Miso-Ginger Immune Soup Balls


Summer and I started this blog as a way to share the many ways we sneak herbs into our meals. Because we like to eat our medicine, we throw them into peanut butter power powder balls, honey, ghee, golden milk, pestos & salad dressings--- really, the options are endless. We feel more nourished when we eat this way-- the word luxurious comes to mind. Its this sense that we are doing something extra for ourselves, not cutting corners, but giving our bodies the best that we can. That in itself, is part of healing. What I love about herbalism is that there is always room for creativity. There is not one way to do something, but endless ways of creating space for healing to occur. To me, its an art --- a practice in opening to the plants and ultimately trusting in life to hold us.

hot water 2

On our way home from our workshop at OtherWild in LA, our heads buzzing with inspiration, this recipe came to me. Why not do a spin on our Power Powder Balls? Miso paste is a great medium to mix powdered adaptogenic herbs into and with the addition of seaweed, its and insta-soup.  All of the ingredients work harmoniously, supporting our immune systems during the time of year when we need it the most and without a lot of fuss.

miso balls

{ M O R E  on  M I S O,  A S T R A G A L U S  &  B L A C K  S E S A M E }

Miso is a fermented soybean paste used in traditional diets for the past 2,500 years. Because of its fermented & unpasteurized preparation, it is a live food that supports beneficial bacteria (lactobacillus) that helps our bodies better assimilate and digest our food.  There are different varieties of miso ranging from light to dark in color and mild to strong in flavor. Barley miso is fermented longer, has a darker color and is good to use in the colder months.  *If you suffer from Candida albicans, use miso sparingly since some ferments can irritate bacteria that is not in balance.

Astragalus is a flowering plant in the Fabaceae or legume family, used in Eastern medicine for over 2 millennia. In Eastern traditions, it is known as a chi or energy tonic. Renowned herbalist Dr. Michael Tierra defines a tonic as, "a substance that supplements or supports general or specific physiological functions and is used in cases of deficiency or weakness." The sliced or powdered root of astragalus strengthens digestion and supports the immune system which makes it a wonderful tonic to use throughout the year or in times when your body feels run down and needs extra support.

Black sesame seeds are also classified as a tonic herb, known as being a yin tonic because of its benefits to the vital fluids of the body--- blood, lymph, connective tissues, skin and hormonal secretions, to name a few. Ground black sesame seeds are nourishing to the liver, kidneys and blood. These tiny seeds are high in vitamins E, A and B and readily available calcium.


I love the idea of making a batch of these, keeping a few in the fridge for the week and freezing the rest for those nights when dinner needs to come together in a flash.


1 16oz container of miso paste (I used barley miso since its hardier for the winter climate.)

1 handful of dried wakame seaweed

2 oz of astragalus powder

1 oz of black sesame seeds

3 inch nob of fresh ginger, grated


Put the seaweed and sesame seeds into a food processor or herb grinder. Pulse until roughly ground or grind them more finely if you'd like. In a large mixing bowl, combine the miso, astragalus power, ground seaweed, sesame seeds and ginger. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to incorporate everything into the miso paste. Using the palms of your hands, roll into  2-inch balls and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Q U I C K   S O U P

In a bowl, pour 1 + 1/2 cup of hot water over 1 miso-ginger ball, stir with a fork or whisk until miso is dissolved in the water. To make the broth more substantial, add some of your favorite toppings. I used oyster mushrooms, chopped kale, grated carrots, sliced radishes and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. The miso-ginger balls are a base, to create many variations of this soup. Try it served with soba noodles or a side of rice for dinner.

Here are a few resource for more herbal information: Steven Foster's website, Dr. Michael Tierra's book Planetary Herbology and Healing with Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford