Nothing warms you up as much on a bitterly cold winter day as a hearty bowl of soup. Ayurveda recommends healthy soups for the lighter evening meal, as well as for children and convalescents. Fresh seasonal vegetables, grains, pasta, beans and dhals, and herbs and spices can all make flavorful additions to the soup pot. All you need to accompany a rich soup is some bread, preferably freshly made.
Here are some suggestions to start you off:
Vegetable Barley Soup
- ⅓ cup organic whole barley or pearl barley
- 1 quart unsalted vegetable stock
- Tablespoon ghee
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (optional)
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ pound tofu, cubed
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Freshly-ground pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup green beans, cut into ½-inch pieces
Place the barley and the vegetable stock in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. While the barley is cooking, heat the ghee in a heavy skillet and add the onion, celery, carrot, and green beans. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the vegetables and lemon juice to the barley and stock, and cook for another 20 minutes. Add the tofu and parsley and cook further for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Cream of Spinach Soup
- 1 lb. fresh spinach, washed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ghee
- One dash of nutmeg
- ¾ cup cream of coconut or 1½ cups soy or rice milk
- 3 cups of water or 2 cups water if using soy or rice milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat ghee in a soup pot. Sauté cumin seeds until lightly browned. Add spinach and water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Add cream of coconut or the rice or soy milk and nutmeg. Cook another 3 minutes. Place soup in a blender or food processor. Blend for about 5 seconds, just enough to purée it gently. Season to taste and serve hot.
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