It’s Veganuary and I know so many of you are going to be stuck for healthy and nutritious meals. I can’t think of anything better than this 100% plant-based Hearty Adaptogenic Soup I’ve made. In fact, Anya turned around and said to me “I love you, mummy, this is the best dinner you’ve made in ages.”. So, if I can get a 5-year-old to eat this then I think you guys stand a good chance of enjoying this too.
This Hearty Adaptogenic Soup is perfect for Veganuary. Packed full of nutritious ingredients and medicinal mushrooms to give your immune system a super boost.
Just to clarify, there’s a big difference between going vegan and going plant-based. The two follow the same ethical path but nutritionally speaking when I hear vegan, I automatically think processed junk food. I often see the mistake of people thinking that just by going vegan they’ll be happier and healthier but the truth is the majority of vegan food in the supermarkets is just junk, just like ‘gluten-free’ Frankenfoods. If you’re only just embarking on your vegan journey (or even if you’ve been vegan for a while) ditch the packaged, processed, inflammation causing stuff and just eat real food! Additive, salt, and sugar-laden products such as; Oreos, dairy-free milk brands like Alpro, most vegan protein shakes, and mock meat may taste good but won’t do your health any good. Plus they certainly won’t help you lose weight either. Sure they’re fine every once in a while as a treat but consume them more than 20% of the time and you’ll find yourself feeling lacklustre and you’ll increase your risk of becoming nutritionally deficient. Fall in love with cooking again and experiment with new foods, make sure that half your plate is filled with veggies, and track your nutrient intake to ensure you get enough high-quality protein sources and eat healthy fats. Be sure to watch that your omega-6s don’t outweigh your omega-3s though.
Before I start rambling on about the delicious ingredients in this soup I should probably clear up what adaptogenic means. You’ve probably recently heard the word being thrown around quite a lot recently and there’s a good reason why. Adaptogens are frequently used in Chinese and herbal medicine and are claimed to stabilise the main physiological processes in our body maintaining a state of balance known as ‘homeostasis’. Basically, they help increase your body’s ability to adapt and survive no matter what. Some of the main adaptogens to look out for are ashwagandha, medicinal mushrooms, and of course CBD (cannabidiol). I’ve included the following medicinal mushrooms in this adaptogenic soup:
- Maitake – These little bad boys are rich in antioxidants, beta-glucans, vitamins B and C, a whole host of minerals, and even amino acids. Some research has been linked to preventing and treating breast cancer, lowering cholesterol, and even improving type 2 diabetes. But they’re also pretty great for boosting the immune system which is perfect at this time of year.
- Shiitake – you might have seen these at your local Japanese restaurant or picked them up in your local supermarket to pop in a stir-fry or miso soup. Although shiitake taste good they’re also thought to be good at lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and improving heart health, blood pressure, and circulation.
- Lion’s Mane – It’s that time of a year where all of the festivities have probably left you with a bit of brain fog. Thankfully Lion’s Mane might be able to help improve your cognition, concentration, and even memory as well as alleviating anxiety and irritability. It’s also the only mushroom to be able to produce the bioprotein NFG (nerve growth factor) and myelin, the insulation found around our never fibres. These are both crucial to optimum brain health and imbalances have been found to contribute to neurological diseases.
Besides awesome medicinal mushrooms this soup has a lot of ingredients so please don’t be put off as it’s actually really easy to make. Set aside a good 25 minutes to chop all of your vegetables and make sure that your workspace is clutter free. You may have noticed that I don’t use soup stocks, this is because they’re usually packed with sodium and other nasties. It’s really simple to make your own using things like onion, celery, carrots, leeks, and fresh herbs as a stock base in your soup, which is what I do here. This makes enough to feed a hungry family of 4 but if you’re big on meal prep it’s also perfect for freezing and reheating on those days when you simply cannot be bothered cooking.
I use raw buckwheat groats from Indigo Herbs as a complex carb source and also heir hemp hearts for a little bit of a protein boost, plus they add a gorgeously nutty flavour that I really love. There’s an abundance of easy to find veggies in this recipe, in fact, they are probably in your fridge already, but sometimes I do like to throw in a tin or two of tomatoes or add extra vegetables such as leeks, fennel, butternut squash, and beetroots. Don’t forget to add a good protein source – a couple of tins of mixed beans will do or if you’re not vegan a hard boiled egg, a generous crumbling of feta or a portion of grilled fish or roast chicken will do the job.
Oh, and before I share the recipe with you I forgot to mention that I’ve also added in a little oil of oregano which you can pick up in most health food stores as a tincture. This stuff kicks absolute butt. It’s antioxidant-rich, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral – phew!
Looking for more adaptogenic recipes using medicinal mushrooms? Why not try my Salted Caramel Magnums with Lion’s Mane or Red Rice Pumpkin Risotto with Medicinal Mushrooms? Oh, and if you want to keep up to date with my deliciousness then sign up for my newsletter and I’ll love you forever – who am I kidding? I already do!
- 50g coconut oil/grass-fed butter/ghee
- 260g Indigo Herbs Organic Raw Buckwheat Groats
- 90g Indigo Herbs Organic Shelled Hemp Seeds (a.k.a 'Hemp hearts')
- 1 large onion (finely diced)
- 4 spring onions (finely chopped)
- 6 cloves garlic (finely diced)
- 3-4 sticks celery (finely diced)
- 2 large carrots (finely diced)
- Leaves from 6 sprigs sage (chopped)
- Leaves from 5 sprigs rosemary
- 3 tsp coarse sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp Indigo Herbs Organic Black Pepper Powder
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp celery seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
- 2.65 litres freshly boiled water
- ¼ cup dried wakame seaweed (optional)
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Indigo Herbs Maitake Mushroom Powder
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Indigo Herbs Shiitake Mushroom Powder
- 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Indigo Herbs Lion's Mane Mushroom Powder
- 1 large red bell pepper (diced)
- 1 large yellow pepper (diced)
- 125g chestnut mushrooms (sliced)
- 2 tsp blackstrap molasses
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 12-16 drops oil of oregano
- Melt your coconut oil in a large heavy bottomed stock pot/pan. Add your buckwheat groats and hemp hearts and fry lightly on a low to medium heat for 3-5 minutes until lightly golden and aromatic, being sure to keep them moving.
- Add your onion, spring onions, garlic, celery, carrots, sage, rosemary, sea salt, bay leaves, black pepper and remaining spices and fry for a further 5 minutes stirring frequently.
- Pour in the water bring to the boil, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the wakame, mushroom powders, bell peppers, mushrooms, blackstrap molasses, apple cider vinegar, and oil of oregano and stir. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes, give it a quick stir then serve up.
All cup measurements used are UK cup measurements. 1 cup = 250ml, 1 tbsp = 15ml.
Disclaimer: Please note that this is a sponsored post. This means that I was sent free products and compensated in return for an amazingly delicious recipe for you all. Any payment I receive I use to purchase more ingredients and equipment to keep this blog up and running, and most importantly to keep creating quality content for you all. I am not an affiliate of Indigo Herbs and any purchases you make via them I will not be compensated for. I am not influenced by the company in any way and all opinions, ramblings, and thoughts are my own and 100% honest. If you’d like to know more, feel free to contact me.