My favorite way to use natural medicine (often in the form of food) is not when I am unwell but rather to stay healthy. And homemade miso soup is one simple and elegant way to keep you healthy during the winter season. Your true medicinal apothecary is the kitchen: functional food is functional medicine.
You can make miso soup as simple or as complex as you would like. It can be as basic as just miso in hot water or you can add all the ingredients below for a full-body immune boost. It’s easy and quick!
What's In Miso Soup That Makes It So Healthy?
Miso is a fermented food loaded with enzymes, minerals and immune strengthening benefits. Eating miso on a regular basis is a great way to help alkalize the body and bring it back to a balanced state. The lighter misos are sweeter, and the darker ones are fermented longer and have a deeper flavor. South River makes amazing misos in Conway Massachusetts (you've probably seen them around).
Shiitake Mushrooms are an immune-boosting powerhouse that have antiviral and anti-tumor properties. They also help to lower cholesterol and are delicious too!
Wakame Seaweed is a highly nutritious food rich with minerals and an excellent source of iron, magnesium, calcium, and iodine. Wakame has an alkalizing effect on the body and is also a great cancer fighting food.
Astragalus Root is a tradition herb that helps to energize the body and boost the immune system. It is a perfect herb for individuals who get sick often. It helps to tonify the immune system on a very deep level and replenish your well being from within. It also tastes great and is easy to cook with because you can buy the root in long flat thin strips and add it to your soup water when you turn the pot on and fish it out to compost when your soup is done.
Onion and Garlic are a medicine cabinet all by themselves: From treating high blood pressure to fighting the common cold to protecting yourself from cancer the benefits from these spicy white foods are abundant. Not to mention the great taste they bring to any soup.
How to Whip Up An Immune-Boosting Bowl:
Bring to a boil a soup pot full of water.
- 1 handful of astragalus root slices
- 7 fresh shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 chopped onion
- Several garlic cloves crushed
- 1 small handful dried wakame,
Simmer a few minutes. Take it off the stove.
Add 1 Tablespoon of miso paste to your bowl and pour the hot soup over the miso and gently swirl to dissolve the miso. Do not boil the miso as it destroys the beneficial enzymes!
Enjoy a deeply nourishing bowl to boost your immune system after a long day.