Today it is super cold and dry out… classic winter weather… this kind of day can be very aggravating to vata dosha – causing dryness, busy mind, agitation, cold, scatteredness, and joint pain. So, to balance it out, Ayurveda recommends staying warm and moistening the body, outside and inside – for the outside part – warm oil self-massage. As for the inside… soup is best!
I love blended soups… not just because of the smooth creamy texture, but because it’s a great way to “hide” any veggie… I’ll often do a “cleanse the kitchen soup” – the day before it’s time to go to the market, mixing all my fresh veggies in one pot, blending them into an awesome color. The key to a blended soup is a hand-held immersion blender, which you literally hold in your hand and immerse into the item you want to blend! I use it for dressings as well.
Ayurveda teaches that vata (which will be high in cold / dry / windy environments) is calmed and balanced by foods that are warming, grounding, oily, rich, and easy to digest. A blended soup is about as easy to digest as it gets – it is baby food for all ages! To really balance vata, choose grounding root vegetables and emphasize warming digestive herbs or spices and a high quality olive oil or ghee. I love using butternut squash, carrots or sweet potatoes because the enlivening orange color warms the mind and heart!
Today’s soup also includes red lentils… “sneaking in” the protein to make a heartier soup that is both satisfying, warming and easy on the digestion.
Ingredients & Instructions
- 1 Cup Red Lentils
- 2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 2 Cups water
Rinse the lentils and then place in a large pot with the 2 cups water & turmeric. Bring to boil and simmer on medium heat as you prep the veggies.
- 6-8 Cups chopped veggies – washed / peeled & chopped into medium sized cubes (see photo). I used 1 Sweet Potato, 1/2 Celery Root, 1 large parsnip, 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks.
- 6 Cups water (approximately)
- Salt to taste
Add the chopped veggies, salt and water (enough water to cover the veggies) to the pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to cook over medium heat, partially covered. As the veggies are cooking, you can prep the spices & herbs..
- 3 TB olive oil or ghee
- 2 TB ginger, shredded or chopped
- 1 tsp dry ginger powder (optional)
- 3 TB dried dill (or other herb of your choice)
- 2 dried red chillies (or one fresh one)
- 1 heaping TB sucanat (raw cane sugar)
As the veggies simmer, heat the oil or ghee in a pan over medium heat.. Add the other ingredients (or make up your own spice mixture – coriander, cumin, fennel, turmeric and ginger work well!). Stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes – until it becomes aromatic.
Now add the spice mixture to the soup pot. Continue cooking until the veggies & lentils are soft.
BLEND!! With an immersion blender, or transfer to a regular ol’ blender. Add water to get a smooth (but not too thin) consistency.
Add salt & black pepper to taste.
Serving Ideas (choose one or more of…)
- with some fresh bakery bread with ghee, olive oil, or feta cheese
- with some rye toast (especially for kapha types who do best with less wheat or white flour)
- with a side of quinoa or brown rice
- with some organic corn chips (chips are dry and can increase vata… but if you LOVE chips… now’s the time to have them, when they are balanced by the smooth liquidity of the soup)
- with some stirfried kale or other greens
- with some baked polenta & olives