Staying Healthy in cold & flu season – Naturally! (Part 2): Immune Boosting Soup Recipe

Staying Healthy in cold & flu season – Naturally! (Part 2)


Immune-System boosting soup - Mmmmm

As we enter (gently so far this year thanks to a generous Mother Nature) into fall, we'll soon begin to notice the signs of seasons changing. Shorter days, leaves turning beautiful yellows, oranges and reds, and of course the chill that meets us in the morning when we open the door. And then there’s the less pleasant part: scratchy throats, runny noses… there’s no doubt it’s that time of year again – cold & flu season!

There is a lot we can do, herbs, supplements, a nice hot bath to help overcome illness more quickly and even to help stave off the bugs before they hit. One very nice soothing way, as we all remember grandma telling us, is with a delicious bowl of soup! There are so many health benefits that can be imparted by the correct ingredients in the right combinations! This is a delicious soup containing several immune boosting foods to help you and your family get through the coming months with minimum down time.


  • 5 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock

  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely

  • 4-10 Cloves of garlic, minced (the more the merrier!)

  • Yes, this seems like a lot, but trust me… (and see my blog on “Glorious Garlic”)

  • 2 inch piece of Ginger root, peeled & chopped

  • 1 slice Astragalus root (whole – you’ll remove it later)

  • This is sold dried and can be found in Chinese Markets and in many stores that sell bulk herbs. It looks a little like a tongue depressor!

  • This is a medicinal herb which adds a lovely taste and is an excellent immune support herb!

  • 1 C shiitake mushrooms (fresh or reconstituted), sliced

  • You can find these fresh or dried. If yours are dried, reconstitute them by soaking in boiling water for 5 minutes or until they’re soft

  • 1 Cup Celery, sliced

  • 1 Cup Carrots, sliced

  • 1 C Broccoli (florets and upper portion of stalks), chopped

  • Rice or Asian style Noodles (udon, soba, etc)

  • Chili pepper, 1 fresh or 1 tbsp dried minced/crushed (optional)

  • This adds some bite and makes the soup even more warming on a chilly day!

  • 2 tbsp Miso paste (optional)


  • Heat olive oil either in a large soup pot with a heavy bottom or a skillet. Add onion, garlic and half of the ginger. Sauté over low heat until vegetables are soft and reduced product is aromatic.

  • If your vegetables are already in a soup pot, slowly add the broth. If you’ve sautéed the vegetables in a skillet, the ingredients to a soup pot along with the broth. Combine and continue to simmer gently.

  • Add the Astragalus, carrots, celery and Shitake mushrooms.

  • If you like a spicier soup, add some fresh chili pepper or crushed chili peppers.

  • Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours.

  • Add Broccoli and remaining garlic and cook until almost soft.

  • Add Miso paste (if using) end of cooking, about 5 minutes prior to removing from heat.

  • While the soup is simmering, prepare either the rice or noodles.

  • Prior to serving, remove the Astragalus root and add freshly ground pepper.

Enjoy and stay Well!

Dr Holewa, ND

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