Prep 10 mins
Cook 45 mins
Adapted from The Herb Companion ''Garlic is the tastiest and best all-around stimulant for the immune system. Of the other immunostimulant herbs it also includes shiitake mushrooms, calendula, ginger and turmeric .To make an immunity-boosting soup also use some ground black pepper (to enhance the uptake of the curcumin) and some chiles or cayenne.''
- dandelion greens, 1 large handful
- 2 quarts water
- 1 stick astragalus root, broken in half
- 2 inches gingerroot, peeled and grated
- 1 small dried cayenne pepper, stemmed and seeded, diced fine
- 1 garlic, bulb peeled and thinly sliced
- 1⁄2 ounce dried shiitake mushroom, chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 large sweet potato, diced into small cubes (between 3 and 4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon calendula flowers, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, minced (generous tsps)
- 1 cup bell pepper, diced (red or yellow)
- couple pinches cinnamon
- 2 cups spinach, coarsely chopped
- sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- To prepare dandelion: Rinse greens thoroughly. Remove and chop stems, then coarsely chop leaves. Keep chopped leaves separate from chopped stems. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot, combine water, astragalus, ginger, cayenne, garlic, shiitake and turmeric. Cover and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat and cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add sweet potato, stir, cover and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes. Add minced herbs, bell pepper and cinnamon. Stir well, cover and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, adding dandelion stems after 3 or 4 minutes.
- Finally, add spinach and dandelion greens. Season generously with salt and pepper, and cook for 4 or 5 minutes until greens are wilted and tender. Adjust seasonings. Remove astragalus root before serving.