Immune Boosting Hot & Sour Soup (Soy, Dairy & Gluten Free)

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As I sit down to write about this soup, I can’t help but think about the woman who inspired it, Rachael Rose. A mentor and friend as well as a talented accupuncturist at Full Circle Wellness here in Denver, she always encourages ginger scallion tea to boost the immune system. Although I respect it’s health benefits, in truth I just don’t love the tea…sorry Rachael! But I think I’ve come up with a delicious solution: Hot and Sour Soup made with giner, scallions and mushrooms all know to boost the immune system. I’ve already made 2 batches and at the rate that I’m eating it, I should never get sick again 🙂

A powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, ginger has also been shown to activate T-cells to help get your immune system going. This spicy root (in addition to the added hot sauce in the soup) may also cause you to sweat a little, which actually produces germ fighting agents in the skin to fight off infection. Scallions, a member of the onion and garlic family contain allyl sulfides and bioflavonoids which help stimulate the immune system, suppress inflammation and promote detoxification. Finally research shows that mushrooms have antiviral and antibacterial effects. And the selenium in mushrooms may help to decrease your risk of developing a more severe case of the flu.

This delicious, easy to make and healthy soup can be enjoyed daily to help boost the immune system and warm you up on a cold winter day. Thanks Rachael for the inspiration!

Ingredients
4 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth (I like Pacific Foods Brand)
3-4 scallions, sliced (green and white parts)
2 cups mushrooms, sliced (I’ve used button and baby shitakes but use any variety you like)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
3 T coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1 T Siracha or other hot sauce (I like my soup pretty spicy so you may want to start with 1 teaspoon and add more as desired)
2 thumb sized pieces of peeled ginger
2 t sesame oil (if you don’t already have this in your pantry it’s worth the investment. It really adds flavor!)
1 egg, scrambled

Directions
Chop, slice and/or peel scallions, mushrooms, cilantro and ginger as directed above. Pour vegetable broth into pot and add remaining ingredients through sesame oil. Bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer about 15 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked through. Discard ginger pieces. Add raw but scrambled egg into soup and it will cook immediately. Serve and enjoy! Note: the flavors in this soup are even better the second day so make a double batch so you can save some for another day.

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