Last week I had the phone call every working parent dreads – the “Calpol call”. This is the one where nursery inform you that your beloved child has a temperature, and they are happy to dose them up, but if things haven’t changed in an hour, you have to go and collect them. The next hour is spent frantically prioritising your to-do list and reviewing your diary for the rest of the day, before the phone rings again and you know that the fate awaits you is an afternoon of keeping your fingers crossed that Beauty and the Beast will keep them occupied for the duration of your important meeting which is now a conference call.
There seems to have been a lot of sickness in our house in recent weeks, but so far I seem to have dodged the bullet (despite being constantly coughed at “Hand over mouth when you cough please!”). I’ve been teetering on the brink a couple of times, but haven’t succumbed.
When I start to feel a bit under the weather, I usually start taking Echinacea, a herbal supplement which has been found to support immune function. I’ve also upped my vitamin C intake to a 1000mg supplement a day. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which can also help fight off infections. In addition to supplements, I’ve also tried to ensure I’m getting maximum nutrition from my diet. It’s been chilly recently, so I used the glut of parsnips in the fridge to create this Parsnip, Ginger and Turmeric soup. Ginger and turmeric both have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect, as well as adding a gentle heat to the soup, as well as a vibrant colour which will cheer you up if nothing else! I’ve included beans to increase the fibre and protein content and I made it with homemade chicken stock (or bone broth if you’re trendy – the very use of the word trendy will demonstrate that I am not very). You could happily make with any type of stock though.
Parsnip, Ginger & Turmeric Soup
1 medium onion roughly chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g parsnips (peeled weight) peeled and roughly chopped
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
2 inch piece of fresh ginger finely grated
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Sweat the onions in the olive oil over a low heat for about 5 mins, until softened, but not coloured
Add the parsnips and ginger and cook for a further 5 mins
Pour in the stock, bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for about 20 mins
Add the beans, and simmer for another 10 mins
Blend to desired consistency and serve
I topped it with a bit of chopped chilli for a little extra heat, or a swirl of natural yogurt would also work well