As many of us in the northern hemisphere approach the coldest weather of the year and flu season, I thought I would share with you my new favorite go-to soup when I feel under the weather.
Over the years, as I’ve slowly worked to better my health with a plant-based diet, I’m usually a little puzzled as to what to eat when I get sick.
When it comes down to surviving the flu, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking chicken noodle soup, ginger ale, saltines, toast and jelly. And even though I haven’t had any of that stuff for a few decades (or the flu for that matter!), they’re still ingrained in my mind as flu comfort foods.
What I know and live by, most importantly when I’m sick, is that whatever I’m going to eat has to be nourishing and healing, and not simply comforting – although all of the above would be nice. Aside from homemade chicken noodle soup, which isn’t going to happen when you’re sick unless mom lives nearby, none of the previously mentioned foods are going to support your immune system with any extra love.
When you’re sick, boosting your immune system’s fighting power with nourishing, vitamin and mineral-filled food will help you feel better faster.
As a veg-head who hasn’t eaten chicken noodle soup since high school, over the years I’ve turned to miso (pronounced mee-so) soup. Miso, which has its origins in Japan, is traditionally referred to as fermented soy. It’s known as an all-purpose, high-protein seasoning that’s most often used in soups, salad dressings and veggie dishes. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals and contains all eight essential amino acids. It also has quite a few healing benefits now back by scientific research – reduces the risk of heart disease, hypertension and breast cancer, to name a few.
Since creating the Conscious Cleanse and learning that I have a soy-sensitivity (makes me gassy, puffy, bloated and gives me acne – as if getting the flu wasn’t enough), I’ve been looking for a soup can deliver the same nutritional benefit and comfort of a traditional soy-based miso soup.
Enter Chickpea Miso Soup.
Chickpea miso is exactly what it sounds like – It’s a miso paste made from fermented chickpeas (instead of soy). Look for chickpea miso in the refrigerated section at your local health food store next to soy miso or order online. We like the South River Miso brand.
This soup saved me the week I was ill with the flu. It’s quick and easy to make (under 5 minutes!), light on the digestive system, warming and comforting. Just what the doctor ordered!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Stay warm and healthy. Spring will be here before you know it.
With love and chickpea miso,
Chickpea Miso Soup
Yields: 4 cups
1 carrot, shredded
2 green onions, chopped
4 cups of vegetable broth or water
2-3 TB. chickpea miso paste
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring broth (or water) to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and whisk in miso paste until dissolved. Stir in carrots and green onion and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes before serving. Serve over brown rice (optional).
Miso can be made using a combination of any ingredients. Think dried shitake mushrooms, dried wakame seaweed, garlic, ginger, or bok choy.
Jo Schaalman and Jules Peláez are co-founders and authors of the program The Conscious Cleanse: Lose Weight, Heal Your Body and Transform Your Life in 14 Days, a best-selling, step-by-step guide to help you live your most vibrant life. Together they’ve led thousands of people through their online supported cleanse through their accessible and light-hearted approach. They’ve been dubbed “the real deal” by founder and chief creative director Bobbi Brown, of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, beauty editor of the TODAY show. To learn more about “Jo and Jules”, the Conscious Cleanse and their new 80:20 Lifestyle Plan please visit consciouscleanse.com.
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