Immune Broth

makes about 4 quarts | prep time: 15 minutes | cook time: 90 minutes

Whether you’re under the weather or just looking for an immunity boost, this is a great go-to broth. Here I introduce you to burdock root. It’s loaded with potassium, iron, magnesium, and ever-important zinc. In the olden days, physicians used burdock root as a blood purifier, and clearly science has shown they were onto something. Here I combine burdock with shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and garlic to create a delicious earthy broth that’s full of antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory goodness.

1 fennel bulb plus stalks, cut into chunks
1 unpeeled yellow onion, quartered
3 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
½ bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
½ large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 (3-inch) piece burdock root, quartered crosswise
6 sprigs fresh thyme
6 large unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, halved lengthwise
1 (8-inch) strip kombu
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 quarts cold, filtered water, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more if needed

Rinse all of the vegetables well, including the Kombu.

In a 6-quart or larger stockpot, combine the fennel, onion, carrots, celery, sweet potato, parsley, shiitakes, burdock root, thyme, garlic, ginger, kombu, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Add the water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for at least 90 minutes, or until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out.

Strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve (use a heat-resistant container underneath). Stir in the salt, adding more to taste if desired. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Variation: For an extra immunity and anti-inflammatory boost, add 3 (1-inch) slices of fresh turmeric root or 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

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