Wednesday, December 13

Soup for Body and Soul

This week I had to postpone two root canals (oh darn!) because I have a sinus thing/chest cold going (it would be hard to have my mouth crammed with fingers and dental tools when I can't even breath through my nose.) I'm taking all kinds of goodies for it: echinacea, osha, occiloccinum, garlic tea, kill-the-cold hot drink, hot baths ... that old phrase, "Feed a cold starve a fever" (or is it the other way around?) keeps running through my head though nothing sounds appetizing to me right now.

I guess I'm hungry though ... so I'm going to cook up some Immune Soup. This is a recipe from Thia, the wellness manager at the Bozeman Community Food Coop. We live in Helena but we are members of the Bozeman Coop because we have no coop in Helena (sad but true) and we support the concept and mission of food coops over for-profit natural food stores. Unfortunately we can only shop at "our" coop once every couple of months, but when we do, we really stock up.

Here is Thia's recipe for delicious Basic Immune Soup:

5 cloves of garlic
2 medium onions
1 T olive oil
8 broken shiitake mushrooms
2 pieces astragalus
1 reishi mushroom
½ c up each chopped broccoli, cabbage, carrots
1 small handful of sea vegetables (kelp, dulse, wakame, kombu)
(optional) 1 3# hormone-free, cooked chicken with skin removed
(optional) 1 cup cooked beans, barley or brown rice

Chop garlic and onions. Saute’ in olive oil until just brown. Add chopped vegetables and astragalus. Break reishi mushrooms into small pieces and to pan. Add shiitake mushrooms and water to make the desired consistency. Add sea vegetables.

If desired, simmer the chicken in the soup. Add cooked beans, barley, or brown rice. Simmer for 2 hours. Make miso paste: Remove ¼ cup of broth and add 1 teaspoon of miso FOR EVERY CUP OF WATER you add to the soup. Add miso paste to water, and mix thoroughly.

Remove astragalus and reishi mushroom pieces from soup; their therapeutic value has already been added through simmering. Serve soup hot and enjoy.

Slurp your soup from a bowl and use chopsticks to eat the mushrooms and other solid ingredients. Here (left) is a little diversion to get your creative juices flowing again (I know being sick can drain those juices real fast ...)

I must have been thinking about the Food Coop because I had planned to make a shopping trip there while in Bozeman today for my root canal work (Helenans have to travel 90 minutes or so to Bozeman for root canals) -- shopping at the food coop is a great pleasure, even though I generally don't like grocery shopping (or any kind of shopping, for that matter) so it's my way of making a less-than-ideal situation pleasurable. Anyway, I thought I'd check the coop's website to see what kind of specials they have this week -- and I found this delicious sounding soup.

As Thia wrote, "You don’t have to have health problems to benefit from an excellent immune-strengthening diet." Enjoy good health and Thia's delicious Immune Soup.

And if you like soup, making soup or eating soup, PCC (a co-op I belong to from the early 70s in Seattle) has an excellent list of soup recipes here.