Autumnal Adaptogen Soup
Nourish your body during the changing of the seasons with this adaptogenic powerhouse featuring warming ginger, anti-inflammatory turmeric, immune-stimulating shiitake mushrooms, mineral-packed kombu seaweed, circulation-enhancing and congestion-clearing cayenne, and vitamin C-rich parsley!
This soup relies on a rich infusion of astragalus root*, a potent adaptogenic herb containing a number of key constituents, including flavonoids, saponins, and polysaccharides. Find astragalus root at your local health food store, Chinese market, or herbal dispensary. Used in traditional Asian medicine as a powerful disease fighter, astragalus is protective against stress (both mental and physical), boosts the immune system, and decreases inflammation. Not bad for a humble root!
As we transition into a colder season where our bodies are more vulnerable, astragalus offers extra fortification to help us meet winter with vitality!
*CAUTION: Pregnant and nursing mothers should not use astragalus.
Autumnal Adaptogen Soup
- 5 slices of dried astragalus root
- 1 four-inch strip of kombu seaweed (optional)
- In a large saucepan, add three cups of water along with astragalus and kombu.
- Allow mixture to simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove and compost the astragalus and kombu.
- Prepare the remaining ingredients while the infusion simmers.
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
- 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil
- 1 tsp ground turmeric (or 1 Tbsp fresh turmeric, grated)
- 1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2-3 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne (optional)
- 1 bunch kale, chard, or any other dark, leafy green, shredded
- 6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 12 c chicken OR vegetable broth (+ 1/3 c miso paste, optional)
- 1 large bunch fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Sauté vegetables in oil on medium heat, 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat and add garlic, dried herbs and spices, salt, and cayenne, if your family enjoys a bit of heat!
- Add mushrooms, greens, strained astragalus infusion, and broth (if using veggie stock, reserve miso paste).
- Bring to boil, then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
- If using miso: In a small bowl, combine miso and a few tablespoons of warm broth. Slowly add more broth, mixing between each addition, until you have about a cup of thickened liquid. Incorporate into pot, stirring until well-combined. Do not overheat the soup! The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods like miso are destroyed by boiling.
- Taste for seasoning. Add more salt or miso, if necessary. Alternatively, the flavour can be diluted by adding a little water, a half cup at a time until desired taste is achieved.
- To serve, top each bowl with a handful of freshly-chopped parsley.
To take the soup next level, add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to heighten the flavours and bring out the minerals in the greens!