Autumnal Adaptogen Soup

Immune-boosting, stress-busting soup!
soup with vegetables and mushrooms and fresh greens
© Can Stock Photo / tycoon

Nourish your body during the changing of the seasons with this adaptogenic powerhouse featuring warming ginger, anti-inflammatory turmeric, immune-stimulating shiitake mushrooms, mineral-packed kombu seaweed, circulation-enhancing and congestion-clearing cayenne, and vitamin C-rich parsley!

This soup relies on a rich infusion of astragalus root*, a potent adaptogenic herb containing a number of key constituents, including flavonoids, saponins, and polysaccharides. Find astragalus root at your local health food store, Chinese market, or herbal dispensary. Used in traditional Asian medicine as a powerful disease fighter, astragalus is protective against stress (both mental and physical), boosts the immune system, and decreases inflammation. Not bad for a humble root!

As we transition into a colder season where our bodies are more vulnerable, astragalus offers extra fortification to help us meet winter with vitality!

*CAUTION: Pregnant and nursing mothers should not use astragalus.

Autumnal Adaptogen Soup

Astragalus Infusion

  • 5 slices of dried astragalus root

  • 1 four-inch strip of kombu seaweed (optional)

  • In a large saucepan, add three cups of water along with astragalus and kombu.

  • Allow mixture to simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes.

  • Remove and compost the astragalus and kombu.

  • Prepare the remaining ingredients while the infusion simmers.

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced

  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced

  • 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil

  • 1 tsp ground turmeric (or 1 Tbsp fresh turmeric, grated) 

  • 1 tsp fresh ginger root, grated

  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 2-3 tsp sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne (optional)

  • 1 bunch kale, chard, or any other dark, leafy green, shredded

  • 6 shiitake mushrooms, sliced

  • 12 c chicken OR vegetable broth (+ 1/3 c miso paste, optional)

  • 1 large bunch fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish


  1. Sauté vegetables in oil on medium heat, 5 minutes.

  2. Reduce heat and add garlic, dried herbs and spices, salt, and cayenne, if your family enjoys a bit of heat!

  3. Add mushrooms, greens, strained astragalus infusion, and broth (if using veggie stock, reserve miso paste).

  4. Bring to boil, then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

  5. If using miso: In a small bowl, combine miso and a few tablespoons of warm broth. Slowly add more broth, mixing between each addition, until you have about a cup of thickened liquid. Incorporate into pot, stirring until well-combined. Do not overheat the soup! The beneficial bacteria in fermented foods like miso are destroyed by boiling.

  6. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt or miso, if necessary. Alternatively, the flavour can be diluted by adding a little water, a half cup at a time until desired taste is achieved.

  7. To serve, top each bowl with a handful of freshly-chopped parsley.

To take the soup next level, add a splash of vinegar or lemon juice to heighten the flavours and bring out the minerals in the greens!