Mushroom medicine is all about connection and protection. Our Earth is connected underground by mycelial networks that support the processes of life and death, breaking down the old so the new can arise. Mycelium is in constant competition with bacteria, viruses, and other fungi for food, so it’s blessed with antimicrobial, immunomodulating properties that also strengthen humans to fight off pathogens. Soup is a classic comfort food that warms our hearts and bellies, and this one has the added benefit of powerfully (and deliciously) fortifying our immune system and our Qi, or vital force.
A deep bow of gratitude to the lineages of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Tea ceremony for the inspiration that gave rise to this recipe.
· 9 cups water, heated in a kettle
· 1 cup assorted edible, fresh mushrooms like oyster, trumpet, crimini, bunapi, and any other mushroom you have on hand, chopped
· 1 cup edible, fresh immunomodulating mushrooms like shiitake or maitake, chopped
· 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
· 1 cup spinach or any mild-tasting green available like kale (add more if you prefer)
· 1 quarter-sized piece of ginger (or larger depending on your preference), chopped
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· 3 garlic cloves, chopped
· 1 small bunch of cilantro
· Salt to taste, additional spices to taste
Optional Herbal Add-Ons: · 1 small handful of shou puerh tea (fermented Camelia Sinensis or varietal leaf) · 1/2 cup of dried immunomodulating mushrooms like reishi or chaga · 6-12gms astragalus root/Huang Qi (a handful of dried chopped astragalus, or 8 slices of dried astragalus) · 3-6gms of angelica sinensis root/Dang Gui/Dong Quai (a small handful or 3-4 --slices of dried angelica sinensis) · 1 small handful of goji berries · 3 jujube dates Recipe
1. Sauté the ginger, onions, and garlic in your pot with a bit of ghee, oil, or hot water until soft.
2. Add in your edible, fresh mushrooms, and brown rice. Sauté together on medium heat for a few minutes and add salt to taste.
3. Pour the hot water into the pot and add the small bunch of Cilantro, more salt if needed, and other spices or chopped vegetables to your preference. Put a lid on the pot.
4. Optional: At this point, place the dried herbs (shou puerh, reishi, chaga, astragalus, angelica) into a cloth bag and submerge into the water. The goji berries and jujube dates can go right in the soup.
5. Cook the soup for 35-40 minutes on medium-low heat, adding more water if necessary. In the last 10 minutes, add in your greens and stir into the soup.
6. Serve the soup, adding fresh cilantro and green onions if desired. Squeeze a bit of lemon, drizzle a little sesame oil, add a teaspoon of ghee, or sprinkle on more salt for extra flavor.
Enjoy and be well!