I’m Sarah, a Naturopathic Doctor, wellness enthusiast and health-foodie. I’m a well-being advocate and green kitchen guru who is living my true purpose while guiding patients through their personal health journeys. I’m also a complete and utter health food fanatic who wants to see everyone benefit from eating healing foods!
Subscribe to get fresh & tasty updates via email.
Fall is by far my favourite season; give me cozy knits and a glass of fancy scotch in my backyard on a cool fall evening and I’m one happy little doctor.
While I personally love this time of year, the change of season can bring some unwanted immune issues. The lungs, in particular, are especially vulnerable to colds and flu at this time of year. In Traditional Chinese Medicine theory the lungs are responsible for both temperature regulation and immune function. This means that during change of season your lungs are preoccupied with adjusting your body to changing external temperatures leaving less resources to support your immune system and protect you from respiratory viruses.
My go-to solution for a strong immune system this time of year is a big bowl of change of season soup. This traditional immune system tonic has been used by herbalists and TCM practitioners for hundreds of years to ease the body into a new season. It is a Chinese herbal blend that improves resistance to colds and flu and also helps to balance the body during periods of stress. The original recipe is a combination of 4 “tonifying” herbs that helps your body acclimatize to new temperatures by strengthening the lungs and boosting the immune system. You can source the following herbs from a herb dispensary, or your local health food store:
While effective, the herbs used in this soup are frankly quite unappealing on their own. To improve the taste (and patient compliance) I’ve enhanced the traditional recipe with some tasty little extras. This soup recipe is a fall staple in our house. It’s change of season soup, upgraded. My version contains anti-inflammatory spices to improve flavour, along with medicinal mushrooms and nurturing bone broth to help prepare the immune system for the fast-approaching fall season.
Add the chopped garlic, onion, mushrooms, celery and carrots to a large stock pot along with turmeric powder & salt and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until the onion and celery are slightly translucent. Fill the stock pot with 2L water + 2L of chicken broth or homemade bone broth then add the traditional change of season herbs to the pot. Place the lid on and bring to a boil and simmer for 4 to 6 hours. Using a slotted spoon, or strainer, remove the herbs and vegetables from the pot. At this point you can drink it as a broth but it’s tastiest when used as a base for soup recipes: I like to reheat with extra bone broth in a 1:1 ratio along with some chopped veg, shiitake mushrooms and pulled rotisserie chicken.