warming indian mulligatawny soup (vegan, dairy free, oil free, no added sugar, gluten free)

As someone who prefers to use medication as an absolute last resort, I’m always on the lookout for food and recipes that give the body a fighting chance against infection before medication is needed.

And this warming Indian mulligatawny soup is just what the homeopathic doctor ordered.

Chock full of spices, vegetables and a kick of plant-based protein from red lentils, this soup comes together easily even if the ingredient list looks intimidating. Actually, it’s exactly because of all these ingredients (which are mostly spices) that makes this soup an excellent meal especially during cold and flu season.

For example:

  • Ginger strengthens the immune system, helps with digestion and helps with respiratory health
  • Turmeric and cinnamon are antioxidants and anti inflammatory
  • Cardamon helps with digestion problems
  • Thyme soothes sore throats and coughs and also helps with digestion



One of the reasons I also love this soup is that it’s one of the few soup recipes my husband also enjoys.  Without meats and cheese, he jokingly refers to most soups as “tea with vegetables” i.e. they don’t feel filling enough. The kids, on the other hand give it a mixed review. LOL

This warming Indian mulligatawny soup is a plant-based and oil-free version of a recipe from The Wanderlust Kitchen and I’m grateful for the friend who passed it along. While the rice isn’t strictly necessary, it rounds out the recipe as a hearty meal. Quinoa would also work well as substitute.


warming indian mulligatawny soup
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
55 mins
Course: Entree, Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6
Author: Andrea Anderson
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small apples, diced
  • 1 14.5 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1.5 T curry powder
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, uncooked
  • 1 14 oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilatro, chopped
  1. Add a little water to cover the bottom of a large soup or stock pot and saute the onions, garlic and carrots over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except the fresh cilantro and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are cooked thoroughly.

  2. Add fresh cilantro and serve over rice or quinoa if desired.


my favorite hot drinks for cold weather + fighting viruses naturally


Cold weather and “cold” weather call for hot drinks, don’t they?

So far, we’ve managed to avoid the worst of the flu bug that’s going around and I’m praying it stays that way – or at least doesn’t happen around the time I’m supposed to head to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip with two of my children.

Today I’m sharing three of my favorite hot drinks that are frequently in rotation plus at the end of the post, two of my favorite ways of fighting cold and flu viruses naturally.



Hot Lemon Ginger Cleansing Tea

For upset stomach or to help with detox, this lemon ginger cleansing tea is refreshing and soothing. I shared the recipe here in this post. Lemon boosts immunity, reduces indigestion and heartburn and soothes nerves. Ginger is inflammatory, encourages circulation and relaxes the intestinal tract which is why it helps with nausea.




Irish or English Breakfast Tea with Cinnamon

I’m a huge tea drinker, thanks to my English roots, and love flavored as well as black teas. But it wasn’t until I visited one of our local bakery and coffee shops that I was reminded that cinnamon with black tea is a rockstar combination. Cinnamon is inflammatory and contains antioxidants and also helps fight diseases and viruses.

There are two ways to make this: If you have loose leaf black tea, add a stick of cinnamon bark with the tea leaves while it is steeping. Or, if you’re using a tea bag, add a few dashes of cinnamon to your mug after removing the tea and stir thoroughly.




Green Matcha Tea

If you’ve never had matcha, it tastes like green tea (which it is!). But I like drinking it for its antioxidant, calming properties, yet it also improve energy and concentration. Occasionally, I’ll add in a splash of lime or lemon juice, but usually drink it straight up.

You can find matcha at Whole Foods or natural foods stores or you can get it here.


Besides these hot drinks, my favorite go to products for boosting my immunity and fighting virus are:

  • apple cider vinegar (ACV) Though I’ll occasionally sip a drink of diluted apple cider vinegar, I typically use it for sore throats by gargling with it. It’s most effective when used at the first sign of infection. If you’ve never tried apple cider vinegar before, it’s best to buy organic, raw ACV (Bragg’s is one of the brands I recommend). Cheaper, processed versions don’t have the same healing properties (and I think taste even worse LOL).


  • elderberry capsules Similar to ACV, elderberry capsules are best taken at the first sign of illness and are a natural way of boosting the immune system. I get mine through vitacost.com. If you want to see my other favorite products I buy at vitacost, click here to have it sent to your inbox.


  • essential oils My number one favorite is Thieves oil by Young Living which I get through a friend and my second favorite is Purification. I use both of these in our diffuser or apply to our skin. Another favorite for congestion is Olbas oil which usually can be found in natural foods stores. It contains a blend of oils including eucalyptus and I put it on our feet to suppress coughing, especially at night.



weeknight spinach tikka masala (vegan, dairy free, gluten free, soy free)

My love for Indian food – especially south Indian – has grown over the years and my favorite go-to curry sauce is this one. It’s one of the often-requested dishes from my boys (although they like chicken to go along with it…sigh). But, my girl…she’s a tough one! So far I haven’t won her over to that recipe, so you could have knocked me over with a feather when she actually liked this one. Praise the Lord.

If you’re looking for a quick-ish fresh meal to make and one that rocks leftovers – this one is it!



The sauce is the epitome of comfort food, Indian-style, with its warming spices and rich creaminess of the coconut milk. It gets an added nutrition boost from quick-cooking red lentils, which makes them ideally suited for weeknights, and freshly chopped spinach. It can be spooned over chickpeas or quinoa for added plant-protein or served traditionally with rice (brown is best). For our meal, I served it with oven roasted broccoli and green beans since those are two family favorites, but you can easily adapt your veggie add-ons to suit your tastes. Weeknight tip: use frozen veggies to save on chopping time!!



For a quick weeknight meal, I recommend following the preparation steps outlined in the recipe. Alternatively, you could prep the sauce ahead of time and simply re-heat when ready to serve.


weeknight spinach tikka masala
Cook Time
25 mins

Warm comfort food designed for weeknights and made for leftovers.

Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 people
Author: Andrea Anderson
For the tikka masala sauce
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 tsp freshly minced ginger or 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup red lentils
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
For the rest of the dish:
  • chickpeas, quinoa or rice
  • veggies of choice
  1. If you are serving with brown rice and don't have a rice- or pressure cooker, put a pot of water on to boil (like you would for pasta) and turn on the oven to 350 degrees F. If you are serving with quinoa, rinse thoroughly and add to pot with water. For less mushy quinoa use a scant 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa. For example, if you're cooking one cup of dried quinoa, add only 1 3/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Cooks in about 10 minutes.

  2. Spread your veggies on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven. Rinse lentils thoroughly and set aside.

  3. Begin to chop the veggies for the tikka masala sauce. If cooking rice, at whatever point in this process your water starts to boil, add in the rice and cook uncovered as you would pasta. Set the time for 23 minutes.

  4. Finish preparing the tikka masala sauce and add in the lentils. Bring the sauce to a boil, cover the pot, then reduce to a simmer.

  5. Chop spinach and take a peek at your veggies in the oven. When they start to brown slightly, turn the oven off. Keep them in the oven until ready to serve so they stay warm.

  6. When the timer beeps, test your rice for doneness, then either allow to cook for another minute or two or drain immediately and return to the pot.

  7. When the lentils are fully cooked (about 10-15 minutes), add in the spinach and cilantro and stir to combine.

  8. To serve, add quinoa/chickpeas/rice to a bowl along with the veggies and spoon the sauce over top.

  9. 9) Store leftovers in the fridge for up to several days or freeze for later.
Recipe Notes

Recipe Notes

  • I prefer buying my broccoli and green beans frozen to save me a step.
  • If you want leftovers, I recommend doubling the sauce recipe.



(contains affiliate links which help fund this blog at no cost to you 🙂 )

  • I’m able to buy my broccoli organically and in bulk from BJ’s (a wholesale club). If you don’t have a wholesale club membership and want to check BJ’s out, click here to get details on a membership (if you sign up we both get $25!!). Or, if you’re not sure if a wholesale club membership is worth it, you can download an article here where I share my experience and steps in evaluating whether a membership made sense for us.
  • You should be able to find canned full-fat coconut milk in most grocery stores. I buy either the Thai Kitchen brand or Whole Foods 365 coconut milk (which is better since their cans are BPA free!). However, if you can’t find it, try here.
  • I get my red lentils in bulk from Whole Foods, but you also can find them here.
  • I love Trader Joe’s frozen french-style green beans which is what I used here.




roasted carrot coconut ginger soup (vegan, dairy free, gluten free, soy free)

This roasted carrot coconut ginger soup absolutely hollers “fall” doesn’t it?

The bright orange color. The roasted root vegetables. The richness of the coconut milk and comforting heat of the ginger. Then add a sprinkle of spicy sweet pumpkin seeds and this is a meal and the sings. The inspiration for this soup came from similar versions I’ve seen in stores. But my version comes without the added oils that most store-bought varieties include and cutting back on added oils = a healthier you.

There are two extremely important lessons I learned when making the soup: 1) peel the carrots before roasting them. I merely scrubbed them to leave the nutrient-rich skin in tact, but found it gave a bitter overtone to the soup.



2) Be extremely careful if you puree hot soup in a blender. I overfilled mine to “speed up” the blending step which resulted in a big mess and a couple burns on my skin. Yep. Big time blender fail.



Also, when I made this soup, I pureed the roasted carrots, onions and ginger with the coconut milk and then put in my stock pot along with the water, seasonings and lentils.


However, you could try adding everything to the stock pot, bringing it to a boil, then simmering for at least 30 minutes before blending it. Doing it this way would save you an extra step.

If you want to serve your soup with the spicy sweet pumpkin seeds – something I highly recommend! – you can get that recipe when you purchase a copy of the Perk Up Your Pantry – Fall edition recipe ebook. Not only does it include the spicy sweet pumpkin seeds, but you’ll get:

  • 5 essential sauce recipes
  • 5 essential snack recipes
  • 5 easy main dish recipes
  • 3 fall-inspired bonus recipes
  • A shopping list of all ingredients

PLUS you’ll receive two bonus items: a meal prep tip sheet and a meal plan tip sheet which includes a suggested meal plan featuring the recipe in the Fall Perk Up Your Pantry recipe book. All for only $8! Click here to buy it now.



roasted carrot coconut ginger soup
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 15 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins

A soup that absolutely hollers, "fall." From it's bright orange color, warming heat and rich creaminess, it a perfect recipe to celebrate the season.

Course: Main Course, Soup
Author: Andrea Anderson
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 8-10 medium carrots, peeled, cut in half
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 14-oz can full fall coconut milk
  • 1/5-2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup red lentils, well rinsed
  • 4 cups water
  1. Place carrots cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet (avocado oil recommended) or one lined with parchment paper along with onions and garlic. Roast in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until carrots get a slight char on their cut sides.

  2. Remove from oven and add all ingredients to a stock pot, bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until lentils are cooked and carrots are very soft.

  3. Using a blender stick or traditional blender, carefully puree soup until very thick and smooth. Serve immediately or store in fridge for a day or two to let flavors further develop.

Recipe Notes

RECIPE NOTES:  Serve with spicy sweet pumpkin seeds for a fun twist and added crunch (in place of crackers)




(contains affiliate links which help fund this blog at no cost to you 🙂 )

  • You should be able to find canned full-fat coconut milk in most grocery stores. I buy either the Thai Kitchen brand or Whole Foods 365 coconut milk (which is better since their cans are BPA free!). However, if you can’t find it, try here.
  • I get my red lentils in bulk from Whole Foods, but you also can find them here.

Lemon Ginger Cleansing Tea (vegan, gluten free, no added sugar)


As part of the 5-Day Clean Eating Challenge, we’re encouraging our fellow challengers to stick to only one cup of tea or coffee per day and to drink a lot of water. So it seemed to make perfect sense to post a recipe for this cleansing “tea” that I love to make when my family and I are under the weather or just because.

I like to make the ginger infusion at least several hours before I’m ready to drink it for a stronger ginger flavor and I will juice several lemons at once and store the juice in the fridge for convenience. Both the ginger infusion and lemon juice will keep for about a week in the fridge. You may need to tweak the quantities and proportions in this recipe slightly depending on flavor preference of lemon to ginger.


Lemon Ginger Cleansing Tea

Lemon and ginger team up in this cleansing infusion to help boost immunity and soothe upset stomachs...or just because.

Course: Beverage
Author: Andrea Anderson
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon of roughly chopped ginger
  • 1-2 T lemon juice
  • water
  1. To make the ginger infusion, pour 2-3 cups of boiling water over ginger in a tempered glass measuring cup or bowl. When it’s cooled, transfer to a glass jar and let it steep several hours to overnight in the fridge.
  2. To make the tea, pour ¼-1/3 cup of the ginger infusion into an 8 oz. mug.
  3. Juice a lemon (or two) to yield 1-2 T of lemon juice. Add 1 T of the juice to the ginger infusion.
  4. Pour boiling water into the mug. Add the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice for a strong lemon flavor, if desired.
Recipe Notes

RECIPE NOTES: Pouring less water over the minced ginger will yield a stronger ginger flavor. The infusion keeps for about one week in the fridge if stored properly.

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