It's that time of year again when people start to stock their pantry with illness fighting goodies! You know the old adage, "Let thy food be thy medicine" Well one of my favorite medicines is soup. Just about any pot of soup can be herbed up and not only will your body thank you but so will your wallet and tastebuds. This is one of my favorite broths to make. I make the broth and then use it to cook rice in or as the base of the yummy soup above.
1 medium carrot, large dice
1 medium leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and sliced crosswise into 1-inch pieces (white and pale green parts only
1 medium yellow onion, large dice
6- 10 medium garlic cloves
2 pounds mushrooms, I prefer mixed with portobellos and cremini but go with your preference
Handful of parsley
1-2 TBSP of Thyme
1 TBSP Astraglaus
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup of olive leaf
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
3 quarts (12 cups) water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the carrot, leek, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and leeks have softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
I made this broth and then a few days later, I turned it into this soup.
8 medium potatoes, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
I threw the veggies in the broth and heated until he veggies were tender and then added 2 cups of the remaining broth veggies that I had blended finely. I served with organic corn chips for a completely GF and vegan meal. SOOOO good.
Garlic- known as Russian penicillin or poor man’s penicillin, this herb has one of the longest known use as an herb to treat most any illness. It is a wonderful herb to increase in your diet or medicine cabinet all year but especially during the winter months. Garlic is effective after the air has worked it’s magic with the Allicin in the plant so I recommend that you chop, mince or grate it and let the air do it’s work on it for 10 minutes, then cook or eat it.
Garlic contains high levels of vitamin C and has a high potassium content so it helps with the absorption of essential nutrients. Thanks to the pungent smell that garlic emits, our body reacts by a signal that travels to the brain to release watery fluid in the lungs to counter the pungent property, thereby helping clear the lungs. While cooked garlic is not as effective as raw garlic, it’s still an easy tasty way to get it in your system. So garlic sauces, dips, spreads, butters, whatever it takes to get in your system.
Olive Leaf- Numerous studies confirm that olive leaf has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties.
Researchers found that comparing Olive Leaf to Green Tea, it has twice the antioxidant capacity of green tea and none of the caffeine.
Olive leaf has antiviral properties. It is used to treat viral infections such as influenza, swine flu, common cold, herpes and hepatitis B.
Studies show that some of the bioactive phytochemicals in olive leaf disrupt the replication of viruses including those responsible for common cold and influenza, stopping the viruses from continuing to grow wreak havoc in your body since one of the major steps involved in infection is the replication of the infective pathogen. When a few influenza viruses enter into human cells, they immediately set about creating more of their kind. If this replication proceeds far enough to produce a considerable population of such viruses, influenza infection sets in. By blocking the process by which influenza virus reproduces, olive leaf breaks the chain of replication and ensures that the population of flu virus is not significant enough to overwhelm the immune system.
This antiviral property of olive leaf has been shown to win against influenza viruses including the strains (influenza A viruses such as H1N1 and H3N2) responsible for the 2009 swine flu pandemic.
Overall, the antiviral properties of olive leaf can provide full cover against the major viruses responsible for upper respiratory tract infections during the flu season. In fact, researchers demonstrated that olive leaf extract was especially effective against viral infections when fever was also present.
Olive leaf is a mild tasting herb that can be used in teas or tinctures. Add it to broths, stocks and stews. It’s good in things you cook a long time, such as grains. This is a great broth that you can keep on hand for soups or simply a warm drink on a cold night. Play with it and add turmeric or savory or well just about anything you like. It’s one of those can change to suit your mood, health or pantry.
Thyme acts as an expectorant and an anti-inflammatory substance. It eliminates phlegm and mucus from the respiratory tracts, eases inflammation to help breathe, and prevents microbial development that can lead to illness.
One of the vitamins in thyme (B6) has a powerful effect on certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are directly linked to stress hormones. When we are ill, the last thing we need is to add more stress to the situation since stress hormone imbalance is linked to longer and tougher illnesses to fight.
Wife, Mom, herbalist and friend. Feel free to change the order of the description to fit your needs, I do several times a day.