Cooking with Dr. Weil: Immunity Soup

Dr. Andrew Weil is someone whose work I almost always agree with- a rarity in world full of people doing this type of work.  He is known as the “father of integrative medicine”- and is an incredibly innovative, intelligent and respected leader in nutrition, medicine and healing.  It is one of the greatest and kindest honors of my career to be listed as a like-minded practitioner on his website.  I do not know where my knowledge nor my business would be without a mentor like Dr. Weil.

A few weeks ago, he released a new cookbook based on his very successful restaurant group, True Food Kitchen.  I was ecstatic to get my hands on this book as it is difficult to find a great cookbook with recipes that all apply towards my nutrition beliefs and goals.  The book, True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pureis beautiful and has been such a mouth-watering treat to flip through.  I have decided, in my own little Julie & Julia moment, to work through and blog about each of the recipes.

As you are reading this, I am likely tens of thousands of feet in the air as I travel towards China for a vacation with my fiancee.  Traveling is always a bit stressful for me because I almost always end up sick.  My daughters are the same way- it must run in the family.  So, instead of panicking and then eventually giving into illness, I have decided to be proactive this time. Especially since it is such a long distance and on-top of jetlag, I refuse to fight a cold as well.

Dr. Weil’s immunity soup was one of the first recipes that caught my eye in this book and this seemed like the perfect time to try it.  I made a batch of it last night so that my fiancee and I could have time to get in at least two servings before we left.  I just had a bowl for lunch and it was unbelievably delicious.  As the cold wind is whipping through LA and my pre-travel to-do list gets higher and higher I needed something nourishing and satisfying and this was just the thing.  I loved the way the vegetables blended to make something that felt both light and full of flavor.

This recipe comes highly recommended for a great Fall meal for all of us needing a little immune system boost.

Immunity Soup

Makes 12 cups, 6 servings


1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

2 large onions, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, mashed

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

2 large carrots, thinly sliced on the bias

2 1/2 pieces astragalus root  (about 15 inches total)

10 cups mushroom stock

2 tablespoons tamari or low sodium soy sauce


2 cups broccoli florets

1/2 cup chopped scallions


In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and saute until soft and translucent. Add the shiitakes, carrots, astragalus root and mushroom stock.

Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add the tamari and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed.

Add the broccoli florets and cook until tender, about 2 minutes.

Remove the astragalus root pieces.

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with scallions before serving.



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