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Immune Boosting Broth | a vegan brew of turmeric, lemongrass & ginger

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A stock, broth or maybe I should call this a strong herbal, vegan tea?!  What to title this immune, boosting recipe has been a bit perplexing. Choosing one label over another feels like it will bind the recipe to one category, and hinder the possibilities. Being curious, experimental is what keeps us vibrant, evolving, and kindles our intellectual fire, the buddhi. The part of our mind that helps us decipher. Boxing this recipe feels limiting.  And its these exact types of overthinking thought patterns, that lead me into a vortex.  Often the reason why my publishing rate is as slow as it is… and I am working on that!

Now back to regular programming about experimenting with this rich, flavorful stock/broth/tea and building on the flavors. Which is what I love doing in the kitchen—be creative. Over the past 6-weeks, I’ve played with flavors, ingredients, tastes and used this broth to make brothy noodle soups, creamy soups, curries and to cook grains. I also learned the combination of lemongrass, ginger, and turmeric does not make for a tasty green moong kitchari, but it does make for a yummy morning elixir.

Having a homemade broth in stock is a ritual I attempt to carry on from my childhood home. I find a flavorful broth is an easy-ish way to add additional nourishment, quick flavor, and use vegetables “scraps” and bones. Whenever possible and appropriate, I prefer to reach for broth over water, especially when time is of the essence. The process is relatively effortless. The “work” mainly lies in the extraction time. So, on days I know I will be home for hours, I throw whatever scraps, old-ish veggies, bones, and spices into my pasta pot to simmer for hours. Now, if I had room for an Instant Pot, using the pressure cooker function, a strong broth would be done in 2 hours. Alas, with no such perks, I opt for the slow simmer.

Unlike my “scrap” type broth, this broth was made with a specific intention. I wanted to create a vegan, concentrated broth with medicinal properties specifically for the cold, damp winter season. Something that would be as strong as a ginger tea, detoxifying, and rejuvenating. And to be used in multiple ways. February was a busy month, and March is looking the same, so to have a go-to liquid in the fridge I can cook with or drink like a tea (with some salt & lemon) has been very helpful in keeping me nourished, and feeling strong as the temperatures continue to drop.

There are many medicinal benefits to lemongrass, ginger, and turmeric, some of which are promoting internal warmth, circulation and supporting the digestive process. A strong broth purposely made this like a concentrate so I could dilute it needed, and to have it fit in one 1/2 gallon mason jar. The intensity mellows as other ingredients are added, but it all depends on personal preference.

If you decide to give this recipe a go, you may want to consider combining this broth with a non-spiced broth, water, coconut milk, creamy vegetables or adjusting the quantity of lemongrass, turmeric, and ginger (keeping the same ratios), especially if you are new to these spices.  I also decided to keep spices like bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves, cilantro, or oregano out and introduce them later, so I can switch up the flavors. And use this broth to make a Morrocan stew or Thai style soup.  For more details read the recipe. Happy Brewing. Happy Digesting.

Turmeric, Lemongrass & Ginger Vegan Broth

a vegan broth, inspired by Ayurveda made of turmeric, ginger & lemongrass to boost immunity in the winter and spring season

Course Broth, Soup
Cuisine Ayurveda
PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 4 hours
TOTAL TIME 4 hours 15 minutes
SERVINGS 8 cups

ingredients

in the blender

  • 1 cup fresh lemongrass 5-6 stalks
  • 1/2 cup fresh ginger 6-7 inches
  • 1/4 cup fresh turmeric 3-4 inches
  • 4 cloves garlic large + peeled + optional

in the pot

  • 3 tbsp coconut oil unrefined
  • 1/4 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 stick cinnamon (indian) 2 inches
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 bunch scallions white part + roots + optional
  • 1 cup carrots 3-4 chopped
  • 4-5 stalks celery with roots (optional)

instructions

  1. peel 1 layer of the fresh lemongrass and roughly chop until the stalk turns green. dry or keep remaining stalk for tea

  2. roughly slice ginger and turmeric, no need to peel as the broth will be strained afterward

  3. add lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and turmeric to a high-speed blender or food processor to mince finely. no need to make this into a paste by adding water.  

  4. in a 4-quart heavy, bottom stainless steel pot, warm the coconut oil over medium heat. Then add minced lemongrass, turmeric, ginger and garlic along with the coriander seeds, black peppercorns, and cinnamon stick. Sautee for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Don't worry if it sticks a little, the water will deglaze the pot

  5. add the 10 cups of water (tip: use the blender jug to capture every last bit), roughly chopped carrots, celery, and scallions, bring to boil, then simmer covered for 4-5 hours until carrots become mush when pressing with the back of a spoon

  6. let cool, then strain into a storage jar. will keep up to 1 week in the fridge

recipe notes

  • mincing the lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and turmeric & sauteeing it prior to adding the water will make for a stronger broth & requires less cook time
  • the smaller you cut the carrots and celery will reduce the cook time
  • this is a strong, flavorful broth, great in situations of cold, flu or chills. if you are not used to these spices, either reduce the quantity of spices or dilute the broth with water, coconut milk or a non-spices broth of your choices
  • the garlic and scallions can be left out for those following a yogi diet
  • adding citrus, salt, and herb make for a nice complimentary flavors
  • if using an Instant Pot, sautee in the pot, then pressure cook for 60-90 minutes 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article intend to highlight alternative studies and induce conversation. The information is not intended for use in the medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.

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