Sacred and Delicious

SACRED & DELICIOUS

Food • Health • Spirituality

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Gentle Detox with Mung Soup (Autumn Reprise)

Many of my blog followers will have seen Vaidya Smita Naram in recent weeks, and her advice to everyone is this: Eat mung soup for a few days each month to help move toxins out of the body, which makes it possible to experience vibrant health! Digestion can be especially challenged when the weather changes, making autumn and spring ideal times to give the stomach a rest. A diet of mung soup for a few days—and up to a week—provides a safe and gentle detox that you can do at home. On a fast of mung soup with vegetables, you’ll never go hungry, and you can detox while carrying on with work and all of life’s many activities.

You can make a simple mung soup with a few spices and serve it with vegetable sides or, as I do, you can cook the soup with vegetables to make it a heartier dish. My preferences are Swiss chard, winter squash, and zucchini.

I like to use a slow cooker, which can be invaluable for vegetarians and omnivores alike. There are, however, a few tricks that make a Crockpot® meal worth savoring. Instead of loading all the ingredients at the beginning of the cooking time—whether that’s before you go to bed or before you leave for work—save a few specific steps for the last hour of cooking:

1. Warm powdered spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric in ghee or oil on your stove top and add them to the slow cooker about 15 minutes before serving. (If you leave spices in the cooker for 6 to 8 hours, they can actually burn … says the voice of experience.)

2. Also add any fresh herbs in the last 15 minutes.

3. Steam any vegetables 10 to 15 minutes before finishing the soup—and, to add to the flavor, you can do this with salt, ginger, and (optional) garlic. If you prefer, you can add greens such as kale or chard, in the beginning. Other vegetables, particularly squash or sweet potatoes, tend to get too mushy if cooked all day.

4. If you’re adding chopped onion, about 30 minutes before serving slowly brown the onion in ghee or oil until it caramelizes. (If you use shallots instead, they will brown in 10 minutes.) This additional step will infuse your final dish with a layer of flavor that you just won’t get by cooking onion in water or stock all day.

You can apply these tips when you cook this hearty mung soup recipe, a gussied up version of the classic Ayurvedic dish. I make this hearty soup once a week on an ongoing basis because it helps to keep the digestive system clear. When mung soup is served during panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification) programs, it’s very simple: cooked mung beans, salt, bay leaf and a few spices. When I’m cooking at home, I sometimes add onions for extra flavor and I often add vegetables for a more substantial dish. It’s a thick soup so it may suffice for your meal, or you can serve it over quinoa or rice.

Finally, thanks for your patience awaiting new recipes! I’ve been busy readying the manuscript of Sacred & Delicious for publication and will be involved in production through the fall.

In the coming days it will be Halloween, so remember to make a batch of mung soup the next day— particularly if you or your kids eat too much Halloween candy!

Lisa J. Mitchell

Lisa J. Mitchell

 

 

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