Change of Season Soup is a traditional Chinese Soup that helps to support one’s immune system during the change of seasons (Fall to Winter and Winter to Spring) that tends to bring along not only weather changes but often changes in our moods and immune health.

Traditionally, there is no separation between food and healing herbs in Chinese medicine, so this is the perfect, Food as Medicine recipe. This soup can be prepared as a nourishing chicken soup using chicken breasts or any other part of a chicken you have on hand.

If soup isn’t your thing, or you want a speedier way to include this in your day, you may prepare the herbs as a well-simmered tea, by simply adding 1-2 Tbsp to a pot of boiling water and letting it steep for 30 minutes, or use the recipe below as a guide to make a soup that you will enjoy.  Feel free to add seasonal and local vegetables and spices as desired.

Basic Change of Season Soup Ingredients

These are available at Harmony Health Clinic as access to these herbs locally is a challenge!

Don’t be concerned if you have never heard of these herbs before, you have now, and you’ll soon learn to love them.

  • Astragalus membranaceus / Huang Qi
  • Codonopsis pilosula / Dang Shen
  • Dioscorea sinensis (Chinese wild yam) / Shan Yaeo
  • Lyciium barbarum (Chinese wolfberries or Goji berries) / Gou Qi Zi
Soup Ingredients
Chicken and Marinade
  • 400 g of skinless chicken pieces, on the bone
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • Salt
  • Pepper
More Health Supporting Additions
  • 1 tbsp dry ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 5-10 peppercorns
Final Additions
  • 1/2 C thinly sliced carrot
  • 1/2 C chopped celery
  • 1 C chopped cabbage (or bok choy if you  have it)
  • 1/2 C chopped onions
  • Fresh coriander as garnish
  1. Wash and dry the chicken. 
  2. Marinate it in the fresh ginger and garlic in the fridge overnight.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Put all of the “basic ingredients” into 15 cups of water in a large soup pot.
  5. Add the marinated chicken and as many additions as you’d like.
  6. Bring the water to a boil, cover and simmer for about 1.5 hours or until the chicken is cooked.  (If you are making the soup without chicken simmer for only 1 hour).
  7. Remove the Astragalus, Codonopsis and Chinese wild yam from the pot, you can leave the red berries.
  8. Add the “final additions’ of carrots, celery, cabbage/bok choy, onions and any other vegetables you enjoy in soup and continue simmering for about 20 more minutes.
  9. Let it cool and serve garnished with fresh coriander.