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just add water: umami immunity broth

By January 13, 2015Uncategorized

I have this paranoia about getting sick and not having anything in my house to make soup. Or being lucky enough to have a snow day and still not having anything in my house to make soup. It is irrational because at any given time I have at least two stocks and two soups in my freezer. Regardless I like to think of ways to make savory, comforting stocks with just a few ingredients that I’d likely have in my house anyway. Thus, I arrived here, at this stock that ended up full of flavor and stuff that’s good for you.


Photos by Idit Knaan.


Don’t you love it when something that tastes really good is also really good for you? I do. I’m kind of obsessed with it, actually. This broth is one of those things. It makes a great background to noodles and greens but is great sipped out of a mug, too. Onions, mushrooms and kombu seaweed are not only packed with vitamins and minerals, but they also have flavor compounds that bring out that elusive fifth taste known as umami. Ginger adds a nice spicy kick and more immunity boosters. I’m already hearing flu horror stories so you might want to make this like… yesterday.


I got an Instant Pot for Christmas (thanks Auntie and Uncles!), so I made this in a pressure cooker, which means I got more goodness in less time, but I’ve included instructions for three different cooking methods, all of which allow ample time to kick back or cuddle with your cat in case you are, in fact, sick or enjoying a snow day while making this.

umami immunity broth
+ 3 onions
+ 4-6 dried shiitake mushrooms
+ 3-5 slices fresh ginger, washed but unpeeled
+ 1 5-inch strip kombu seaweed

Peel and slice the onions. Wash and slice the ginger. Throw everything into a stock pot, slow cooker or pressure cooker with 8 cups of water. For the stovetop method, cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. If using a slow-cooker, cook on low for 8 hours. If pressure-cooking, like I did, cook on high for 30 minutes and let the pressure release naturally. Then strain, reserving the shiitakes to slice and eat.

suggestions for soup
+ soba noodles
+ sliced shiitakes
+ fresh baby kale
+ scallions
+ black sesame seeds
+ sriracha


Shoutout to my talented and dear friend Idit Knaan for making this post look so amazing with her photography.

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