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Dear Friends of NCIM,

Just to let you know that NCIM are on social media with a Facebook and Instagram page, as well as a Twitter account – please do like and share our posts if you can.

Do check out the recent video of Dr Thompson talking about how to boost your immunity in the current crisis:

There is also a delicious recipe for Dr T’s Butternut Squash Soup.

In terms of building personal resilience it is important to keep moving and exercising even if we are self-isolating. We also need to enhance our food intake and where possible try and increase the number of rainbow coloured foods we eat with plenty of salads and consider increasing the amount of turmeric, ginger, dark chocolate and plenty of herbs and spices, all of which are anti-inflammatory foods, along with garlic and olive oil. The mint family including thyme and oregano, lemon balm and mint have been shown to have antiviral properties and bees use thyme to stay healthy. We are including a Roast Butternut Squash and Thyme soup recipe for you to try and don’t forget simple hot herbal teas made with e.g. fresh mint or lemon balm. Whilst science searches for treatments that strengthen the immune system there is some evidence that mushrooms of all sorts gives us a top up of Vitamin D and can have immune strengthening effects so eat plenty of those and make sure to cook the more unusual mushrooms like shitake really well.

Dr T’s Roast Butternut Squash and Thyme Soup

Ingredients

· Coconut, Olive or Sunflower Oil · One onion · Four sprigs of fresh thyme · Cup and a half of Lentils · Pint and a half of stock · One medium sized butternut squash cut into pieces and three yams (sweet potatoes) cut in half · Oatly Milk · Salt and pepper

This soup is simple, and ingredients are not exact so that you can find a combination that suits you.

Method

  • On a baking tray, drizzle olive oil over the chopped butternut squash and yam and then sprinkle with fresh thyme and a touch of salt and pepper. Place into the oven and roast for about 30 mins at 180c until soft
  • Fry onions in an oil of your choice – sunflower, olive oil or rapeseed oil. Make sure the onion becomes brown and soft, adding a touch of salt as you fry
  • Once the butternut squash and yam are cool, take off the skin and remove the seeds and put the flesh into the pan with the onions continue to brown for a few minutes
  • Add the lentils and a pint and a half of stock made with a teaspoon of Bouillon or a vegetable stock cube
  • Cook until the lentils are fully softened, remembering to add more water as needed as they swell
  • As the soup simmers, add more of the fresh thyme, usually as couple of sprigs cut finely with scissors
  • Once everything is cooked, take off the heat and let it cool for a while
  • Add half a pint of Oatley milk or ordinary milk if preferred and blend with a hand blender.
  • Make sure the consistency is right for you by adding a bit more of the milk if needed.
  • Add a final pinch of pepper and reheat as needed before serving with a swirl of Oatley cream and a twist of black pepper