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A Fresh Twist on Summer Soups

Get ready to try a unique summer recipe: Summer Sweet Potato Soup with red lentils and cucumbers. It may be a little difficult to imagine what this will taste like, but it’s received some good reviews in my neighborhood! Like the best summer soups, you can serve this dish slightly chilled or at room temperature.

Yes, I love watermelon soup and gazpacho, but Tom and I want a heartier meal at dinnertime so we can sleep through the night without waking up hungry at 3 a.m. So many summer soup recipes you find online look lovely and delicious—but read a list of the ingredients and you instantly know that they may be pretty to look at and quite tasty, but they’re not especially filling. From a culinary perspective, watermelon soup and gazpacho are like ’90s cliches, right alongside the movies Forrest Gump and Groundhog Day. Sweet but no longer intriguing!

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Refreshing Summer Soups: Roasted Beet and Fennel

It’s summer—at least it feels like it after a week of 88 to 90 degree weather here in Raleigh, North Carolina—so bring on the cool specialties like this Roasted Beet and Fennel Soup. Cool soups are a perfect way to refresh yourself when you’re over-heated.

Did you notice that I said “cool” rather than “chilled”? Let’s zoom in on that thought.

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Beautiful and Delicious Summer Soups

It seems to me that when it’s hot and humid outside, heavy foods are especially unwelcome in the belly—which is just one reason why I think you will enjoy this easy, delicious, and cooling Summer Broccoli and Carrot Soup! It will serve as a great centerpiece for a vegetarian or vegan meal and will add bright colors to the omnivore’s table as a refreshing appetizer or side dish.

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The Last of Winter Soups

Wouldn’t you love some Sweet Potato and Spinach Soup to help you stay warm during these last frigid winter nights! Despite an early spring color extravaganza in the Carolinas since the first of February, we’ve been thrust back into the mid 30s every night—which means that hot soup is definitely on the menu!

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Welcome Spring with Asparagus Soup

Magnificent spring! O, how we welcome your abundant blessings! For my toast to spring I offer you, dear readers, this easy Asparagus Soup recipe, a sneak-peek from Sacred & Delicious: A Modern Ayurvedic Cookbook.  It’s still cool enough during these early spring nights to enjoy the warmth of  a delicate vegetable soup, though this is one of the few vegetable soups that I also enjoy at room temperature on a warm day.

When I initially crafted this recipe, my intention was to make a creamy soup, but the asparagus smelled so good before I added milk that I served it dairy-free and have ever since.  If you’re accustomed to dairy and think you’ll miss real cream, I suggest that you try adding a swirl of whole coconut milk for a sensual flourish when you serve the dish to your grateful guests.

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The Last of the Summer Corn

If you enjoy sweet corn, I promise you’re going to love this new recipe for Vegan (or Vegetarian) Corn Chowder! Yes, I’m not quite done with corn yet, since local markets here in the Carolinas, and many parts of the country, are still featuring organic sweet corn on the cob.

 

This chowder is a perfect dish for these last hot days of summer because, like many summer soups, it’s lovely when served at room temperature, slightly chilled, or, if this is your preference, warmed just enough to take the chill off. However it’s served, this soup starts by being cooked, which honors the Ayurvedic preference of cooked foods over raw.

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Creamy Broccoli Soup for a Vegetarian Valentine’s Day

If you’re still pondering what to make on Valentine’s Day to balance the chocolate you’re planning to devour, consider this creamy broccoli and sweet potato soup recipe that I created just for you, dear readers! This recipe was born of a desire to take broccoli soup to an unexpected place after finding nothing but broccoli-cheese soup on restaurant menus for decades! And it fits nicely into the niche of hearty soups that can serve as a one-dish meal for busy cooks, with red lentils serving as a protein base.

I use fresh almond milk made in our Vitamix to make it “creamy,” but, of course, you can use

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Post Halloween Detox

Mung Bean Soup for a Post-Halloween Detox!

2022 Update

I first wrote this recipe for a slow cooker because that’s most convenient cooking mode for many cooks who work outside the home. That was before the advent of the Instant Pot, which can also be scheduled to cook before you get home. I’ve switched to cooking mung soup in my Instant Pot on the “chili/beans” setting. Or in my traditional pressure cooker, which I’m equally comfortable using. Tip: I haven’t tried cooking beans in the slow cooker mode in the Instant Pot, as one friend told me that she found it less than satisfactory. We want our beans well cooked for ease of digestion! Also, pressure cooking has been found to be the most effective way of neutralizing lectins when cooking beans.

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Balancing Summer Heat with Cooling Foods

Today’s recipe for Peanut Butter and Cucumber Soup is the perfect remedy for this week’s heat wave hitting the South. It’s going to be 100ºF today in Raleigh, North Carolina, and with the humidity heat index factored in, forecasters promise it will feel like a blazing 109º—too darn hot for June! This is an ideal time to make some fun dishes that satisfy your hunger without ever turning on a stove.

The central ingredient in this delicious soup is, of course, peanut butter—which is a bit heating to the metabolism, according to Ayurveda. For this reason, I balance the recipe with cooling foods: a seeded cucumber, cilantro, and mint. (Cilantro haters can just use more mint!)

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Make Your Own Stock, Please, for Exponentially More Delicious Soups!

Photo by Candice Stark

Nothing compares to the taste or healing power of a fresh soup stock created from pristine vegetables teeming with nutrients. If you thrill to the taste of fine food, then the boxed or canned stuff doesn’t quite cut it! I cannot tell you how many friends who have dined with us report that their rendition of my latest soup recipe didn’t measure up to what they tasted at our table. I always follow such a comment with the question, “did you make the soup stock or use a box?” Inevitably, to a person, they had skipped this vital step. This is my most unscientific research to emphasize that making fresh stock is always worth planning ahead and investing a few more minutes of your time!

This easy vegetable stock has a gentle flavor but it adds depth to any recipe. Please note that I specify Light Grey Celtic Sea Salt,

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