if you've been wanting to include herbs in your life and don't know where to start, soup is the perfect place! Soup can be easy to make (like the recipe below), it’s a one pot meal so it’ll be an easy clean up, the health benefits are limitless, and it really does feed the soul.
Culinary herbs as health tonics have been pushed to the back-burner so to speak as more exotic “superfood” herbs have been “discovered” from around the world. Though they may be super, traditional culinary herbs are still my favorite.
Culinary herbs, eaten on a daily basis, have just as much, if not more, power to keep us healthy in a sustainable way. Mother nature designed these herbs to taste good, smell good, and have the health benefits that fight bacteria, viruses, fungal infections, they’re high in antioxidants are blood purifiers, digestive aids and the list goes on and on.
When I make chicken soup, or any soup, I cook with herbs like onion and garlic while making broth. But it’s the last step during the cooking process that sets my soups apart from any other soups I’ve had- taste wise and health wise. I add an insane amount of fresh herbs to the pot for the last 15 minutes of cook time at a a low simmer. This gives the soup an ahhhhmazing flavor and the broth is infused with plant medicine. Adding a large amount of fresh herbs and greens to the pot during the last few minutes of cooking ensures that the vitamins and minerals won’t be destroyed.
In the recipe below, I recommend a more conservative amount of fresh herbs because I know not everyone will like the strong flavor of herbs in broth. So you can play around with this and add more as you get accustomed to herbal flavoring in your foods. (rosemary is an exception- I wouldn’t add more than one sprig to the pot)
In this recipe, I added dandelion and calendula (the pretty yellow flower). If dandelion isn’t growing where you live right now, just substitute with chard or kale. Whole Foods usually sells dandelion throughout the year or you can easily grow it yourself or find it at farmers market, especially in the spring and summer. I have calendula still growing in my yard, so I added it to my soup to make it pretty and bright. Of course it has its health benefits too!
Without further ado, here’s the recipe. After the recipe, I share the health benefits of dandelion, calendula, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Take a look!
Dandelion Leaf: Reproductive herbal tonic to support general hormonal balancing & reproductive health. Especially great for women who have short menstrual cycles (27 days or less). It’s a bitter plant, providing liver support and detoxification and is highly nutritive. The bitter quality of the the dandelion greens promotes healthy digestion and increases elimination of toxins through the liver and kidneys. It’s a mild diuretic useful for cases of water retention (great during PMS when you may have excess water weight!), bladder or kidney problems. Good source of potassium, iron, calcium, vitamins A,B,C, and D and trace minerals
Calendula Flower - nourishes and cleanses the lymphatic system (great for swollen glands), moves congestion out of the body which is important for the immune system, has astringent properties which means it’s useful for cases of diarrhea and stomach ulcers. It’s antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal and has an affinity for the female repro. system. It’s been used to treat cysts and yeast infections and other systemwide fungal infections.
Thyme - increases circulation to the digestive organs, good for indigestion, relieves gas and bloating, great remedy for upper respiratory congestion, powerful antibacterial and anti-fungal herb
Rosemary - promotes mental focus and eases headaches, increases circulation to the brain, nourishes the nervous and cardiovascular systems
Oregano - calming and relaxing herb, stimulates digestion, powerful antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiseptic