Mushroom + Turmeric Immunity Broth

…. aka vegan bone broth, aka liquid, cold-crushing gold.

Upon the realization that almost every one of my friends, co-workers, acquaintances and family members were either fighting off a head cold or had contracted some sort of sinus infection fit for Satan himself, I decided it was time to step up my immunity game.

Unfortunately, I had my wisdom teeth extracted a couple of weeks ago (oh, the suffering), and was put on a round of antibiotics and bucketloads of pain killers, which left me feeling tired, bloated and weak… just in time for cold & flu season!

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I woke up with a sore throat that I made a batch of this magic broth elixir, but, I figured it would be a good time to test out its efficiency!

I’ve been drinking a cup a day of this stuff for three days, and I can say with confidence that, while it hasn’t knocked out my cold completely, I’ve been able to go out and function like a normal human, which I’m totally stoked about. This a recipe for those times when, damn it, you can not afford to get sick right now!

This recipe features a blend of immune-boosting mushrooms, antibacterial, cold-fighting herbs and spices and mineral-rich seaweed.

The star players here are fresh ginger root and turmeric root – both are anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial, as well as spicy and mucus-clearing. Oregano, garlic and parsley add antioxidant properties to round off this flu-season superhero.

The best thing about this broth, in my opinion, is that it’s actually freaking delicious. While yes, it is spicy, herbal-y, intensely ginger-y and garlic-y, it also has a rich depth of flavor and reminds me a lot of what I imagine bone broth to taste like. It’s also super low calorie, and optionally salt-free and oil-free. That being said, the 2 teaspoons of coconut oil used in the broth add richness and additional antimicrobial benefits.

The broth itself only takes about 10-15 minutes of prep time, but it requires three to four hours of simmer time, so plan ahead a bit! It’s totally worth it.

Ingredients:

4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 tbsp chopped fresh turmeric root
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger root 
1 oz dried mixed mushrooms (try to find a blend that includes shiitake, maitake or oyster mushrooms for their potent immune-boosting benefits)
2 four-inch pieces of kombu seaweed, wiped gently with a wet paper towel
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano 
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp organic coconut oil (optional)
2 tsp sea salt or Himalayan pink salt (optional)
12 cups filtered or spring water
1 cup organic vegetable broth (optional)

Directions:

  1. Begin by prepping your herbs, roots and spices.
  2. In a large soup pot, add coconut oil, garlic and onion, and sauté until translucent and fragrant.
  3. Add in vegetable broth, ginger and turmeric and bring to a low boil.
  4. After about five minutes, add in the rest of your ingredients, but start with only four cups of water.
  5. Bring to a rolling boil at high heat, then reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so.
  6. After an hour, check the broth and add another four cups of water.
  7. Another hour later, add the final four cups of water, and let simmer for another hour.
  8. After the three hours of simmer time are up, strain your broth into a large mason jar or glass container. You can save the mushrooms if you’d like, but they’ll just taste like the rest of the soup – we’ve drained them of most of their flavor and benefits!
  9. Optionally, you can add more water or vegetable broth, as well as salt and pepper to adjust the soup to your desired potency!
  10. Enjoy this broth in abundance, especially while sick, and garnish with a lemon wedge and/or cayenne pepper, because we’re just fancy like that 😉
  11. Because of all the antibacterial ingredients in this soup, it can last up to a week in the fridge, but you’ll probably want to drink it all up before then. It will freeze beautifully as well.

Enjoy! ❤

Adaptogenic Miso Soup

Miso soup

I’ve always enjoyed a little “funk” in my food. Shout-out to any and all fermented veggies, home-made vegan cheeses, wild mushrooms, brine-y olives and what some would call… excessive… amounts of garlic and onion.

I could probably sit and devour an entire jar of kimchi in one sitting….

Anyway.

This soup is salty, spicy, umami and, most importantly, full of minerals and beneficial properties.

You can play around with it and add pretty much whatever you like: Green onion, steamed veggies, leafy greens like spinach or kale, the possibilities are endless!

I kept it pretty simple with this one, mainly because I’m partial to the purity of plain miso broth, and I wanted this to be more of a sipping broth/in-between meals kind of situation.

You can also experiment with different kinds of miso paste such as brown rice, red or sweet white miso. I use chickpea miso for most of my recipes, because it has a saltier, milder, less sweet flavor than other miso pastes I’ve tried.

For this soup, I use whole dried cordyceps mushroom.

Cordyceps is a wonderful medicinal mushroom, boasting countless benefits including the support of lung health, adrenal balance, stress response, immune system function and energy utilization.

Cordyceps is a Jing-nourishing herb, making it wonderful for those with drained energy reserves. You could eat this soup for breakfast as well, especially with the mild energy you may experience from this mushroom.

One interesting thing to note about cordyceps mushroom is that it typically grows on insects and larvae by taking over the brain and central nervous system, causing the host to act in accordance with the fungi’s biological agenda.

cordyceps mushroom

Luckily, the cordyceps mushrooms I use are not grown on insects but organic brown rice, making them vegan-friendly. Yay!

They have a very mushroom-y flavor, which I personally really enjoy in this soup. The hot broth softens them up as well, which makes eating them much more pleasant.

If you can’t find whole cordyceps mushrooms, you could substitute them with 1/4 tsp cordyceps mushroom extract powder.

One last thing to note about this recipe is that when making miso soup, it’s best not to heat the miso to extreme temperatures due to its high enzyme and probiotic content. I usually use water that’s just the perfect sipping temperature to make this recipe. It very easily remains raw by keeping temperatures under 118° F.

This recipe is super quick, and only takes as long as it takes your water to heat up.

Ingredients:

12 oz hot but not boiling filtered or spring water 
1 tsp (or a hefty pinch) dried cordyceps mushroom strands
1 tbsp chickpea miso paste 
1/4 tsp aged garlic extract
1 tbsp dried wakame seaweed
3/4 tsp tamari
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
1 tsp fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 tsp kimchi juice or your favorite fermented hot sauce to taste
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Begin by adding miso paste, along with all ingredients – besides the seaweed, sesame seeds and cordyceps mushrooms – to your favorite mug or bowl.
  2. Add a splash of cold water and mix vigorously until a smooth paste is achieved.
  3. Add the mushrooms and seaweed to the broth base.
  4. Pour the hot water over the rest of the ingredients and stir gently to combine.
  5. Top with extra sesame oil and sesame seeds for garnish.

Enjoy! ❤