True Foods Kitchen: Immunity Soup

After my workout the other day, I was craving something light and healthy.  I stopped into True Foods Kitchen, in Atlanta, Georgia for a quick soup and salad combo.  First off let me say, if you haven't been to a True Foods Kitchen, change that ASAP!  And if you don't believe how good it is...just check Drake's Instagram posts, and you will see he shares my obsession!  

I fell in love with their mushroom soup, so naturally I went online at home and found the actual recipe for the True Foods Immunity Soup.  I made a few adjustments to lighten up on some of the sodium.  The original mushroom stalk calls for 1/2 cup of soy sauce, but I replaced this ingredient with my liquid aminos, and cut it down to 1/4 of a cup.  You can always leave out the liquid aminos completely or add more later, but you can't take it out!  I am very sensitive to salt, so I always lessen the ingredient with the most sodium.  My tip to salt lovers is to slowly cut out the sodium over time--eventually your taste buds will adjust and food will start to taste better without all of the added sodium (think of your heart!).  

So why is this called "Immunity Soup"?  There are a lot of different reasons, but True Foods Kitchen explains that mushrooms have an immunity boosting and antiviral effect on the body.  While ginger and garlic serves as an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory.

There is also a very unusual, but powerful amino acid called ergothioneine that can actually get into your DNA's mitochondria (unlike other amino acids) and fight off free-radical damage, according to Dr. Michael Greger in his book "How Not to Die".  And what do you think best sources of ergothioneine?  You guessed it...mushrooms!  

We can't make this amino acid naturally in our body, so we must look to outside sources.  Depriving our bodies of this type of amino acid can actually lead to DNA damage and cell death.  Another perk to this amino acid is that it can stand up to heat...so even if you sauté, stew, or stir-fry your mushrooms, you will still get this amino in your diet.  

I replaced the broccoli with bok choy, mostly because I wasn't in the mood for broccoli at the time, but I wanted to keep the benefits of having a cruciferous vegetable in the soup.  Cruciferous vegetables are the only foods that carry a component called sulforaphane.  This component has been dubbed an "anti-cancer" agent in many medical studies.  So for now, I'll take all the bok choy and cruciferous veggies I can get!  

You don't have to eat a ton of mushrooms to reap the benefits, so add a few here and there to your recipes!

You don't have to eat a ton of mushrooms to reap the benefits, so add a few here and there to your recipes!

Recipe: (6 servings)

Nutrition: (per serving)

Calories: 73Kcal  Fat: 1.2g  Carbs: 13g  Protein: 4.6g  Sodium: 650mg (a little high for me, but you can tweak the recipe)  Sugar: 4g

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lg onion, minced (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 stalks of bok choy leaves
  • 6 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (about 2 c)
  • 2 lg carrots, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 c Mushroom Stock depending on how strong you want your broth base to be (see below)

Instructions:

  1. HEAT oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and ginger and cook until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add mushrooms, carrots, stock, and 2 cups water. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer 45 minutes.  Garnish with scallions. 

Mushroom Stalk: (2 Quarts)

Instructions:

  1. Chop 2 ribs celery and 1 medium onion and put in large pot with 2 oz dried shiitake mushrooms and 2 1/2 quarts water.
  2. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat, cover, and let stock steep 20 minutes.
  5. You can add 1/4-1/2 cup liquid aminos if you wish, or you can leave this part out for a low sodium stock.
  6. Pour stock through fine-mesh strainer, discard solids, and let cool.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and feel free to comment below!