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Eleuthero, formerly called Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), enhances recovery, supports effective athletic training, and increases resilience to stress. If you have a soy allergy, you can substitute with chickpea or azuki bean miso. You can also omit the tofu and serve this as a broth, or substitute with “tofu” made from chickpea flour. For those who need more immune system support, add astragalus root instead of, or in addition to, the eleuthero. Avoid this soup if you’re taking blood thinners.
Yield: 4 servings.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄4 cup dried eleuthero root
- 3-inch knob fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced
- 6 cups water
- 8 ounces firm silken tofu, cubed
- 4 tablespoons miso paste, divided
- 1 small bunch scallions, chopped
- Add olive oil, garlic, and turmeric to a small pot, and warm over medium heat until garlic is fragrant, about 3 to 4 minutes. Meanwhile, lay eleuthero root onto a piece of cheesecloth and tie into a loose bundle. (This will save you the step of having to strain the broth later, but if you don’t have any cheesecloth, it’s OK to skip this step and simply strain the broth after Step 3.)
- Add sliced ginger root to the pot and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add water and eleuthero root bundle. Cover the pot and bring to a rolling boil. Then, reduce heat to a simmer and partially uncover the pot. Allow broth to simmer until the total volume is reduced by 1/4, after about 20 minutes or so.
- Remove the eleuthero bundle, add tofu to the hot broth, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tofu is warmed through.
- To serve, spoon 1 tablespoon miso paste into each serving bowl. Add a full ladle of hot, but not boiling, broth to each bowl, and use the back of a spoon to help the miso paste dissolve evenly into the broth. Add broth until each bowl is full (approximately 1 cup per bowl), and garnish each bowl with a heaping tablespoon of chopped fresh scallions.
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Melanie St. Ours is a clinical herbalist specializing in women’s health and mental health. These recipes are excerpted from her book The Simple Guide to Natural Health: From Apple Cider Vinegar Tonics to Coconut Oil Body Balm, 150+ Home Remedies for Health and Healing. She is the founder of Psyche & Soma LLC, the home of her private herbal practice since 2012.