Change of Season Soup

Change of Season Soup

This soup is used traditionally at the change of seasons from summer to fall, fall to winter and winter to spring.  It is an immune tonic to help your body cope with the extra stress brought about by the changes.

It is delicious and can be used prophylactically at the change of season or as a general immune tonic during times of change or increased stress.  It works best as a preventive measure and generally should not be taken if you are currently experiencing cold and flu symptoms.  In that case, good old-fashioned chicken soup (not from a can or carton) is best.


Equal parts (2-3oz) of the following herbs:

  • Astragalus/ Huang Qi (黃芪): This herb is generally sold in flat sticks (looks almost like a tongue depressor).  It is an immune tonic and can help the body better handle stress. Approximately 4 sticks.
  • Codonopsis pilosula/ Dang Shen (黨蔘/ 党参):  This herb is sold in ~10cm long pieces and looks like a twig.  It is another herb to help the body manage stress.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine Principles, it will also tonify Qi, specifically of the lung, which is important for your immune system.  Approximately 3-4 sticks.
  • Chinese wild yam / Shan Yao (山藥/ 山药): This herb comes in white/ chalky sticks ~5cm long.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, it tonifies the Lung and Kidneys.  Approximately 2 sticks.
  • Goji Berries / Gou Qi Zi (枸杞字): These are small reddish-pink berries, usually dried.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, they help to strengthen the Liver and Kidneys as well as the immune system.  Approximately 3 tbsp.

Soup Ingredients: 

  • Whole free range chicken
  • 1-2L of water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional; Shitake mushrooms, garlic and onions.


  • Rinse chicken and all herbs (1 handful of each herb) thoroughly and drain, set aside. You can chop the chicken into pieces if it doesn’t fit in your pot.
  • Parboil or scald the chicken into boiling water. Then remove chicken and set aside.
  • In a clean stockpot or deep claypot, pour in water and let it boil. When the water is a rolling boil, put the chicken and all the herbs into the pot. Turn to low heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Alternatively, slow cooker (crockpot) or double-boiler can be used.
  • Enjoy.  Drink 1-2 bowls per day for 12 days during fall-winter season.