One-Pot Vegetable Soup: for Chronic Inflammation

One-Pot Vegetable Soup: for Chronic Inflammation


This is a one-pot soup that is cooked in just half a teaspoon of olive oil with garlic, onions, bay leaf, star anise, minimal salt, lots of vegetables of your choice, my preferred being zucchini and red peppers. I drizzle a lot of extra virgin olive oil on top and dried herbs for added flavour. Here’s a breakdown on why the above ingredients are chosen:

Star Anise: Since ancient times, star anise was a key ingredient to relieve body pains, swelling and arthritis. The compounds found in this spice include vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbbohydrates, antioxidants that decrease inflammation of muscles, joints, and skin by “inhibiting cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme. COX-2 is one of the main regulating enzymes of the inflammatory response which activates production of inflammation lipids prostaglandins and proteins (cytokines)”

Bay leaf: is known for soothing digestive track and avoid stomach disorders. A key to easing chronic inflammation is taking care of your gut. This leaf is known also for anti-inflammatory properties and relieving joint pains.

Garlic and Onion: both are aromatics that help stimulate the body senses – they contains diallyl disulfide, an anti-inflammatory compound that limits the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines

The Recipe


  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ star anise
  • ½ medium onion, chopped or sliced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup chopped vegetables, bite-sized (carrot, zucchini, bell peppers)
  • 3 cups water
  • (optional to add cooked lentils, chickpeas, rice, noodles or whole grain such as quinoa or barley towards the end, of cook along with the vegetables)


  • In a medium stock pot, warm the olive oil with garlic, onion and bay leaf and cook on low heat
  • Allow the garlic to sauté and become fragrant and then add the vegetables with salt and stir
  • Then add the star anise and water
  • Stir and let cook for 10 minutes
  • You can eat the soup as is, or remove the bay leaf and star anise and crush
  • Eat warm.

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.