Today was a perfect day for a warming immune boost soup. My family raked up the last of the cherry leaves from our yard and my husband needed a warming and enriching soup to help him fight his common cold. I decided to use lots of garlic, onions and leaks for their antiviral and antibacterial properties. I chose ginger root to improve circulation and to sooth and drain mucus membranes, particularly helpful for common cold symptoms. Shiitake mushrooms added an extra immune boost as they contain compounds that inhibit viruses from multiplying and have anti-cancer properties. I topped off the soup with lots of bok choy to add some crunch and lots of vitamins and minerals for healthy bones and muscles. Organic chicken broth was my base for its richness in flavor, though you can easily add vegetable or mushroom broth. Add fresh crushed garlic to your soup just before serving if you need more of an immune boost. Fresh garlic is more antiviral and antibacterial and will ward off anyone from getting too close to you if you are sick, thereby preventing others from getting sick! Chalk it up to you just looking out for the common good. Serves well with baked fish or tofu and a fresh salad. Feel free to modify the recipe by adding tofu or a poached egg for extra protein, which is also important for a healthy immune system.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
5 large cloves garlic, diced
2 leaks, rinse, remove the fibrous tops and root and thinly slice
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons ginger root, peeled and diced
1 cup fresh Shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 cups bok choy, chopped
8 cups chicken, vegetable or mushroom broth
fresh ground pepper and sea salt, if needed, to taste
- In a large soup pot over medium heat, saute the onion, leek, garlic and ginger in the olive oil. Saute until the onion is translucent, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add the sesame oil, pepper, and Shiitake mushrooms and saute for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the broth to the soup pot. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, allowing for the ginger to release its medicinal properties and flavors to infuse the broth. Remove from heat and toss in the bok choy just before serving.