Feel Better Soup & The Magic Elixir


The Magic Elixir

This is a spicy, warm drink that really does make you feel better. The garlic can be off-putting, so if you absolutely can’t stand the taste, omit the garlic next time. You’ll be eliminating some of the “magic”, but it’ll taste better and still be good for you.


  • 4-6 cups water
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/8-1/2 t. cayenne (to taste)
  • 1-2 cloves halved garlic
  • 1-3 T. sliced fresh ginger (1 t. powdered or a sliced piece of crystallized will do in a pinch)
  • Lots of honey

Pour water into large sauce pan. Squeeze lemon into water. Add squeezed lemons to sauce pan. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then simmer until lemons are soft.

Strain & ladle into mugs and add as much honey as is needed to handle the taste. Don’t be shy with the honey. When used during allergy season, the elixir helps and so does the honey!

I make a big batch and keep some in the fridge to warm up as needed during the sick days.


Feel Better Soup

I only buy chicken from local Skagit River Ranch [1]. Because they only sell minimally processed, whole birds, I cut them down for recipes. I save backs and wings in the freezer until I have enough to cook down for broth. When the broth is done cooking, I pick bits of the cooked chicken from the bones to add to this soup. It is fairly bland at this point, but this way we minimize the waste and always have homemade broth on hand. If you don’t have time or energy to make a homemade broth or if you prefer to keep this recipe vegetarian, go ahead and use purchased broth just be sure to taste it before adding soy. My homemade broth is unsalted and needs a bit more than processed broths do.

Vegetable choices can be varied based on what’s available in your garden or at the farmer’s market. My recipe below reflects what what we were fortunate to pick up last week at the farmer’s market.


  • 8-10 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-2 T. minced fresh garlic
  • 1-2 T. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 T- 1/4 cup soy sauce coconut aminos (we stopped using soy & feel even healthier)
  • 1 t – 1 T. sriracha hot sauce (or other chili sauce); sriracha often has sugar; look for a sugar-free option!
  • 1 T. vegetable olive oil
  • 2 large carrots sliced in 1/4″ rounds
  • 1 small bunch of broccoli florets and stems peeled and chopped
  • 2 bunches bok choi (or other choi) chopped
  • 1 cup chopped chantrelle (or other mushroom)
  • 1 cup cooked soup pasta (likes stars or alphabets) – don’t add uncooked to soup or your broth will be significantly reduced; don’t over cook the pasta or it will fall apart in the soup. Best to cook al dente before draining to add to soup.  Skip the grains; you’ll feel better for it!

In large soup pot, bring broth to a simmer. In a smaller pot, warm cooking oil. Add garlic and ginger and saute briefly until garlic loses its sharpness. Add mushrooms and saute to release a bit of moisture. Add in carrots, broccoli stalks and bok choi stems. Toss briefly.

Add saute mixture to simmering broth. Taste for saltiness. Add sriracha and soy to taste. Simmer about 10 minutes. Add in Bok Choi leaves and broccoli florets. Simmer another 5 minutes or until veggies are done to your preferred texture. Add in cooked pasta. Stir briefly to warm.

Ladle into bowls. Serve with extra sriracha and soy, if needed.

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[1] Skagit River Ranch: http://skagitriverranch.com

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