Immune Boosting Fall Broth
While summer won't officially be over for a few more weeks, it's clear that the season is changing. It gets darker earlier, the nights and mornings are cool and if you tune in the energy is slower, more deliberate, more internal.
During the change of season from summer to fall I like to make a nourishing fall broth that is loaded with nutrition, and full of herbs that nourish and boost the immune system and protect the lungs. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has for thousands of years understood the importance of changing our eating habits as the seasons change. One of the most important points at this time of year is to eat more cooked food and slow down on the raw foods and smoothies. Soups, stews, curries and other warming foods and teas are excellent during this time of year and through the winter months.
This recipe features a few of the herbs used in TCM and a few others that I've used successfully for years with my family.
organic chicken or grass fed beef bones-- added bonus if the beef bones are marrow bones.
1 tbs organic apple cider vinegar to help draw out all of the minerals from the bones
1 tbs (or 3-4 sticks) organic astragalus root: this is a popular herb used in TCM and Western herbal medicine. This root enhances and supports the immune system so beautifully. According to TCM it enhances something called wei qi (pronounced way chee). Wei qi is the protective element that helps prevent illness caused by external pathogens. Modern research has also validated what the Chinese have known for thousands of years, which is that astragalus root helps to increase our NK cells, which are a type of red blood cell that helps protect your body from viruses.
1 tbs organic goji berries: another favourite in TCM these pretty red berries are loaded with antioxidants and help protect your cells from various forms of damage. Energetically goji berries are warming and sweet. These qualities help nourish the spleen which supports optimal digestive function. In TCM it is known as a nutritive tonic for the liver, kidneys and blood so this little berry is just an all around good time!
fresh organic turmeric root (about the size of your thumb or larger): most people are familiar with this orange root but in case you're not, it's amazing for the liver, it's a strong antioxidant, and it helps reduce inflammation. In order for it to be medicinally active it needs to be combined wth heat and fat, which is always the context in which it has been used in traditional cooking practices.
fresh organic ginger root (about the size of your thumb or larger): this aromatic root is warming, anti-inflammatory, is a lymphatic cleanser, and has antimicrobial properties, just to name but a few of its wonderful health benefits.
1 organic onion, chopped into 4 pieces
5-6 organic garlic cloves
3-4 stalks of organic celery
salt and pepper to taste
organic and/or wild mushrooms of all kinds! Throw in whatever you can find as all mushrooms are excellent for the immune system. For added medicinal benefit try working with reishi, turkey tail, chaga and lion's mane. I throw a bunch of each into all of my stocks and soups during the fall and winter months.
Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 4-8 hours. You can drink this broth on its own or use it to cook rice, or as a base of other soups and stews.
I get most of my herbs from Harmonic Arts. For 15% off your entire order use discount code: RenataM15
I typically source my wild mushrooms from Forbes Wild Foods.