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Miso Soup is actually used as a popular Chinese herbal formula for the early stages of a "wind-cold invasion", characterized runny nose, tight neck & shoulders, headache and chills. (It is NOT for “wind-heat,” which typically starts as sore throat and fever - there are other herbs for that). Talk abut food is medicine! Here is a version with even more immune enhancing ingredients, like astragalus root, mushrooms and leafy greens.

Astragalus is a lovely Chinese herb used to boost the immune system. It can be found in many health food stores or online:

If you get miso soup from a restaurant, just ask for extra green onion/scallions, which are warming and promote a light sweat to help get the cold out of your body!


4-5 slices of dried astragalus root

1 to 4 inch strip of kombu seaweed, rinsed and patted dry

5 fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced (or another mushroom if not available)

1 medium carrot, sliced fine

2-3 Tablespoons red miso paste

4 Tablespoons chopped green onions

½ bundle of kale, chard or any other dark leafy green, chopped into strips

¼ of one 14-oz package of firm tofu, chopped into squares

Add 3 1/2 cups of water to a soup pot. Add the sliced carrots, shiitakes, kombu and astragalus.

Allow the mixture to simmer covered for 15-20 minutes, then remove the kombu and astragalus.

Add the miso paste, chopped green onion, tofu, and chopped dark leafy greens.

Stir and continue to cook until the miso is dissolved, then serve. After consuming, bundle up and let your body heat up and sweat. 

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