Rejuvenating Soup With Shiitake Mushrooms

This is a wonderful soup for the immune system. Not very different from the Change of Season Soup recommended in Traditional Chinese Medicine to support the immune system throughout the transition of one season to the next.

Use fresh herbs whenever possible, but if they are unavailable, chopped, dried herbs will do. They can be found in most health food stores and in Chinatown. This soup can be made with any bones (chicken, lamb, beef).

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
12 cups or 3.3 Litres of water (3 quarts)
8 large shiitake mushrooms (fresh or dried, chopped)
3 ounces of reishi mushrooms (fresh or dried)
3 ounces of fresh burdock root (or 2 ounces of dried ) thinly sliced
2-3 ounces of astragulus, thinly sliced (5 or 6 pieces of the astragalus- the long ones that are about 6″ long, and about 10 of the ones cut on the diagonal-if you can find them)
Vegetables of choice (carrots, celery, turnips, parsnips)
2-3 ounces of codonopsis. (5 pieces)
Handful of gogi berries
Miso paste (optional)

Boil the bones and ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar to help distract the minerals from the bones in a large pot full of water and let it steep over night. In the morning, remove the froth at the top of the pot, and remove the bones to make room for the herbs and veggies.

Add codonopsis, astragulus, reishi mushrooms, burdock root, and shitake mushrooms, boil for 4-5 more hours.

Add vegetables of choice (carrots, celery, turnips, parsnips). Add onions and garlic.

When the roots are tender, turn off the heat and strain out the herbs. You can also leave the herbs in, especially if they are fresh or you can blend all of it together.

Add ginger, gogi berries, and quinoa.

You can also add some miso paste towards the end to taste, do not boil the miso as it destroys its valuable enzymes.

Why eat shiitake mushrooms:

They have a sweet flavour and are a natural source of interferon: a protein which induces an immune response against cancer and viral diseases. They also decrease fat and cholesterol in the blood and help to flush out excess residue of accumulated animal protein. Shiitake mushrooms are an excellent source of selenium and a very good source of iron. They are also a good source of protein, dietary fiber and vitamin C.

Serving Ideas:

  • Shiitake mushrooms are traditionally added to miso soup.
  • Sauté mushrooms with onions and garlic. Serve as a side dish or as a topping for chicken, lamb or venison.
  • To give your vegetable stock an extra depth, add dried shiitake mushrooms.
  • For a quick and easy Asian pasta dish, sauté shiitake mushrooms with snap peas and tofu. Season to taste and serve over buckwheat soba noodles (or Tinkyada rice pasta).

Safety: Due to their purine content, individuals with kidney problems or gout may want to limit or avoid intake of purine-containing foods such as shiitake mushrooms.