This soup, taken regularly over a period when a cold or flu is threatening, should arm your body with some defence.


This soup has it all: vitamin C, beta-carotene and many flavonoids to reduce aches and pains and inflammation; onions and plenty of garlic from the allium family - known for their medicinal anti-bacterial qualities - and, of course, ginger. It's so delicious, you could serve it at a dinner party.

  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 tblsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tblsp coriander seeds
  • 1 whole dried bird's eye chilli
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tblsp fresh ginger (grated)
  • 1.5 l vegetable stock
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 1 lime
  • large pinch sea salt


  1. Peel the squash, slice it in half and scoop out the seeds.
  2. Heat a little oil in a large pot and put in the onions to start cooking.
  3. Chop the squash into chunks and add to pot once the onions have softened and cook both together for five minutes.
  4. Toast the cumin, coriander and chilli in a small pan for a minute, then grind them finely and add to the soup pot along with the whole garlic cloves and the grated ginger.
  5. Cook for two minutes before adding the stock. Bring this to the boil and simmer covered for 30 minutes or so until the squash is soft and beginning to break up.
  6. Add all but two tablespoons of the coconut milk, the rind and juice of the lime and a large pinch of salt.
  7. Simmer for one minute more, then blend the soup to a smooth purée.
  8. Ladle the soup in a bowl and swirl some remaining coconut milk over and squeeze in a little lime juice.