Maitake & Sunchoke Soup

Maitake & Sunchoke Soup from Purpose & Hope


Nancy Chang makes and delivers exceptionally flavorful and nourishing soups to customers around Berkeley, Oakland, and Richmond through her microenterprise home kitchen operation called Purpose & Hope.

Initially, her “purpose” was to care for her mother through cancer treatment in 2006 with the “hope” for her mother’s recovery. The experience planted a seed: Could offering comforting, healing soups with strong nutritional profiles actually work as a business?

In order to gain the knowledge of nutrition she needed, Chang pursued holistic nutrition studies at Bauman College in Berkeley and then took a set of classes at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center.

Once she was successfully making and selling her soups, Chang kept that original goal in her sights: getting that food to people in need of healing nourishment, and so she also created a Soup Sponsor program that’s directly attached to her business.

“I currently have a handful of monthly donors that help fund soups that are donated to the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic and the Women’s Cancer Resource Center,” she says. “The soups are gifted to their clients for free since most are low income. I’ve always wanted to weave in a way to provide access to the soups despite the ability to pay to those who could use the support and nourishment.”

The nonprofits have reported back on how deeply their clients appreciate the soups, which has encouraged Chang to make the service more visible to the community so more of those clients can be served. Her Soup Sponsor page shows how anyone can help.

Not every soup Nancy Chang invents in her Purpose & Hope kitchen makes it onto her menu. For instance, this Maitake & Sunchoke Soup below but didn’t freeze well, so she decided to offer the recipe to us to try in our home kitchens.


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Maitake & Sunchoke Soup

  • Author: Nancy Chang of Purpose & Hope
  • Yield: Serves 4


Nancy Chang appreciates maitake mushrooms for their rich load of polysaccharides, which are well documented for their immune boosting and anti-tumor properties. She combines them into a decadent potato soup elevated with the subtle flavors and earthy aromas of sunchokes and tarragon. “Finish with a drizzle of truffle oil and you have an elegant dish that will nourish the people you love,” says Chang.


Units Scale
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 ounces maitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, remove from stem
  • 4 cups chicken bone broth or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 pound sunchokes, scrubbed and sliced into medium pieces
  • 1 pound yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced into medium pieces
  • 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon white pepper


Heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent and slightly browned, about 5-6 minutes.

Add mushrooms, stirring often for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and tarragon and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes.Add broth, sunchokes, and potatoes and bring to a simmer. Turn heat down to low, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes. Check potatoes. You want them to be fork tender.

Add coconut aminos and splash of white vinegar. Blend soup until smooth. Add salt and white pepper to taste.

  • Category: Soups & Stews

Keywords: Maitake Sunchoke Soup