Carrot and Yam Soup with Citrus and Spices (with Immune Broth)

Carrot and Yam Soup with Citrus and Spices
Adapted From Love Soup, By Anna Thomas - Deb Soule's Favorite Soup Book

1 or 2 large organic yams (1.25 to 2 pounds)
1 large onion
1 pinch of salt
1 pound of organic carrots
½ pound of organic parsnips
¼ pound peeled and sliced organic celeriac root
3 cups of water (or homemade soup stock)
1 tsp sea salt
1 inch stick of cinnamon
½ tsp of coriander seeds (lightly toasted & ground)
¼ tsp of nutmeg
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
1 organic orange rind (grated)
3 TBL of fresh organic lemon juice
1 ice cube of Immune Broth (added to each bowl)
Olive oil to saute with

Preheat oven to 375F. Roast the organic yams. Pierce them a few times with a fork and bake until totally soft - 45 minutes. Allow to cool, and peel. Chop and saute onion in olive oil with a pinch of salt until soft and lightly brown. Slice the organic carrots, parsnips and celeriac root and combine in a soup pot with 3 cups of water (or homemade soup stock), sea salt, stick of cinnamon, ground coriander seeds, nutmeg and pinch of cayenne pepper. Simmer together, covered, until tender - about ½ hour. Add roasted yam and onion, grated orange rind, fresh organic lemon juice, and salt. Add a bit more water if needed. Blend in small batches until totally smooth. Readjust seasonings. When serving hot, place one ice cube of Immune Broth in each person’s bowl, ladle in hot steaming soup. The ice cube will melt and the benefits of the Immune Broth will be imparted to all eaters!

Fortify Your Soups with Immune Broth


For over 20 years, Avena Botanicals has combined certified organic roots and mushrooms into a blend for making your own immune broth at home. Unlike many competing products in the marketplace, 100% of the mushrooms we use are grown in the USA. Our Immune Broth contains certified organic Astragalus root, organic Burdock root, organic Eleuthero root bark, sustainably wild-crafted Red Reishi mushroom, and organic Shiitake mushroom.

I recommend that you cook the herbs and mushrooms for a minimum of 8-24 hours, adding water as needed, and then strain and pour the cooled concentrated liquid into ice cube trays. Once frozen, store the ice cubes in a sealed bag in your freezer (approximately 6 weeks of ice cubes per person when taken daily). The ice cubes are ready to use on a regular basis, daily or several times a week, by placing into a warm bowl of your favorite soup or into a cup of warm miso soup (my favorite miso is made by South River Miso Company). Winter is the season for soups with an added cube of Immune Broth! I recommend an ice cube a day, or three times a week, per person, to strengthen the immune system, digestion, and the respiratory system and to protect the body from exposure to inclement weather and environmental toxins.

Below is information about the fortifying ingredients in Avena Botanicals' Immune Broth.

Astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus)
Astragalus is an essential herb for the time in which we are living as it gives us the nourishment and strength to think clearly, to stand up, and be our authentic selves, to be informed by inspiration, to digest both our food and life experiences fully, and to strengthen our lungs and immune system. Astragalus when taken regularly in soup (Immune Broth), or as tea or tincture, helps us be less “thin-skinned” and stronger in our ability to stand upright, emotionally and physically, and to receive the breath qi (chi)-inspiration in all its forms. To be guided by inspiration, and to receive inspiration from the beauty of the natural world (and from music, literature, theater, art, children, Elders, and healing dances and songs), can help humans be kinder, more caring, and compassionate towards ourselves, each other, and our planet.

Burdock root (Arctium lappa)
Burdock’s mildly sweet and bitter taste stimulates digestive activity, clears toxins from the gut, lessens sweet cravings and relieves gas, indigestion and constipation. Its sweet and oily properties benefit the endocrine system and nourish people who feel tired and run down. Burdock improves liver function and supports women’s hormonal shifts throughout their menstruating and menopausal years and even beyond menopause. Burdock root contains inulin, a rich source of fructo-oliogosaccharides (FOS), which enhances the growth of healthy bowel flora. Burdock root has long been revered for its ability to remove accumulated waste from the tissues and bring the body back into a balanced state of health.

Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus, also known as Siberian ginseng)
Eleuthero has been one my most favorite herbs for many years. When I take it consistently over several months, I feel like I am standing on solid ground. This deeply rebuilding and restorative tonic increases overall vitality, physical strength, and endurance. It strengthens the immune system’s reservoir, improves digestion and absorption of nutrients, supports healthy liver function and maintains healthy blood flow through the arteries to the brain-improving memory, concentration and overall mental clarity. During my recent trip to study in Ecuador, I used tinctures of Avena Botanicals' Eleuthero and Hawthorn Plus, starting a month before my travels, to support my immunity and ability to be at higher altitudes (10,000 feet). Eleuthero is far less stimulating than American or Chinese ginseng. See below for more information about our Eleuthero tincture, which is also now back in stock.

Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma tsugae)
This red shelf mushroom is found growing in hemlock groves on old stumps and fallen down trees in Maine and throughout New England. I enjoy cross country skiing and hiking through hemlock groves-pausing to deeply infuse with their spirit and beauty. Reishi has become a popular mushroom for enhancing the immune system, improving adrenal function, easing stress, and reducing allergic reactions and inflammation.

Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes)
Shiitake is a commonly cultivated mushroom, usually grown on hardwood logs such as oak. It strengthens the immune system, improves overall circulation and cardiovascular health, assists people who feel chronically tired and run down, supports healthy cholesterol levels, and enhances an overall feeling of well-being. It has long been used in Asia as a food and medicine.



Give Your Immune System a Boost with Echinacea

For over 33 years, I have been cultivating hundreds of Echinacea purpurea plants in Avena’s garden. There are nine different Echinacea species native to the prairies, Appalachia, and the Midwest. Echinacea purpurea is the more eastern species and the one I have found easiest to grow in Maine. I call Echinacea the bridging herb because, for many people, it is the first healing herb they have ever tried as a tincture or tea to support their immune system. 

During my teenage years, I was taught by a few old and wise herbalists that the care and respect offered to an herb while growing, gathering, and preparing it into an herbal remedy is essential for the herb to be truly healing. This is one of the most valuable teachings I received over forty years ago and one that has stayed in my heart, and hands, all these years.  

Gathering Echinacea purpurea flowers, commonly called purple cone flowers, is a garden task I look forward to every summer. The top of each cone flower has a spiral pattern that is surrounded by tiny yellow florets with pollen. There is something special about the spiral pattern on these flowers that year after year beckons me to pause and spend time gazing into these magnificent flowers. Beloved by bees, butterflies, herbalists and gardeners alike, this perennial is worthy of growing, sitting near, and smelling when flowering.

Echinacea root, leaf, and flower tincture is a favorite of mine (and many gardeners) to use orally and topically if any of us get stung by bees, hornets, ticks, or black flies as it supports the body’s immune response and helps take down the swelling at the site of the bite. It is my go-to herb, taken orally and as a topical wash, when boils or abscesses appear or any of us in the garden have cut or wounded ourselves. 

In the winter, Echinacea is my go-to herb for quickly supporting the respiratory system, for boosting the immune system, and for soothing sore throats and tender oral tissue that has been chewed - ouch! When I get a winter chill, I combine Echinacea tincture with ginger glycerite (yummy!) to warm my body and support my immune system. I use this combination 4-5 times a day until the feeling of the chill has dissipated. Echinacea tincture is one of the most important remedies to have in our homes during the winter and summer months, and to keep in our travel first aid kits. It is safe and reliable for children and adults.

From now until January 31, get 15% OFF our Echinacea Root Liquid Extract, and Extra Echinacea by ordering online with the coupon code ECHINACEA15. Retail sales only. Cannot be combined with other coupon codes. Valid until 1/31/2017.

Applesauce Spice Cake - A Yummy Winter Treat!

Applesauce Spice Cake

Adapted from Beyond the Moon Cookbook by Ginny Callan

¾ cup (1½ sticks) organic butter, softened
1 cup honey or maple syrup
2 large eggs
2 cups unsweetened applesauce (use homemade if you have it)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 and ½ cups whole spelt flour
1 and ½ cups white spelt flour
½ cup rolled oats
1 TBL baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
½ tsp freshly ground cardamom seeds
¼ tsp ground clover

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 9 or 10 inch cake pans.
In a medium-size bowl, cream the butter with honey until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, applesauce and vanilla. In another bowl, stir together the flours, oats, baking soda and spices.

Beat the dry ingredients into the wet. Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let pans cool for 10 minutes and then turn them out onto cake racks.

Glaze: Heat 1 cup maple syrup, ½ cup organic cream or half and half, and 2 Tbl flour in a saucepan over low heat, whisking until it begins to simmer and thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Cool the glaze. Pour between cake layers and over the cake once the cake is cool.

NEW Winter Wellness Elixir - Elderberry, Ginger & Thyme

The new Winter Wellness Elixir by Avena Botanicals is a special, limited-edition blend of Elderberry, Ginger & Thyme. View full article →

Ginger, Pear, and Turmeric Muffins

Ginger, Pear, and Turmeric Muffins Recipe

The warming and pungent qualities of ginger and turmeric make a perfect pairing for winter muffins. They both support healthy digestion and are known in the Ayurvedic tradition to enkindle agni (digestive fire) and clear toxins from the gut. Most herbalists worldwide agree that supporting good digestion and elimination is necessary for health and quality of life. Both of these delicious herbs support healthy immune function, clear congestion in the head and chest, warm the body when chilled, and stimulate good digestion.


  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 ¾ cup spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp organic turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp mixed pumpkin pie spice or your favorite combo of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ cup organic vegetable oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp grated fresh organic ginger
  • ¾ cup unsweetened milk
  • 2 small sliced pears
  • Optional: ¼ cup Avena’s Ginger Glycerite and/or chopped organic ginger candy



Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, mix flax seeds and water and set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, turmeric, spices, and salt. In a larger bowl, whisk oil, maple syrup, and Ginger Glycerite until well combined. Slowly pour flax mixture and milk as you whisk into the liquid mixture. Add grated ginger and ginger candy. Add flour mixture into liquid and mix until combined, taking care to not over-mix. Fold in sliced pears. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full with batter and bake 20-22 minutes. Eat fresh within 2 days or freeze. Enjoy these yummy muffins!

Ginger & Turmeric: Rejuvenating Herbs for Winter - NEW Ginger Turmeric Elixir

The warming and pungent qualities of Ginger and Turmeric make for a perfect pairing during winter. They both support healthy digestion and are known in the Ayurvedic tradition to enkindle agni (digestive fire) and clear toxins from the gut. For a nourishing and warming tonic, I like to place a half to a full dropper of Ginger Turmeric Elixir on my tongue before eating, especially during the colder months. Both herbs support healthy immune function, clear congestion in the head and chest, warm the body when chilled, and stimulate good digestion. View full article →
March 10, 2016


White Pine Needle Tea, Steam and Foot Bath

White pine trees are a common tree here in Maine. Standing near a pine tree and breathing in deeply is like drinking fresh air. This is a good spring practice to do to clear out leftover lung congestion from the winter. Leaning against a white pine tree is also deeply healing for anyone who has experienced betrayal or feels emotionally shattered. Breathe in and out, release your hurt and receive the tree’s strength. Be sure to bow to the tree in gratitude.

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March 10, 2016


Spring Rejuvenation

A stirring of energy occurs in both the mind and body as the long nights and colder temperatures of winter begin to shift. The days become significantly longer after the spring equinox, March 20-21, and with this light comes the call to rise earlier and engage in more physical activities.

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