When I am preparing this mushroom soup recipe, I feel my immune system getting stronger and anticipate the umami taste of this extraordinary soup.
However, when I make the soup, my husband leaves the kitchen. It has nothing to do with my cooking, rather he is not a fan of mushrooms. When I asked him about his strong aversion to mushrooms, he told me that when he was a child he saw a movie called Attack of the Mushroom People (Matango) and it scared him. After that he wanted nothing to do with mushrooms. I wanted him to face his fears (and maybe try the soup) so we watched the movie together. This 1963 film reminded me of the TV show Gilligan’s Island. I later learned that the creator of Gilligan’s Island based his characters off of those in this movie.
This mushroom soup is loaded with immune-boosting foods.
What’s truly unique about Shitake mushrooms is they don’t belong to either the plant or animal family. They belong to a group of life forms known as fungi (closer to animals than plants) that often make their home on hardwood trees. In fact, they have special enzyme systems for breaking down wood components, which provides them with unique nutrient features.
- The beta-glucans in Shitake mushrooms support immune health.
- Shitake mushrooms have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Some mushroom enzymes are now being studied as a way to eliminate the mycotoxins produced by mold.
- Shitake mushrooms contain unique sulfur compounds, which possess antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. These antimicrobial properties may play an important role in cancer prevention.
Chicken Stock (a.k.a. “bone broth”)
Homemade chicken stock (also known as bone broth), which was widely used in traditional diets, is a good source of easy-to-assimilate vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (proteins). It contains compounds such as gelatin, glycine, proline, and collagen for reducing inflammation and supporting tissues, especially in the respiratory and digestive tracts. Chicken stock is considered an immune health food. Use homemade stock whenever possible!
Thyme has been used historically to support the immune system. A component of Thyme, thymol, has antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties. It also supports digestion and healthy levels of inflammation and is a great source of naturally occurring antioxidants. Use fresh thyme in this mushroom soup recipe.
Sweet potatoes are incredibly nutritious. They are packed with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, a key nutrient for a healthy immune system. Sweet potatoes also contain many disease-fighting antioxidants.
By the way, my husband did try mushrooms once after our movie night but still avoids them. However, if you love mushrooms as much as I do, you will love this soup. So will your immune system.
Shitake Mushroom Soup Recipe
- ¾ lb shitake mushrooms chopped
- ¾ lb crimini mushrooms chopped
- 3 tbsp organic butter (preferably grass-fed)
- 1 tsp organic butter (to sauté the mushroom caps for garnish)
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 1 white sweet potato peeled and sliced thinly ((potato should weigh about a half pound))
- 1 ½ cups sweet onion chopped
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock or water
- 1 tbsp blackstrap molasses organic
- 2 tbsp red wine (merlot or cabernet works well)
- 2 tbsp coconut aminos or wheat-free tamari
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme (or ¼ teaspoon of dried thyme)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt unrefined ((or Pink Himalayan salt))
- Prepare all vegetables. Reserve ¼ cup of sliced Crimini mushroom caps and set aside.
- In a large frying pan, sauté the onion in butter and salt over low heat.
- When the onions are translucent (2-3 minutes) add the celery and potatoes and continue to cook over low heat, mixing well.
- After about 5 minutes, add the mushrooms (except the ¼ cup of sliced mushroom caps) and all remaining ingredients.
- Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.
- While soup is cooking, sauté the reserved mushroom caps in a teaspoon of butter for a few minutes, then set aside.
- Cool to room temperature and mix in the blender on a high speed.
- Garnish with mushroom caps and fresh thyme.