Soup is a traditional food to eat when we’re ill. It’s also a great food to eat to help stay well. The secret of soup and winter wellness is in the broth. All the tasty goodies in the soup are delicious, and some are nutritious, but most of the healing is in a well-made bone broth. Bone broths are simple to make, and this one has the benefit of added ingredients for an immune bonus.
A note on the bones: It is important to use raw bones because they contain the mineral rich properties that really make the soup nutritive. These minerals, collagen, and amino acids are also excellent for healing the gut from digestive illness or food intolerance symptoms. Cooked bones have better flavor, but they don’t have as much nutritional value. My best tasting and most gelatinous broths have used a combination of raw and cooked bones. You can use any type of bone: beef, sheep, pork, chicken, turkey. I find the beef, sheep, and pork bones have the strongest flavors, but the pork bones produce a fatty broth. The chicken and turkey bones and a milder flavor that works better as a base for grains than the other types of bones.
This broth recipe is unsalted. You can salt it to your palate when you use it to prepare a soup, or leave it unsalted as your fluid when cooking grains. I use 1 tsp salt per quart of broth if I salt it after preparation.
I recommend acquiring the herbs from your local herbalist, or ordering online from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Raw Bones (1 lb)
1 chopped onion
4 diced garlic cloves
Any leftover veggie bits from previous meals. I keep a bag in the freezer and add my celery and carrot ends to it, and other veggie bits.
4 slices of dried astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus)
1 tsp of powdered reishi or 1 slice of reishi cap (Ganoderma lucidum)
1 handful of dried nettle leaves (Urtica dioica)
1-3 pieces of dried kelp (Fucus vesiculosus)
Combine ingredients in a crock pot and fill with water. If using a crock pot, set the heat on low, and cook for 8+ hours. You can also do this in a regular cooking pot, but I recommend against it because of the need to monitor the water level. Strain and use immediately or cool and store refrigerated. Hot broth can also be canned, or allowed to cool and fill ice cube trays to freeze. The ice cube tray method allows for individual serving sizes as needed.
Please note, these tips are for general information only, and do not constitute personalized medical advice. For personal nutritional recommendations, consider signing up for the Optimum Health or Wellness services I provide, or consult with a licensed healthcare professional.
Dr. Tremblay graduated from high school with an associate’s degree in horticulture and worked as a gardener for 10 years before returning to higher education and the healer’s path. Dr. Tremblay studied native plant ecology and ethnomedicine at The Evergreen State College, and earned her doctorate degree in Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University. Read more >>