The tail end of winter is a great time to focus on total health. In this (seemingly endless) season of freezing temps, harsh winds, and general bleakness, the stage is set for hibernating and nesting. Days are shorter. Weather is colder. Of course we want to hibernate; it’s instinctual. During these last few days of winter, we give you permission to truly allow yourself the time to rest, develop or rekindle some wellness meditation habits, and dedicate more time to properly and healthfully nourishing your body.
Ninja Soup for the Soul
The harshness of winter and early spring is the time of year when we’re most likely to be susceptible to the colds and flus that seem to be constantly “going around.” For that reason, we would love to offer the recipe for our beloved “Ninja Soup.” This is a great recipe to stimulate the immune system, nourish the soul, and simply produce a palpable coziness from the inside. It packs a ninja punch to knock out whatever ailments we might be facing in the cold season, and it kicks our immune systems up a notch to prevent catching whatever is going around all together!
This recipe was passed down from Frank’s mom. Frank built upon it and has served Kelly many, many bowls of the life-giving Ninja Soup in bed since. This recipe contains miso paste, which consists of traditionally fermented Japanese soybeans, barley and brown rice, with fungi. It’s made into a paste and aged in wood barrels. It’s packed with immune-boosting, probiotic, live cultures. This stuff alone contains all kinds of medicinal properties.
Miso Master organic red miso paste
Two finger sized pieces fresh ginger root
Two finger sized pieces fresh turmeric root
1-2 red chilis (sub chili paste or cayenne pepper)
1 whole bulb garlic
1 large yellow/Spanish onion
10 Shiitake mushrooms (or as many as you’d like)
4 green onions
1 quart free range chicken broth (or bone broth or your own stock)
2-3 quarts water
Set out a 4 quart or large sauce pot. Remove the stems of your shiitake mushrooms and slice the heads thinly (the stems can be added to the broth for flavor, but should be removed before consuming as they are tough, which can be difficult, (I toss them in the compost). Add mushrooms to the pot. Slice onion into long, thin slices, as you would for French onion soup, and add to the pot. Peel ginger and turmeric, then grate them into the pot with a fine grater or zester (the finer the better). Peel and mince garlic and add to the pot. Add one quart of chicken stock to the pot. Add as much water as is needed to completely cover all of the ingredients with additional fluid with enough room to cook down. Bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to a light simmer. Add a dash of fish sauce and add chilis to your preferred level of spice. Once the onions become translucent, in a separate bowl, ladle out your hot broth and add miso paste at 1 tablespoon per quart of fluid (or more if desired). Wisk the miso and broth until it has blended and add back to the pot. It is important not to boil your soup after the miso is added or you’ll destroy the beneficial live cultures. Add soy sauce to taste. Continue to cook at a very low simmer until mushrooms and onions are completely cooked. Dice up your green onions to garnish on top and enjoy!
To make this recipe faster, you can saute onions and mushrooms before adding to the stock.
Semi-firm tofu is a great addition.
Vegetable stock may be used.
Remember not to boil your miso!