After embracing the immunity and health benefits of cold therapy, get cozy with this collection of warm recipes for a cold winter. Each dish is the perfect way to relax after a cold shower or cryotherapy. Not only are these meals easy to make and bursting with flavor, but they’re also high in antioxidants, plant-based compounds, vitamins, and minerals to nourish your body, mind and spirit.
Tomato Basil Slow Cooker Soup
We’re often told to drink chicken noodle soup when we’re feeling ill and need an immunity upgrade. Take that concept to the next level with this sweet-and-tangy vegan alternative. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, which helps strengthen your body’s natural immune response, while the basil is high in plant compounds and antioxidants that have been shown to reduce stress, soothe away inflammation, and reduce the effects of stress and anxiety.
Other immune-boosting ingredients in this warm soup include oregano, fresh garlic, and onions, which are the secret to this soup’s layers of vibrant flavors.
2 28-oz. cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup heavy cream or a plant-based cream alternative
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Add all the ingredients (with the exception of the cream) to your slow cooker. Whisk to combine well, and use the whisk to smash the tomatoes a bit. Cover the pot and cook on its lowest heat setting for eight hours (if you’re short on time, use high heat for four hours).
When the soup is finished cooking, simply blend with an immersion blender, then stir in the cream and enjoy.
Warm Asparagus Soup
Most people might raise their eyebrows at the idea of asparagus soup. After all, it’s not your normal go-to when you’re thinking of making a soup or stew. But you’ll be won over after digging a spoon into this dish! It’s very creamy, which will be surprising when you realize this dish is completely vegan with zero cream.
Asparagus is an excellent source of vitamin K (more than half your daily RDI in just half a cup), and vitamin K has been well-researched for its anti-inflammatory properties and diseases-reducing activity. Asparagus is also one of the top sources of quercetin, isorhamnetin and kaempferol, three flavonoids (a type of antioxidant) with antiviral and anticancer effects.
Secret tip: This soup is amazing on its own, but you can also drizzle it over whole-grain brown rice, cubed smoked tofu or other side dishes to make it a heavier meal.
1 14-ounce box of vegetable broth
1/4 cup water
1 yellow potato, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 medium shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/8 teaspoon salt
12 ounces asparagus (cut off the woody ends and chop into 1-inch chunks)
Pinch of black pepper
In a big pot, boil all the ingredients except for the asparagus. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and let everything cook until the potatoes are tender. This may take approximately 10 minutes. Once the potatoes are soft, add in the asparagus and cook for another five minutes or until the asparagus is tender.
Pour the entire pot of ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy. Enjoy with a sprinkling of black pepper. You can also enjoy this soup chilled the next day for a refreshing meal on a hot day.
Baja Butternut Squash Soup
Groundbreaking new research on some viruses has identified that vitamin A may be an effective antiviral agent for supporting your immunity. And butternut squash is undoubtedly one of the best ways to get this essential nutrient. In fact, just one cup of butternut squash offers an incredible 457% of your vitamin A RDI!
This warm soup is a stunning, orange color sure to please both the eyes and the palate. Exotic spices like cumin and chipotle add a depth of flavor that you won’t find in most other soups. Finally, yogurt adds a pinch of creaminess and also gut-friendly bacteria (a healthy gut enhances your immune system).
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
6 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt (plant-based vegan yogurt also works)
2 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. While the oven is warming up, cut your butternut squash in half with a sharp knife and scoop out the seeds. Massage some vegetable oil onto the cut side of each squash, then place face-down on a baking sheet.
Roast in your oven for approximately 60 minutes or until the squash is tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Once it’s cool, scoop the cooked squash out of its shell and into a bowl.
While you’re waiting for the squash, prep everything else. In a frying pan, heat the oil and saute the celery, onion and carrot until the veggies begin to become tender. Stir in the cooked squash and the seasonings/herbs, then pour in the broth and simmer for half an hour.
Pour all the contents into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!