Make a scrumptious onion and sage soup today, and kill two birds with one stone – clear out onions from the veg box or fridge, and fight allergies at the same time! It might not be classic hay fever season, but our immune systems benefit from the boost that onions’ allergy-fighting nutrients bring to the table (or soup bowl!)

Onions are a rich source of the allergy-fighting nutrient quercetin, Other foods to work into daily eating could be red grapes, cranberries, spinach, watercress, celery, spinach, kale, tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries, peppers, plums, green beans, apricots, and the humble apple.

Another way to inoculate ourselves, not just from hay fever but from seasonal viruses, is to eat a teaspoon of locally produced honey daily – this exposes our immune system to the unique profile of local pollens in small amounts on a daily basis, building up a resistance as time progresses – the sooner in the year you can start, the better, so hit those farm shops or markets to catch the local producers. The immune-boosting benefits of raw, local honey are legendary too.

The stand out food easy to work into our daily diet, though, are all forms of onions. Fantastically healthy, and done in 30 minutes, start to finish, this soup is economical, nutritious, delicious, and this recipe serves one generously, two as a light lunch or starter.

Thinly slice 3-4 medium or 2 large white onions, season, and soften in a pan with a teaspoon of sugar and a little butter and rapeseed oil (around 15 minutes until opaque, golden and melting) Add a crushed garlic clove or two, a spoonful of flour, and a few sage leaves (or other herbs growing in the garden, or needing to be used; experiment!) Stir well, cooking for a minute or two to cook out the flour. Add chicken, beef or veg stock (500 mls or so) and cook through for a few more minutes until piping hot. Check seasoning, and serve with accompaniments of your choice (I make cheese toasties with organic parmesan bread and goats’ cheese, sliced into fingers for easy dipping) Most of all, enjoy!

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