Soup can not only comfort your mind and your gut, but soup also has secret healing modalities that perhaps you’re not aware of. I think combining soups with cultured foods can help cure what ails you in a myriad of ways, but soup can stand on its own as powerful kitchen medicine. We all need foods that help us heal; but when we’re hurting, whether it be in body or mind, I often turn to soup. Many a time when my children were sick I’ve handed them a bowl of soup that they can hold with both hands. Something as simple as a soothing broth with a few added ingredients in a mug gives them more comfort than you can understand. I would watch them wrap both hands around the mug or bowl and sip slowly. I would pray and whisper words of healing, “Better days are coming, drink up and let your body heal you.” Mothers have prescribed soup for years to help a sick child and this wisdom seems to be an instinct that’s built into our DNA, but there’s science behind this too.
“Only the pure in heart can make good soup.”Ludwig Beethoven
Soups that have healing properties
Miso soup has been eaten in Japan and China for many centuries and has been attracting the attention of many because of its health and anti-aging benefits. It’s also quite delicious. When you aren’t feeling well, a bowl of miso soup can be especially soothing to the gut.
Miso is a salty paste made from fermented beans (usually soybeans) but it can be made with chickpeas or other beans. You simply make a broth, add some veggies, add miso paste, stir, and you have soup. Check out my recipe below. Because miso is fermented, it’s filled with beneficial, live probiotic cultures. Miso is great for strengthening the immune system and helping to combat viral infections. 1
I also like miso for its benefits in improving heart health and issues surrounding strokes. In one large study involving 40,462 Japanese participants which lasted for more than ten years, intake of miso was found to be associated with decreased risk of one major type of stroke.
Bone broth soups are all the rage right now and for good reason. Bone broth can help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and digestive disorders by helping to boost the immune system, reducing joint pain, and helping with overcoming food allergies. We used these types of soups a lot in our meals when my daughter was overcoming IBS and food allergies. Consuming brone broth soups along with a cultured food at every meal her gut healed, her food allergies vanished, and the comfort she received from eating something she truly enjoyed was a win-win situation.
I make bone broths by simmering bones with lots of added veggies and water in a pot all day on the stove or in the oven. This releases healing compounds such as collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine that can help not only the gut, but can reduce inflammation in the respiratory system and improve allergies as well as arthritis. 2 I actually just got a new book by Louise Hay and Heather Dane called “ The Bone Broth Secret” that is a wonderful book of bone broth soup recipes and their many benefits.
All in one soup. The third type of soup I make is one that can be done with any of the versions above or can be added to any soup you make. I love to top a soup with some type of cultured food such as kefir cheese, yogurt, or cultured veggies. Heat will kill probiotics when the temperatures get above 116 degrees, so I’m careful to not add probiotic foods until the soup is warm and not hot. I have several recipes that I’ve made by adding a cultured food topping, but my latest version, Kimchi Soup, is perhaps my favorite, although this is subject to change with the next new recipe I create. I love Kimchi and its many benefits and it is highly recommended. This soup is a vegetable-rich soup made with bone broth and the kimchi gives it a kick that is wonderful for healing sinuses or respiratory problems or a gut that needs healing. Soup, when made with love, has properties that have yet to be discovered.
- Hiro Watanabe, PhD The Magic of Miso. Wise Traditions Conference, November 2006. http://www.fleetwoodonsite.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=11&osCsid=710d1e5b3567d83b3ec429eb228bb160