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Burdock Root Soup


Here she be. My super healing summer soup made with 95% local ingredients! I don’t care how hot it is, second only to a smoothie, there is nothing easier to make than a big pot of soup. I ate this for every meal for a good day and a half.

Now don’t go scooching down to the bottom to see what was in this soup. First let’s take a look at that secret ingredient.

That’s right. Burdock root. The plant itself looks like overgrown rhubarb. In it’s second year it sprouts up these long stalks that then get covered in those pesky burs. I harvested the above root fresh while I was up north at my cottage and didn’t I just feel like a bit of a dangerous breed as I trudged through the woods with a giant shovel fit for digging a big hole.

I dug out the root, washed it up, sliced it and there began my soup.

Why do I love burdock root? Let me count the ways.

  • Burdock root contains high amounts of inulin and mucilage. This is a super combo for restoring digestive health!
  • Contains polyacetylenes that have demonstrated anti-microbial activity.
  • Other active constituents of Burdock roots include alkaloids, essential oil, flavonoids, glycosides, polyacetylenes, resin, tannins, and volatile oil.
  • The burdock seeds are rich in vitamins A and B and essential fatty acids.
  • Burdock has traditionally been used for a wide variety of conditions, including chronic skin ailments, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, and cancer prevention.

Traditionally used as a blood purifier, burdock helps to clear the bloodstream of toxins. It promotes perspiration and the release of toxins from the body. Hmmm- perhaps a burdock root tea could also serve as an amazing smoothie base for a cleanse.

Feel free and easy to use whatever assortment of veggies you have. Here is my power soup

Burdock Root Soup

1/2 cup burdock root, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 sweet potato, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 broccoli stalks, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 cup or 1/4 cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup fennel, sliced
2 beets, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 onion, chopped
1-2 inches of fresh ginger root, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp coriander, ground
2 tsp cumin seeds, ground
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
sea salt to taste

  • Dump all ingredients into a pot
  • Simmer for 30-45 mins
  • Leave chunky or blend. I left half chunky and blended the other half to make it creamy.

Question Of The Day: What are your favourite summer soup ingredients?

17 responses to “Burdock Root Soup”

  1. Metta says:

    Ahh, fennel! I totally mistook it for leeks.

    My favorite summer soups are my favorite winter soups. I use a bit more zucchinin/yellow squash in the summer, and the soups are a bit more brothy. I also use more herbs in the summer, and more spices in the winter.

  2. Tara deRuiter says:

    as nasty as those thistle are on the burdock, we keep them around the cottage for the birds but if it so good for us, I will digest it myself. Does it have a taste or is it just beneficial?

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      The roots have no taste at all. Not bitter or anything- fairly neutral. You can also dry the root out and use it for tea.

  3. Lisa says:

    My mom makes soups with dried burdock all the time but I didn’t know it was burdock (she only told me the Chinese name for it) until she bought it fresh and I saw it labeled “burdock.” It doesn’t have too much of a flavor. A little starchy like potato. Mild and can be added to anything really.

  4. sarah says:

    It does wonders for my scalp, too. I infuse my homemade shampoo with burdock root.

  5. benjamin says:

    This soup looks amazing. I would love to make it tonight. I am in Toronto, King and Dufferin area.. Where would I be able to buy burdock? Kensington? Spadina? Would you recommend a store that would have it?

  6. Frances says:

    Given that there was no amount of water listed in the recipe to add, I had to eyeball it and sadly the soup ended up watery and bland, even after liquefying part of it in hopes of thickening it up. Following the recipe as it is written now, I found that there was no depth to the soup. I would suggest caramelizing the onions in a TB of oil, then adding the ginger and garlic and spices and creating a fond for the soup before adding the rest of the ingredients and water. Subbing no sodium veggie broth for the water might have helped with the lack of oomph, as well. This soup is a good starting point but needs something else to stand on its own. Since it is essentially a type of borscht, perhaps some kind of garnish at the end like a vegan sour cream or yogurt? Would be interested in hearing from others who have made the soup and what variations were used, as it was nice to find a soup recipe using burdock that was not all about miso.

  7. Cheryfa Jamal says:

    If anyone wants to harvest it, the best time is in the fall of the first year’s growth, (just really big leaves, no tall stalk with burrs yet). The root grows fat to conserve starch for the winter. Second year roots, (with burrs) aren’t as hearty.

  8. Kelly says:

    How much water should be added?

  9. Rachel Candy says:

    Hi, I have only dried burdock root – do you know how much I would need? I’m guessing roughly half the quantity?

  10. Loretta Peters Martin says:

    I haven’t been able to find organic fresh burdock root all year. Every week I’ve checked 2 Whole Foods, 2 Sprouts, and local health food stores and local organic farms. Do you know of any place I could order it fresh and organic? I’ll use dried, if necessary, but would love to find fresh. Thank you!

    • Meghan Telpner says:

      Hi Loretta! I’m not aware of where to buy fresh burdock online. You could speak to your local grocery store manager and see if it’s something they could order in for you.

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