Ayurvedic Vegetable Soup
With the autumn season upon us soups an bring the desired warmth to the chill and bitter cold. Soups are a great option for those looking for a lighter dinner when the digestive fire is lower, but can also make a wholesome lunch.
In Ayurveda, lunch is ideally the heaviest meal as it is when the digestive fire is strongest as well as when your nutritional needs are greatest to fuel the activities of the day. Here at Kerala Ayurveda Centre we love soup for lunch as it is not only tasty but it has whole grains, bean protein and a few of the heavier root vegetables. Below are some of the benefits of vegetable soup:
- Aids in maintaining weight
- Gives energy
- Improves digestion and is easy to digest
- It is very tasty and nutritious
- It provides the vitamins and minerals essential to the body
- Relieves tiredness
Hearty Vegetable, Barley, Lentil Soup
- 1/2 cup lentils or mung beans / beluga lentils / red lentils
- 3 cups of water
- 1/2 cup uncooked barley
- 2-3 whole bay leaves
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil or ghee (reduce or omit to decrease Kapha)
- 2 diced carrots, diced
- 2 stalks chopped celery
- 1 1/2 cups diced turnips
- 1 1/2 cups sweet potatoes peeled and cut into square dice
- 1 leek, finely sliced
- 1 cup fresh parsley chopped with stems removed
- 1 small bunch baby spinach
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a small pan place the washed lentils or mung beans or your choice of lentils with 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the beans are soft.
- While the beans are cooking place oil or ghee in a large pot and warm. When ready add the vegetables and sauté for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are slightly soft.
- Add the washed barley, approx. 8 cups of water, bay leaves and salt and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to medium low.
- Simmer the soup covered for approx. 40 minutes adding the lentils for the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- Stir in the spinach, dried thyme and black pepper and simmer another 5 minutes.
- Serve with ghee. To decrease kapha add a small amount of ghee.