It's day 1 of our Immunity Boosting Winter Well-being retreat co-hosted with Bini Sharman and already the combination of macrobiotic cookery classes and cooking, yoga, massages, energy treatments and meditations is beginning to take effect. We woke up gently with some lovely, grounding yoga led by Amanda Berlyn, and after a delicious breakfast we took our seats in the courtyard - it's been a deliciously sunny day - for our first workshop introducing us to the kitchen basics. After being fully grounded in the do's and don'ts in the kitchen we set off with sharpened knives and intention to create a feast for lunch which included aduki bean stew, sauerkraut and carrot salad and, my all time favourite soup, shitake broth. Since shitake broth is so utterly delicious we thought we'd share the recipe with you.
Shitake, considered “an elixir of life since ancient time”, is a parasitic fungus (filamentous fungus) that grows on trees absorbing the tree's nutrients. It is particularly good for vegetarians because it is high in B12, and is also extremely beneficial because it contains Vitamin D2 which is effective in combating high blood pressure and and in reducing cholesterol. It is recommended to eat shitake if you eat a lot of meat and animal based foods, but shouldn't be eaten every day.
Handful shitake mushrooms
1 small daikon
small piece ginger
Soak the shitake in a pot for a couple of hours together with a stamp size piece of kombu. When rehydrated take the mushroom out of the water (saving the water), remove the bitter stem, and slice the shitake thinly. Place the shitake back in the pot and cook for ten minutes, remove the kombu. Next cut the onion into half-moons, and the carrot and daikon into matchsticks.
First add the onion to the shitake and cook for ten minutes. Then add the carrot and cook for a further five minutes, and then the daikon and cook for another five minutes. In the meantime grate a piece of ginger and add the juice to the pot (squeeze the grated ginger to get the juice). Add shoyu to taste. The bouillon should have a gingery and strong taste. Garnish with chopped parsley and kombu and serve.