This cold-weather soup features astragalus, a therapeutic Chinese herb noted for its powerful prana- and immune-enhancing qualities.
5 cups vegetable stock or broth
1 ounce astragalus root slices (about 7 sticks dried herb)
5 garlic cloves, sliced or whole (keep whole if you wish to remove them from the soup)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1⁄2 cup sliced carrots, turnips, or daikon radish
1⁄2 pound soba noodles
1⁄2 cup sunflower or mung bean sprouts
1⁄2 cup chopped scallions
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. In a large soup pot, combine the stock, astragalus, garlic, ginger, and carrots.
2. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer about 1 hour, or until the vegetables are tender. Meanwhile, cook the soba noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. When the soup is done, stir in the noodles, sprouts, scallions, salt, and pepper.
4. Remove the astragalus and discard. If desired, remove the garlic cloves. Serve immediately.
330 calories, 5g fat, 57g carbohydrates, 15g protein