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Cold and flu season is the time of year to keep your immune system in tip top shape. Including foods that activate your immune system to fight invaders can help keep you healthy.
I want to share with you my favorite therapeutic immune boosting soup recipe. Make it immediately when you or a family member feels run down. Each ingredient boosts immune health, and the bone broth base increases killer T cell activity to keep you healthy or help you recover quickly if you’re feeling run down. It’s fast, easy, delicious, comforting, customizable, and it WORKS. Makes enough for three meals.
Immune Soup (paleo, dairy free)
*3-4 cups bone broth (make it here or buy it here): chicken broth has been shown to increase killer T cell activity to boost your immune’s system ability to fight bacteria and viruses. Vegans or vegetarians can use vegetable or mushroom broth.
*5-10 cloves minced garlic: garlic’s sulfuric compounds make it effective against bacteria and infection. I always use as much as I can possibly tolerate.
*1-2 shredded carrots: high in beta carotene that converts to vitamin A. One of beta carotene’s jobs is to support the body’s mucus membranes, which line the respiratory and intestinal tracts, making it harder for bacteria to enter.
*1 small yellow onion, chopped: onions, like garlic, contain sulfur compounds along with quercetin, allicin and anthocyanins, which have anti-inflammatory effects that fight infection and bacteria.
*8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced: mushrooms are powerful immune builders and have been used to fight tumors in cancer treatment.
*3 tbsp minced fresh ginger root: eases nausea, is warming if you have the chills, and is anti-bacterial and anti-viral.
*3 cups spinach: high in iron and antioxidants. Supports white blood cell production.
*Juice of one lemon (optional): high in vitamin C
immune boosting spices: curry, turmeric, black pepper
Coat a dutch oven or stock pot with coconut oil (anti-bacterial and anti-viral) over medium-high heat. Add carrot, onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook til a little soft, about 5 minutes. Cover with broth. Turn down to simmer, and cook about 15 minutes or until vegetables are as soft as you like. At this point you could also add cooked shredded chicken or shrimp. I’ll often poach a couple chicken breasts and shred them, or add leftover cooked chicken.
Add spinach and mushrooms and cook an additional 5 minutes until done. Add curry powder, turmeric (be careful as too much turmeric can make it bitter), and sea salt to taste. Remove from heat; add optional lemon juice. I also add a dash of tamari. Finish with a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve piping hot and enjoy.
Immune Boosting Soup
- Dutch oven
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 4 cups bone broth more on less depending on how thick you like it
- 5-10 cloves garlic however much you can handle. The more, the better!
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 8 shiitake mushrooms, sliced and woody stem part removed
- 3 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
- 3 cups torn spinach or use a bag of pre-washed
- sea salt & black pepper to taste
- 2 cups cooked shredded chicken optional
- Coat a dutch oven or stock pot with coconut oil over medium-high heat.
- Add carrot, onion, garlic and ginger.
- Cook til a little soft, about 5 minutes. Cover with broth.
- Turn down to simmer, and cook about 15 minutes or until vegetables are as soft as you like.
- If using, add cooked shredded chicken or cooked shrimp.
- Add spinach and mushrooms and cook an additional 5 minutes until done.
- Add curry powder, turmeric, sea salt, and black pepper to taste.
- Remove from heat; add optional squeeze of lemon juice.
- Serve piping hot and enjoy.
Special Offer on High Quality Bone Broth
My friends over at Kettle & Fire are running an amazing offer with free broth and shipping. Get the deets here. Their organic chicken bone broth is the perfect complement to this soup and boosts immune health to boot!
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.