Looking out of my kitchen windows I can currently see that the leaves from my beautiful Maple and Pecan trees are starting to fall. The hot, humid days of summer are giving way to crisp, cool, throw-an-extra-blanket-on-the-bed nights days. And this change could not come soon enough for me!
But with all this splendorous natural beauty comes the Fall allergy season. A time of year that often leaves me running for kleenex more often than not! And if you’re anything like me, you may feel like your allergies are starting sooner this year, it’s because they are.
Because of climate change, and the resulting higher temperatures and increasing carbon dioxide, allows pollen-producing plants to live longer and to produce more and more mega-potent pollen. And this year, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology announced that the season will extend through November, rather than ending in September, as in years past.
At home, I have started on a new natural allergy-fighting path and have found that there in fact foods you eat that can help stifle your sniffling, watery eyes, and general malaise, including my favorite Fall Soup, Sweet Potato Soup with Thyme.
So, why sweet potatoes? This seasonal favorite is one of nature’s top edible antihistamines, contains large amounts of soluble Vitamin C and are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce allergy symptoms. Beyond this, sweet potatoes are rich in quercetin, a powerful flavonoid sometimes called bioflavonoid. And diets rich in flavonoids can help reduce or eliminate your need for antihistamine medication. For maximum effect, sweet potatoes should be consumed throughout the year or at least begin two months before your symptoms typically flare up each Fall.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in carotenoids. A naturally occurring pigment, largely responsible for the red, orange and yellow color of various vegetables and fruits, including sweet potatoes. A study from the Institute of Epidemiology in Germany found that people with high blood levels of carotenoids were at lower risk for allergic rhinitis.
In addition to sweet potatoes, this soup utilizes the natural healing properties of thyme. This ancient herb is known for its ability in treating congestion and can help ease sore throats. Thyme is also useful for helping to clear stuffy noses, coughing, reducing the effects of sinus infections, hay fever symptoms, and allergy-induced headaches as well.
So it goes without saying that there is a lot of allergy-fighting action going on in this little bowl of soup. With this in mind, here’s how I make this awesome allergy-fighting soup:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon Fresh thyme (dried can be substituted as needed)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
- Next, add onions to your oil, and sauté until golden and translucent.
- Now, pour in the broth and bring to boil over medium-high heat; 2-4 minutes.
- Add sweet potatoes and ginger.
- Be sure to reduce your pans heat to medium-low.
- Simmer this blend until your sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork (about 20 to 25 minutes).
- Purée soup in a blender or immersible hand blender, and blend until smooth.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with fresh thyme and serve hot.