Spring Nourishing Root Soup

burdock and dandelion in gardenLet’s get this straight – I am not a farmer, I am a forager by nature. I get great pleasure in walking the land and finding plants to add to our meal. Yesterday, I walked the land looking to see what was peeking up through the earth. I was overjoyed to see at least six patches of stinging nettles that were ready for a light harvest. In our small herb garden, there was a second year burdock emerging and some dandelions flourishing. I decided it was time to make my Spring Nourishing Root Soup.

Spring is the perfect time to cleanse the body and detox the liver. The liver works very hard for the body. It breaks down hormones, waste products, chemicals, and toxins.  The liver regulates blood sugar levels in concert with the pancreas.  It also metabolizes carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; as well as stores many fat-soluble vitamins and iron.  The liver stores excess blood and supplies blood when there is reduced blood volume. The Spring Nourishing Root Soup is my gift to the liver, a delicious, nourishing and cleansing soup, so it can do a good job for our bodies.

Making nourishing root soup can be quite the task. The burdock is rather reluctant to leave the earth and holds on for dear life. I thought since the burdock was in the herb garden, which was weeded and disturbed, it would be easier to remove than one in an undisturbed area. There were fewer rocks for it to anchor onto, but I was very wrong. It seemed the root enjoyed the garden and grew very well and very deep. Frankly, I gave up after digging almost 2 ½ feet down with no end in sight. Hey, we didn’t need more burdock for the soup anyway.

It is important to harvest equal amounts of dandelion and burdock. Eaten alone burdock encourages the body to cleanse the body’s toxins through the skin, but when combined with dandelion toxins are released through urine. I think it is a much better way to eliminate toxins. Since, if you have too many toxins being released through your skin, it may result in pustules: yuck. Please never forget to add dandelions when eating burdock.

My Spring Nourishing Root Soup is just like my Nourishing Burdock Soup. The main ingredients are nettles, burdock, dandelion, ginger, garlic, onion, and turmeric. Now I am able to get fresh turmeric (normally I use powder) at the local health food co-op; it is a nice addition. Then I simply empty my produce bin into the pot.

Basket of nettles, burdock and dandelions

“Debbie’s Spring Nourishing Root Soup”                                                                        (portions are up to you and how much you actually want)

  • Dig up equal amounts of burdock and dandelion root (keep dandelion greens but compost burdock’s)
  • Harvest nettles
  • Sauté chopped onions in olive oil, when clear, add lots of chopped garlic, wait a couple minutes
  • Add peeled and chopped fresh ginger root, wait a couple minutes
  • Add peeled and chopped fresh turmeric root or 1 – 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Add chopped shiitake mushrooms, wait a couple minutes
  • After a couple of minutes add broth (veggie or chicken) or water (4 -6 cups)
  • Add cleaned and chopped roots: burdock, dandelion, beets (keep tops for later), carrots, sweet potato, potato, turnip, or whatever floats your boat (I like to add sweet veggies to balance the bitterness of the dandelion)
  • Add nettles, dandelion & beet greens
  • Bring to a boil and then simmer for at least 45 mins.
  • Put in blender or not (I blend it so Mathew eats it without picking out veggies but it tastes great either way)
  • Add 1 tsp. of miso to bowl
  • Pour soup over miso
  • ENJOY!

Mike claimed the soup I made yesterday was the best so far. I have to admit it was rather tasty. I added extra ginger and enjoyed how it worked with all the other ingredients, but did not overpower them. Mathew actually enjoyed it as well, which is a big deal, as he does not like cooked vegetables. Perhaps, it was exactly what our bodies were craving this spring. Regardless, remember to take care and nourish your liver so it can take care of you.

All information is shared for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.