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On Your Mark, Get Set: More Soup!

2010 December 14

by Brianna Bain

Riding the wave of Sarah’s Holiday Borscht I bring a second serving of health boosting soup to this week’s relay.  I share Sarah’s inspiration in wanting to find ways to use food as more than just a nutrient delivery system and to use food as medicine. This approach to eating is celebrated in two of my more recent and relished book finds. The first is Sandor Katz’s, Wild Fermentation; originally purchased to fulfill my curiosity about making my own kombucha, it has turned out to be a mind opening introduction into the world of fermented foods -  their amazing health benefits and connections to so many other areas of importance in my life. The other book that has provided fuel for this weeks soup creation is Paul Stamets’ Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, a interesting and practical guide to exploring the power, wonder  and mystery of fungi in relationship to our health and our environment. I highly recommend both of these books!

My soup will incorporate the healing qulities and nutty flavors of mushrooms while also packing the healthful  one-two punch of fermented soy beans, aka: Miso. In the past I have steered clear of soy products, especially conventional soy products. There has been much controversy over the genetic modification, use of pesticides, long term effect on hormones for both men and women and  the subsequent negative  effects of mono-cropping and its market share in non-food based items. Upon doing my own research, listening to my body and learning more about the properties that are unlocked in the fermentation process of soy beans,  I have introduced soy back into my life in form and frequency that makes the most sense for me. On the other hand, I have had a long time love affair with mushrooms but it is only recently that I have started to seriously explore the many varieties, flavors and uses.

What I find most interesting about both mushrooms and miso is their long history and tradition tied to promoting health and longevity. These are two health foods that boast a very long and prestigious track record in the food as medicine category. I hope you will come back on Thursday for a tasty blend of these amazing ancient healers. It will be a soup to  keep your immune system in tip top shape – a between parties, stay at home meal that will feed more than just your hunger. Keeping you armed to survive the abundance of runny nosed kid hugs, one too many a glass of wine,  or that unavoidable extra indulgence at the desert table.

I’ll see you Thursday.