Growing up I remember watching on TV people bringing people soup when they were sick. Now with being an adult, whenever I make a soup I often reminisce of these shows and think about how can I make this soup a healing and supportive contribution for those who will be hopefully enjoying it.
Over the last month or so, with the up and down weather patterns we have been having here in Minnesota, I’ve had much more opportunity to make soups and practice my skills with the various common healing herbs found in the kitchen, as well as some not-so-common ones. The nice thing is that you can now easily find Bone Broths in most grocery stores, and this is easily used to create a quick, healthy soup in just a few minutes. Here is an example of the healing-style soup I’ve made recently, with many options as I change it up each time I make it. While this recipe has many ingredients listed – it is actually very easy, sometimes I might leave some out, or add others in, based on what I have in the cupboard and what I and the people who will be eating have going on. Notice I don’t put much of each herb in, and instead, we are infusing the benefits of the herbs into the oil at the beginning which will also help to bring it deeper into the body. Additionally, I use a nice blend of plants and herbs that naturally contain a variety of cannabinoids to help influence the endocannabinoid system which helps with homeostasis for the entire body.
Prep Time: about 10 or 15-minutes
Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes
Total Time: 40-45 minutes
Mу Base Hеаling Sоuр (for Fall/Vata Season)
Stер 1 – Influsing thе Oil
Stаrt with a big роt, 4-quart оr lаrgеr оn low hеаt. Start bу adding thе ghее and oil, аnd оnсе thе ghee hаѕ mеltеd then аdd in thе hеrbѕ, ѕtirring occasionally аnd аt thе end аdding thе veggies аnd mushrooms. Take your time, аnd whilе putting in еасh ingrеdiеnt, think аbоut hоw this ѕоuр will bе hеаling fоr аll that еаt it. Fееl jоу in уоurѕеlf whilе mаking it, and mауbе do a little prayer over the diѕh once everything iѕ in thеrе.
about 1 Tbsp of Ghee
about 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil (or you could use Coconut for the Medium-Chain Triglycerides and their fat-burning effect)
1 tsp Turmeric (warming for the digestive system, cooling for the rest of the body hence why it’s good for inflammation – also helps digest proteins)
several cracks of Black Pepper (black pepper helps make turmeric up to 2,000x’s more bioavailable – also contains cannabinoids, BCP for CB2 receptors)
1/4 tsp of Red Chili Flakes (warming – if it’s a particularly chilly day, 1/2 tsp)
about 1/2 tsp of grated ginger (warming – may be up to 1 tsp if it’s really chilly outside, or more congestion, or for joint/muscle issues – also contains cannabinoids)
1/2 tsp Rosemary (great for the memory, also contains cannabinoids, BCP for CB2 receptors – also great for issues of addiction)
1/4 tsp Fennel Seed (or maybe 1/2 tsp if people seem pretty tense)
1/4 tsp Cumin Seed
1/4 tsp Coriander Seed (Cumin, Coriander, and Fennel is CCF tea btw)
1/4 tsp brown/black Mustard Seed
1/2 tsp Thyme (lots of great benefits and some nice terpenes for the endocannabinoid system)
optional 1/4 tsp of Black Seed (I use this if there’s a lot of sickness going around in the community, considered a “panacea for everything except death”)
1/2 tsp of either Basil or Tulsi (Holy Basil) (Tulsi is great for the lungs, adrenals, and thyroid, Basil has similar properties though not as potent. Tulsi also enhances cannabinoids.)
optional 1/2 tsp Bacopa (Ayurvedic nootropic)
1/2 tsp of Sage (if people are seeming a little more on the congested or heavy side)
1/4 tsp of Ajwain (helps with excess gassiness)
1 to 2 tsp of Onion Powder or you could use chopped onion, but use more (great for congestion) – sometimes will use even 3 or 4 tsp of Onion Powder
1/4 tsp of garlic granules (or maybe a fresh clove chopped if you have it)
1 Tbsp Hemp Hearts (contains over 80 different cannabinoids like CBD, CBC, CBG, and CBN)
1 tsp Pumpkin Seeds (high in Zinc)
a few stigmas of Saffron
3 or 4 sticks of Ashwagandha (or if the powder, 1/2 tsp) (helps “bestow the strength of a horse”, and works synergistically with cannabinoids)
2 or 3 carrots, cut (carrots also contain cannabinoids that work both in CB1 and CB2. The sweetness of carrots are great in the fall to help prepare for the winter to come.)
about a 1/4 cup of 1/2 to 1-inch cut green beans
1 or 2 stalks of celery, cut
about 1/4 cup of Asparagus
about 1/2 cup of loosely broken up Shitake, Oyster, and maybe some other nice mushrooms. (Note: Oyster mushrooms have a similar texture to chicken thigh meat, so a great thing if you’re making this a vegetarian dish that meat-eaters will also be partaking in)
Side Notes: Sometimes I’ll add beets (if people are feeling heavy/lethargic, have a blue tinge to their tongues, or spleen-type issues, or iron deficiency issues). If someone has blood sugar issues/diabetes, I might add in 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. Sometimes I might also add cubes of squashes like Zucchini or Acorn or other things I have around. The big thing to realize… a little bit of each herb, when infused into the oil, can have a big effect overall and so a little bit goes a long way (like the other day I added just a little bit of lemon peel, but you couldn’t taste it because it was only 1/4 tsp and the other flavors helped to mask it). Additionally, many herbs work synergetically together. The flavors I want to come out more, like the rosemary, sage, and thyme (more the traditional flavors of a midwestern soup), I put a little bit more in so those flavors are more apparent.
Step 2 – Add the Broth and a few other things
Once the herbs are infused into the oil… about the time that you start smelling the herbs opening up, turn the burner on High and add the broth and other ingredients. Keep on High until the broth begins to boil. Once this comes to a boil, turn to a Medium-Low or Low for about 20 to 30-minutes or so… basically enough time for the soup to heat up and its flavors to meld together.
32oz Organic Chicken or Beef Bone Broth (or you can just use standard Broths, Chicken, Beef, or Veggie)
1/8 tsp of Asafoetida (similar properties to onion, very high in sulfur – in magical practices some use it for exorcisms)
1 leaf of seaweed broken up (I personally like Kambu or Wakame)
1 Tbps Nutritional Yeast
2 or 3 Bay Leaves
2 tsp of Sea Salt, Himalayan Salt, or Celtic Sea Salt (important for electrolyte balance)
Some type of pasta, maybe some ravioli, spaetzle, egg noodles, possibly homemade dumplings, or some grains like Job’s Tears, Barley, various rices (white basmati is the easiest to digest and high in B-Vitamins, though wild rices can add some nice textures) and split Mung Dahl. I normally stay clear of most beans as they can increase gas, and contra-indicated during fall, but might be nice in winter or spring when there is heavy snow and dampness. I would maybe use cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, and other Vata increasing foods in later winter/early spring (Kapha season).
you may need to add a little extra water. I add filtered water at the end till it’s about 1-1/2 to 2 inches from the top of the pot.
Side Notes: Sometimes I’ll add (once I put in the broth) a frozen chicken breast, or thigh after adding in the broth (and remove shortly before it’s done to chop up and then re-add it to the soup), or maybe some shrimp or possibly fish.
Overall, don’t be afraid of making a nice healing soup for you, your family, or even your neighbors or coworkers. Realize — food is medicine, and if you know the properties of the various things you put into something, you can work on enhancing your meal for you and your loved ones, and while the soup likely won’t completely fix an issue, it can go a long way in being a supportive contribution to better health and wellness.