3 cups water
1 fresh chili or dried chili
2 inch piece of fresh ginger
1 block of organic tofu, drained and cubed
1 can coconut milk (choose the full fat version, not low)
Celtic sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt to taste
In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the brown rice. Chop the carrots, celery and onion and add to the pot. Add the water and cover. Dice the chilli and chop the ginger into matchsticks and add to the pot. Cover again. Let cook over medium heat for 30 minutes. If the soup starts to boil, reduce the heat. Add the tofu cubes to the soup. Add the coconut milk and resume cooking for another 15 minutes. Add the salt to taste. Serve immediately.