1 onion, chopped 4 cups vegetables, chopped, like kale, beet tops, lotus root, carrots, celery
cup dried shiitakes pound cubed tofu, optional
6 cloves garlic, chopped 10 cups water
1" piece ginger, chopped cup brown rice
4" piece of burdock 2-3 tsp miso
cup crumbled kelp, kombu or wakame seaweed
cayenne pepper to taste

There are umpteen versions of this soup. Whichever version you choose, eat this Chinese formula twice daily at the onset of illness or eat a daily serving for two weeks to boost the immune system. Shiitakes and reishi mushrooms are said to fortify the blood. Burdock is said to be the most strengthening of all vegetables, but like all good things, a little goes a long way.

Feel free to add whatever protein you like to this soup you can add tofu, tempeh, chicken, shrimp. Add cooked beans and get a complete protein because beans will complement the rice. And the seaweed makes beans more digestible.

serves 4

Place all ingredients except miso and cayenne into pot. Bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to one hour. Letting the soup cook longer is fine too -flavors just have more of a chance to meld and the liquid will be more potent. Aternatively, you can put this soup up in a crockpot in the morning and leave it to cook on low all day. When soup is done and you re ready to eat, whisk in miso. Add cayenne to taste. Enjoy soup hot or put into the refrigerator and heat as needed during the week.

To make this soup pack even more of a punch, you can add some liquid herbal extracts like astragalus or reishi mushroom, which are potent immune boosters.

Place ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. If your cucumber (or any vegetable) yields a little more than the recipe calls for, feel free to use it up in the salad. That s why we taste and adjust seasoning at the end. Serve right away or chill an hour. If you want to prepare this the night before, add avocado before serving instead of when making salad. At times I add feta, chopped hard-boiled eggs or tofu to make it a whole meal. It all works!