Change of Season Soup

I like making a big soup for the week.  There’s always more than enough for everyone and I can do it in one pot.

Today’s soup is one that I made at the change of seasons in the fall.  Since spring is upon us and I’m just getting over a cold I thought it would be good to make this again.

Although I had learned about this soup, I never made it before until my fellow ND at the clinic, Dr. Charlene Kush, suggested it.  It’s a simple soup with the addition of some chinese herbs that help gently support the immune system.  I heart food as medicine.  These herbs are very safe in this form for everyone… gentle but effective.

I realize the chinese herbs are not something easily picked up at the grocery store.  However, every city has an asian food store, which may have them.  At the clinic, we take the guess work out of it and offer bags of the herbs, which makes 4-5 litres of soup, for $5.  The soup can be eaten in the week or frozen for future meals.

Here’s how it went down…

Healing Bark and Berries 🙂

I started with the 4 chinese herbs that strengthen the immune system, tonifies energy and strengthen the lungs.

Top – Codonopsis – brown wrinkly cylindrical shape

Right – Astragalus – yellow flat tongue depressor-like

Bottom – Wild Yam – white smooth oval

Left – Goji Berries – red little dried fruit

I put them into a pot containing 5 liters of filtered water.

Let the water simmer with the herbs.

At this point one could add whole turkey or chicken, or soup bones from a turkey or chicken.  The meat would simmer with the herbs.

If using meat, the herbs + meat should boil for one and a half hours.  If making a vegan soup, the herbs still need to simmer for 1 hour.

I quickly chopped up:

The classics

Carrot, Celery, Onion… and…

Baby Bok Choy

When the hour was up, I fished out the larger herbs (codonopsis, astragalus, wild yam) but left the goji berries.

The berries get so soft they can be easily eaten.

Then threw in the veggies and let them cook until tender.

For flavour I added:

– a few cloves of garlic

– a generous amount of dried ginger because I like it

– salt

This beautiful broth was so simple.  The herbs don’t add any strange flavour, they just quietly do their work.  I feel better already. 🙂



  1. Pete · March 29, 2011


    I have tried this soup and have added it to my once a month meals… (3days) long meals… totally awesome and flavorful.

    great job…

    and thanks!


    • Dr. Laura Imola, BSc, ND (Licensed) · March 30, 2011

      That is totally awesome, Pete! Glad you like it!

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