Healing Soups: Immunity-Boosting Winter Soup

Fortify yourself against colds and flu with this soup recipe.


  • Fortify yourself against colds and flu with a palette of healing plants.
    Susan Belsinger

Makes 6 to 8 servings

If you prefer less heat, use just a pinch or two of cayenne instead of the chiles. Feel free to add other ingredients you have on hand or use whatever you like best.

• Large handful dandelion greens
• 2 quarts water
• 1 stick astragalus root, broken in half 2-inch piece gingerroot, peeled and grated or chopped fine (about 2½ tablespoons)
• 1 small dried cayenne chile pepper,stemmed and seeded, diced fine
• 1 whole garlic bulb, peeled and thinly sliced
• About 1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, broken or chopped coarsely (about ½ cup chopped)
• 1 teaspoon turmeric
• 1 large sweet potato, diced into small cubes (between 3 and 4 cups)
• 1 tablespoon packed dried calendula florets, minced
• 2 generous teaspoons dried thyme leaves, minced
• 1 cup diced red or yellow bell pepper
• Couple pinches cinnamon
• 1 bunch spinach, cleaned (about
• 2 cups packed leaves, coarsely chopped)
• Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1) To prepare dandelion: Rinse greens thoroughly. Remove and chop stems, then coarsely chop leaves. Keep chopped leaves separate from chopped stems. Set aside.



2) In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, combine water, astragalus, ginger, cayenne, garlic, shiitake and turmeric. Cover and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3) Add sweet potato, stir, cover and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes. Add minced herbs, bell pepper and cinnamon. Stir well, cover and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, adding dandelion stems after 3 or 4 minutes.



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