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Super healing soup. March 14, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes.
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Silence Dogood here. I promised to give you my recipe for healing soup, so here you go. It’s not only super-healing, it’s super-luscious!

We live in a time when our bodies are bombarded by unrelenting stress, environmental toxins like chemicals and pollution, inflammation (now believed to be the cause of all chronic illness, from gum disease to heart disease and cancer),  ever-more-virulent bacteria, viruses and fungi (due to the overuse of antibacterials and antibiotics), and overmedication. Whether you’re fighting an infection or cold now or are simply hoping to avoid a major illness down the line, it makes sense to get the good guys on your side: vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, anticarcinogens, artery-clearers, protectors against environmental radiation, blood-sugar regulators, and all the rest.

And when you can have it all in a single delicious bowl of soup, I think it’s worth it to seek out the exotic ingredients (widely available in health food stores and supermarkets like Giant, Wegman’s and Whole Foods) and take the time to make the soup once a week. One session of chopping and sauteeing will give you enough soup base to last the whole week (assuming one bowl per person per day). And boy, is it good! Let’s get started:

Oops, wait, a disclaimer: I’m giving you rough amounts, since most people like to follow recipe guidelines, but as an intuitive cook, I just eyeball everything. Soup is very forgiving, and I haven’t had a bad batch yet. Use this recipe as a starting point, and you’ll make sure you have great soup every time, too.

Yikes, I guess a word about seaweed, er, sea vegetables, is also in order. Maybe everybody else on earth loves the taste of seaweed, but I don’t. I’m not sure if it’s really the taste, or some combination of the smell and the rubbery texture. But you’ll see that sea vegetables are included in my soup. That’s because they’re a super source of micronutrients (why we use kelp meal in the garden and as a foliar spray), and they protect against radiation damage (this was discovered after the bombing of Hiroshima). Not concerned about radiation damage? Well, is there a nuclear plant near you? Is radon seeping up through your basement? Are you undergoing or have you undergone radiation treatments? Do you have regular dental x-rays? Right. The bonus: Adding sea vegetables, even a lot of sea vegetables, to this soup doesn’t affect the delicious flavor of the soup at all. It’s a miracle!

So, finally, let’s get to that recipe, with one last comment: Every single ingredient in this soup is here because of its healing qualities, except for the mirin. You can look them up or Google them individually to see what they have to offer (such as the anticarcinogenic qualities of turmeric and black pepper, or the omega-3s in hempseed and chia seed, or the immune-boosting power of the mushrooms, or the colon-strengthening organisms in miso). But, just so you know, nothing’s in this soup by accident. And I won’t eat anything that doesn’t taste good, so the flavor and texture figured hugely in my ultimate recipe. How lovely to have a nourishing soup that tastes so good and is definitely good for you! 

Oh, rats. I have to say one more thing. (Sorry!) Since this is a healing soup (or a preventive soup), it’s super-important that all the ingredients be organic. No chemical contamination allowed! Just assume that the word “organic” is listed before every ingredient in the list that follows. 

                 Silence’s Super Healing Soup

1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia or WallaWalla), diced

1 leek, tough green leaves and root end removed, sliced, slices halved or quartered

1/2 package  matchstick carrots (or grate 1 cup at home)

1 pound mixed mushrooms (shiitake and maitake are especially healing), chopped

greens, huge amounts (spinach, arugula, watercress, kale, collards, carrot tops, parsley, cilantro, Swiss chard, etc., in any combination or solo); add at least 2 bags/plastic packs; they really cook down!

other veggies (diced burdock root, daikon radish, celery, winter squash, sweet potato, etc.), optional

1/2-1 cup sea vegetables (I try to add as much as possible but also as easily as possible, adding 1/2 pack of fresh seaweed salad, from the sushi section at Giant, and 1/2 pack of dried seaweed snack from the health food/bulk food store, plus seaweed/sesame gomasio/gomashio and/or nori flakes)

half a container firm (not extra- or super-firm) tofu, cubed

2 cartons vegetable stock or broth (any organic brand is fine)

canola oil for sauteeing

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon hemp seeds

1 tablespoon lecithin granules

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon coarse-ground black pepper

1 tablespoon ground sea salt and/or Asian Herbamare or Trocamare

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Frank’s Red Hot Sweet Chili Sauce, 1 tablespoon or to taste (or add your own favorite hot sauce or red pepper flakes)

1 tablespoon tamari

3 tablespoons miso (preferably barley miso)

seaweed gomasio/gomashio (mix of sesame seeds, powdered sea veggies and sea salt, available at health food stores) 

mirin (Japanese rice wine condiment), to drizzle over

broccoli sprouts

Saute onion and leek in oil in a large, heavy pot (I love my LeCreuset Dutch oven) until onion clarifies; add mushrooms and cook until they cook down. Add a splash of veggie stock/broth if the pan starts to dry out. Add the turmeric, black pepper, sea salt, black sesame seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, lecithin, hot sauce, and tamari, stirring well to blend. Next, add the additional veggies (such as burdock root or sweet potato), again stirring to coat with the mixture and adding stock/broth as necessary to prevent sticking. After a minute or so, add the matchstick carrots and sea veggies, again stirring well. Give everything another couple of minutes, then add the greens and a good splash of veggie stock/broth. Stir well, turn the heat to low, and cover the pot so the greens can wilt. Once they’ve just wilted, add the cubed tofu, stir very gently to coat the tofu with the mixture, and add the rest of the carton of veggie stock/broth; reserve the second carton. When the soup is heated through and all the veggies are tender, it’s time to add the miso. Put the miso in a separate bowl and pour a little hot soup broth over it, then stir gently to dissolve the miso. Once it’s dissolved, stir it back into the soup pot, allowing the soup to simmer (not boil) for another 3 minutes.

At this point, your soup base is ready. Allow it to cool, transfer it to a covered container, and refrigerate. It will be very thick! The flavor just gets better and better the longer it’s in the fridge.

When you’re ready for a bowl of soup, spoon out about half a soup bowl’s worth of soup base for each person. Add enough of the second carton of veggie stock/broth to fill the bowl. You can heat the soup in a pan (half soup base, half veggie stock/broth) on the stove, in individual ovenproof containers in the oven (which is what I do), or you can nuke it. Before heating, drizzle a little mirin over the top and stir in. To serve, pour soup in individual bowls (if prepared in a pan) and top each bowl with a sprinkle of gomasio, some matchstick carrots, and sprouts. Yum!!! This is health food as it should be: delicious and nutritious. 

          ‘Til next time,






1. Jim Clark - March 15, 2012

That is so many ingredients. I really want to try this soup, because there really is nothing better than soup, but man the criteria to get to the goal is triathalon based.

Sad but true, Jim! This is definitely my most complicated soup. The only consolations are that you’ll be able to use everything but the fresh ingredients to make many batches before you have to replace them, and that once you make the base, it will give you a whole week’s worth of soup.

2. satorired - January 7, 2014

This is a great list of ingredients and have made several healing batches for family in the past. Thank you! Embarking on another for myself and have to ask…one thing I was never sure about was if you left all of the veggies in the pot, if you ended up sieving everything out or if you just scooped the liquid out from the whole thing as needed?? Curious…let me know:)

Oops, sorry, satorired! This is why it’s great to get questions, you can’t possibly know what you’re assuming until someone asks you. I like thick soups, so I scoop out the veggies along with the broth in every bowlful. More filling, and more nourishing, too!

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