Immune MishMash in the kitchen

When a touch of the flu hits your home be prepared with some tools to boost the immune system:

  1. Brothy soups (bone broths are nice)
  2. Elderberry syrups or tinctures (Check out my elderberry article in the next Potsdam Food Co-op's newsletter, coming soon)
  3. Flu tonics: (No Time For Getting Sick, everyone around me was sick and needing my care, I had to be the one to stay functioning!)
  4. Herbal teas: nettle, yarrow, rosemary, peppermint (Instructions for making medicinal infusions, teas, click the herbal teas link 
  5. Hot baths with plenty of water (or the above immune herbal teas) to drink  while bathing. Fevers need to be kept hydrated and allowed to do their work. A fever's purpose is to destroy the microbes causing the sickness with their heat. Fevers are part of your immune response for healing infections. If you reduce fevers with medications and cold baths, the heat of fever cannot work for you. Keep the feverish person very well hydrated to avoid the problems of fever that people fear.
  6. Whole food green drink such as SuperFood Plus
  7. Foods rich in:
  • Vitamin C (lemon water?),
  • selenium (brazil nuts anyone),
  • zinc (pumpkin seeds?)

I was making a pot of soup, pictured above, to offer something brothy for my sick kid's bodies. The flu hit and one kid had a fever for 11 days. Mom care was required. As I am making the soup, "extended fever boy" is lying on the couch around the corner and says to me:

Jake:  "What are you making for dinner Mom?"

Mom: "Soup"

Jake:  "Your soup is scary to me. It always contains one or more of the following:

  • animal carcasses (bone broths)
  • rotting bean matter (miso)
  • vegetables that most of the modern world have never heard of!

Mom: "Thanks for the vote of confidence."

Jake: "I don't appreciate finding scary things in my scary soup. The soups usually taste good but what is in it terrifies me. I observe it very carefully before I eat it."

Makes a Mom run to the kitchen to create healthy fare for her loved ones!

The Soup Recipe

  1. Bring 3-4 cups of water to simmer, slowly, no need to boil. Keep pot covered and on lowest heat.
  2. Saute' a medium onion chopped into fine slivers. Saute' in butter from pastured animals, animal fat, or coconut oil.
  3. Grate or finely chop cabbage, about 1 cup.
  4. Grate a small celeriac.
  5. Add both to onion saute' and quick stir fry.
  6. Add above veggie mix to the simmer water and keep heat as low as possible. Do not boil this soup.
  7. Finely chop kale and saute', about 1 cup.
  8. Grate a carrot and add to saute'.
  9. Toss into saute' some frozen red pepper strips that you perhaps froze before growing season ended.
  10. Stir fry all 3 together and add to veggie soup mix in pot.
  11. Add a pinch or two of cayenne to soup.
  12. Peel and press 1-2 cloves of garlic into soup.
  13. I then added 3-4 tablespoons of South River Miso's Sweet White Miso. 
  14. Last addition was the flu syrup sitting on the counter. It contained raw apple cider vinegar, raw honey, garlic, onion, ginger, and turmeric. There was 2/3 to 3/4 a cup left in the jar. I dumped it all into the soup and stirred it up.
  15. Soup was finished and ready for serving to my terrified kid.

The only thing else I would have added, had I some bone broth on hand, would be bone broth instead of the water at the beginning. I recommend keeping bone broth made and frozen in wide mouth quart canning jars for flu emergencies. 

Happy immune boosting soup making. I hope you efforts are appreciated and not creating a reign of soup terror!

Making Bone Broth:    From my educational handout on bones and minerals

Bone broths are made with fish, chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb bones and a tablespoon of vinegar to liberate the minerals.  Put bones in a sauce pan, soup pot and cover with water, just enough to cover bones. I squish the bones down into the pot. Add the tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar and cover the pot. I soak the bones in the vinegar water overnight and slow simmer for hours the next day. I gently bring to a simmer on the stove top. Then I place in a pre-heated 220 F oven and leave for 4-5 hours if chicken bones and longer if harder bones. Remove bones and use as a soup stock for veggie soup or eat the broth as is (add a bit of unrefined sea salt to taste). If making veggie soup, I saute' the veggies before adding to the hot broth to avoid simmering the broth anymore.