It’s never too early to boost the immune system. In fact, the best time to kick up your natural disease-fighting power is before you start to feel dragged down. I’m feeling pretty good lately but I know that flu season is around the corner and these short fall days take a toll on me so this morning I whipped up a pot of soup. Not just any soup, a super soup.
Miso Super Soup
Makes about 6 cups of soup.
Miso is a Japanese fermented paste typically made from soybeans. It is high in protein, manganese, and is a great source of the immune-boosting probiotics lactic acid and lactobacillus. Miso comes in many varieties but the overall flavor profile is sweet, salty, and earthy.
Start the soup by mincing a small onion and as much garlic and ginger as you can stand.
Sautee onions, garlic, and ginger in 2 teaspoons coconut oil and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil in a stock pot over medium heat.
The antiviral qualities of coconut oil make it an excellent addition to any immune strengthening meal.
Once the onion become translucent, add 3 cups of water to the pot.
Look in your fridge and cupboards. Pull out veggies and chop them. Include some root veggies for texture and carby comfort, some hot peppers for their anti-inflammatory and circulatory qualities, and dark leafy greens for their superior levels of nutrients and antioxidants.
I used 1 small yellow beet, 1 medium purple potatoes, 2 carrots, a few green beans (the last of the garden beans!), a homegrown jalapeno, and a big handfull homegrown baby collards and kale. The only thing missing was mushrooms, shitakes would have taken this soup up a big notch in flavor and immune uplifting potential. I highly recommend you add mushrooms. 🙂
Add all your veg except the greens to your broth base.
Add a handful of chopped dried seaweed to the pot.
I used kelp that I cut up with kitchen scissors but arame or wakame would also work well. Seaweed is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat and its flavor complements miso beautifully.
Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes and test the slowest cooking vegetable (for me it was the beets) for tenderness, if tender turn off, if not cook for a few more minutes and check again.
When all of the vegetables are soft, turn off the burner, stir in the greens, and let sit for a few minutes uncovered. Scoop off about a cup of broth and whisk 3 tablespoons of miso into it.
Incorporate miso concentrate back into the pot and taste test. Bland? Repeat the scoop, whisk, back into the pot process until the broth is the perfect saltiness for your liking. Too salty? Just add a little water. Personal preference and type of miso will determine how much to use.
Serve immediately or re-heat when you are ready to serve but do not boil. Boiling miso will destroy many of the beneficial enzymes (which is why we add the miso after removing the soup from the heat). Like most soups, this one gets even better with time and it will keep for several days in the refrigerator.
Note: Miso and seaweed can both be purchased from an asian food specialty store or Whole Foods. Miso should be sold in the refrigerated section and should be stored in the fridge at home. If you are new to miso you may want to start with the lightest colored one you can find, as it will also have the most mild and sweet flavor.