Hippocrates Soup

hippocrates soup ingredients

Hippocrates is said to be the “father of western medicine,” since I practice TCM, I’m not so sure, but what I really do like is his quote, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” I also appreciate the part of the Hippocratic Oath that talks about “first do no harm,” this is the root of the Gerson Therapy, which is probably why Dr. Max Gerson named the very important component of his therapy, Hippocrates soup after him. Hippocrates soup is an integral part of The Gerson Therapy. On this diet it is required to have at least 8oz with lunch and 8oz with dinner every day. This soup is made fresh every other day. The ingredients are really pretty simple and we are lucky that even the local Fred Meyer (mega chain grocery store) carries the most challenging ingredient to find… celery root. We are especially lucky that we live in Portland with so many amazing co-ops that offer so much amazing produce.

I would honestly say that I find this soup pretty bland, but there are some great garnishes to add to make it so tasty. The most simple addition that I find really makes it taste so good is ginger,* just grate some fresh ginger root to taste and yummy!! Another easy addition is a little lemon juice… this is Dan’s favorite way to have the soup. I personally like both and then add a little cilantro or basil… muy delicioso!!!

lemon ginger

*Ginger was an ingredient that originally not allowed on the Gerson Therapy, but now it is allowed and of course anyone on the Gerson Therapy should check with their Gerson trained MD to make sure it can be added to their program.

TCM Properties of Hippocrates Soup

Onion and leek are warming and moving, they nourish Lungs and Spleen to help reduce phlegm in the body. Celery and celery root are cooling and cleansing to the body, the salty nature helps to dissolve masses. Tomatoes are strengthening to the Spleen and Stomach; help alleviate thirst by promoting body fluids. Parsley builds blood, is warming and drying, which is great for Spleen and the pungent flavor enters/supports the Lungs. Potatoes are neutral and sweet in flavor which tonifies the Spleen/Stomach. Garlic is very pungent and warming to help dissolve masses, purge toxicity and parasites from the body.

Together all these foods and herbs work together to build the Spleen and Stomach energy to improve digestion and build qi. They also help to dissolve masses in the body to reduce tumors. It is interesting that many of these foods are also high in quercetin which is considered a strong antioxidant that is proven to prevent and breakdown cancer cells.

Hippocrates-Soup-Recipe

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Beets are a Beautiful Blood Building Food

The Fall Equinox has come and it is time to celebrate the amazing colors of the season. This time of year is considered the transition between Earth and Metal in Chinese Medicine. We are into the full phase of harvest time or late summer which represents the Earth energy in its fullest. There is just a sprinkling of color and leaves changing, that will soon indicate we have moved onto Metal or Fall. One of the beautiful colors I have in my garden are beets and beet greens.

Beets are a beautiful red color. To just call them red seems so inaccurate, the color is deep and the red veins in the leaves are more vibrant than my words can do justice. So like the veins and brilliant color you can see, the root is even shaped like a heart. These are one of those foods that even without nutrition training you can imagine how it can really nourish our heart. In TCM we say beets have blood building and Liver cleansing properties. The root itself is so sweet and nourishes the Spleen and Stomach as well. The leaves are more bitter to nourish the Heart and sometimes have a slight astringent quality that nourishes the Liver.

One amazing discovery I had about the regenerative properties of beets was made in my compost bin. I would get whole beets and use the greens for soup/smoothies and the root I would roast; I would then have a section of the beet that still has a little of the root and a the smallest amount of foliage on the top. I would throw this into the compost bin. Then a few weeks later while turning my pile I saw fresh leaves growing out of the top. So I started just planting this little bit in my garden and here are the results:

beets-in-garden

I can’t decide what my favorite part of beets are, the root or the leaves! They are both so delicious. Use beet greens as a green in any green smoothie; they are mild tasting and so so good!

Here is a recipe for beet roots used in soup:

Beet Soup with Lemon Dill Sour Cream

  • 3-4 Beets
  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • 1 Potato
  • 1/2 medium onion (chopped)
  • 2-3 cups beans (I used black beans)
  • 2 cups cooked rice (optional for more texture)
  • Beet greens or 1/2 bunch kale
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt or liquid aminos to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon each (oregano, cumin, celery seed, chipotle or black pepper)

Wash and cube beets and potatoes (no need to peel them). In a large skillet saute beets with half the onion and half the sweet potato for 5-10 minutes until the beets are starting to get tender. Add enough water to the pan to cook fully cook beets and sweet potato and blend in a food processor or blender. Set Aside.

Then in another pan cook the rest of the onion and cubed potatoes and boil for 10 minutes with the seasonings listed to make a nice veggie broth. I used about 4 cups water, but feel free to use more or less depending on how thick you like your soup. Add the rice, beans, and whole lemon halves after they have been juiced and cook for another 5-10 minutes. I added the kale, cabbage, and juice of 1 lemon at the end since I don’t like my greens very mushy. Add salt to taste and REMOVE the lemon halves. Then add the pureed beet, sweet potato and onion mixture. Remember to garnish with some delicious Lemon Dill Sour Cream (see recipe below).

*side note on why I add the lemon halves to the soup… the skin of the lemon has all the essential oils and a very potent lemon flavor so I like to add them just to up the lemony goodness.

Lemon Dill Cashew Sour Cream

  • 1 cup raw cashews (soak them first if you don’t have a high-speed blender)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon + a little lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon dill
  • pinch of salt

If using a high speed blender add a little bit of water and blend until super thick and creamy (almost as thick as sour cream). Then put in freezer while heating up soup to thicken and spoon it on top. If using a food processor make sure to soak the cashews ahead of time (at least 4 hours… can even soak overnight for convenience) and only add water as needed. You may want to double this recipe to have some amazing sour cream on hand… keeps in refrigerator for about a week.

Beet Soup with Lemon Dill Sour Cream

Beet Soup with Lemon Dill Sour Cream