Last week, I came down with the nasty strain of flu that is going around. It was a great opportunity for me to practice self-care, as well as experiment with some new recipes and homemade herbal remedies. So, today, I wanted to share a recipe for my new favorite healing soup, which I basically lived on while I was sick and which helped me kick the flu much more quickly than everyone around me. It has turmeric for its anti-inflammatory benefits; coconut oil, ginger, onion, oregano and lemon for their anti-bacterial qualities; miso for a healthy dose of probiotics to boost your digestive system (since good health starts in the gut); daikon radish, fresh parsley and fresh cilantro for their detoxifying properties; shiitake mushrooms and lots of fresh greens for their immune boosting benefits; and chickpeas for a boost of fiber, protein and iron.
ALICIA'S VEGETABLE VITALITY SOUP
Serves 1 (I prefer to make this fresh each time I eat it, but feel free to make larger batches at once so you can easily re-heat the leftovers)
1 t coconut oil
1/4 t ground turmeric
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, finely diced (or 1/4 tsp dry)
1/4 t fresh oregano (optional, but it has great anti-bacterial properties)
1/4 white or yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 c vegetable stock (store-bought or homemade)
1/2 c cooked chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
1 T sweet white miso (if you are sensitive to soy, substitute with chickpea miso)
I like the following vegetables best, but you can substitute the following with any veggies that you like:
1/4 c daikon radish, peeled and sliced into half-moons
1/4 c carrot, sliced
1/4 c shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c zucchini, sliced into half-moons
1/2 c kale, chard, bok choy, or collard greens (or a combination), chopped into bite-size pieces
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
In a pot or sauce pan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add in the turmeric, ginger, oregano (if using) and onion, and saute until the onion is soft. Next, add in the daikon, carrot, shiitake mushrooms and 1 Tablespoon vegetable stock, and saute until vegetables are soft. You can keep adding vegetable stock as needed.
Add in the chickpeas, kale and remaining vegetable stock, and simmer over medium-high heat until the broth is hot and the kale is cooked (about 5 minutes). Remove the soup from the heat and turn off the burner.
Strain (or spoon) a little bit of the hot vegetable broth into a bowl and add in the miso. Stir until the miso is fully dissolved in the water, then add the mixture back into the pan and stir to combine. DO NOT HEAT OR BOIL the soup once the miso has been added or you will kill off the beneficial probiotics in the miso.
Pour desired amount of soup into a bowl (you can re-use the bowl you mixed the miso in), and garnish with scallion, parsley and cilantro. Add a fresh squeeze of lemon on top. Season to taste with salt and pepper...and a sprinkling of gratitude for the health and vitality that this food will bring to your body.
**When I'm sick, I prefer to stick with very light soups, but if you're really hungry or want a heartier meal, you can also stir in some cooked rice or quinoa, or double up on the chickpeas. If you're on a paleo diet or are sensitive to grains or legumes, throw in some cooked chicken instead.
If you're on a budget or don't have all of these ingredients on hand, simply saute up whatever vegetables you do have (or thaw some frozen veggies) and add in some veggie broth and a protein of your choice (beans or chicken). Garnish with at least one fresh (or dried) herb if possible.