Category Archives: Soups

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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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Vegan Stew for Frigid Nights and Cold Days      

In North Carolina, we’re catching the second winter storm to paralyze much of the country this week, but we have been blessed in my house to still have electric power—making it possible to invent this divinely inspired Chickpea Stew with Almond Butter. The first reviews to come in from my husband and friends who received a gift bowl are “Wow!” and “That was really delicious! Do you have a recipe?” Yes, dear ones, I do.

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Sacred & Delicious Update

Dear Friends,

 

In case you’re wondering if I fell off the planet, I’m writing with a quick update to explain why you haven’t heard from me.

While on a beach vacation with my husband and step-daughter in July—totally social distanced, of course—I took a bad fall and fractured my wrist. It was a major big OWIE! Happily, the fracture healed, but it triggered a rare response known as complex regional pain syndrome and, alternatively, reflex sympathetic dystrophy. Medical experts believe that this is a response from the sympathetic nervous system.

I’m still unable to use my left hand, which has become quite stiff, particularly in the fingers. So, rather than dreaming up and testing new recipes, I’m focused for hours a day on rehabilitating my hand. This was a real surprise for me, as I had not intended to be gone for such a long time.

Before I disappear again, for whatever length of time it takes to restore the functions of my hand, I’d like to remind readers that you’ll find three fabulous pumpkin recipes on my blog: Puréed Pumpkin Soup, Spiced Pumpkin Pound Cake, and Pumpkin Spice Cookies—all gluten-free.

Sometime after this momentous election, I will share the ways I’ve adapted in the kitchen so that I’m still able to cook fresh food six days a week. (Like our Creator, I rest from cooking on the Sabbath!)

During this extraordinary moment in history, with all its inherent anxiety, we especially need to eat well. Cooking delicious healthy food can definitely bring joy to ourselves and to our loved ones. I wish you and yours good health and a beautiful autumn. Stay well! Stay safe.

With love,

PS For those of you who may have CRPS, or know someone who does, please reach out if you’d like to hear about my approach to healing with the help of several complementary therapies—and of course, an anti-inflammatory diet. You can leave a private note here.

 

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Some Much-Needed Luck for 2021

Today I offer you a different twist on a must-have traditional dish for January 1: Curried Black-Eyed Peas. In the Southern United States, to eat black-eyed peas with greens on New Year’s Day is considered a culinary talisman to bring good luck and good fortune in the coming year. Sadly, the dish is thought to have been brought to the US from West Africa through the slave trade, but it survives today as a symbol of hoped-for fortune and abundance to come—and because it’s delicious.

Although my previous black-eyed pea recipes reflect Southern cooking, I decided to add a new twist to this celebratory dish and offer you a version that reflects traditional Ayurvedic cooking through a mélange of spices. You can decide whether the dish packs a hot punch or is simply flavorful with the artful use of spices.

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A Sweet & Savory Vegetarian (or Vegan) Valentine’s Day

As you plan an alluring vegetarian or vegan meal for Valentine’s Day, I invite you to sample this unique Savory Sweet Potato Soup with Mushrooms & Chocolate Swirl!  I owe its inspiration to one of my very favorite and utterly charming movies: Chocolat.

In the movie, the main character, Vianne (Juliette Binoche) opens a chocolate shop that is considered too great a temptation in a conservative French village. If you watch the movie, you’ll see amazing delicacies that will have you lusting after chocolate! One of the movie’s more memorable and talked-about scenes features a chocolate-themed luncheon that Vianne hosts for a friend’s birthday in which chocolate sauces accompany every dish. Her menu features a large turkey and a pork roast, though I’ve often wondered what that meal might look like for a vegetarian feast. Today’s sweet and savory soup is my attempt at the first course!

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10 Ways to Celebrate the Healing Power of Spices

Looking for a soup to warm you, body and soul? Then look no further than this Curried Cauliflower Soup, which serves as a great introduction to the healing power of spices.

After a week of frigid weather in North Carolina, we’re definitely craving hot soup for dinner. Although the cherry trees in our neighborhood were already starting to bloom, as they were apparently confused by a few weeks of 65 to 70 degrees!

To many readers, nothing says “hot” quite like “curry,” but if you don’t enjoy heavily spiced foods—because, like me, you avoid cayenne pepper—you may be pleasantly surprised how much you’ll love this cauliflower soup. Why? Because this recipe has built-in flexibility from delicately flavored to spicy hot. Although “curry” usually signals fiery hot, when I cook, I leave the cayenne out altogetherbut you can certainly add as much as you enjoy. A curry is simply any Indian-spiced dish with a mélange of spices that are cooked in water and fat to create a gravy, or in this case, a soup.

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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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Introducing Kokum with a Vegan White Bean Soup

It’s bitter cold in North Carolina and across much of the country as I write this blog—a perfect time for a wintry Vegan White Bean Soup. I’ve seasoned it with kokum as a way to introduce this fruit that is unfamiliar to most Americans, although it has been used in Ayurvedic cooking for millennia.

Dried kokum (also known as whole garcinia fruit or mangostein) is used in Indian cooking because of its sour taste. What makes kokum unusual is that, unlike other sour foods—lemon, lime, vinegar, tomato—kokum does not increase pitta’s fiery nature. If you have pitta problems and eat too much of these other sour foods, you can set yourself up for a lot of pitta maladies. These include acid indigestion and acid reflux as well as skin problems, headaches, and

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All Things Pumpkin…continued!

Have I told you that I love fresh pumpkin  (see Spiced Pumpkin Pound Cake)? As the holiday season moves toward its peak, what can be better than a fresh Puréed Pumpkin Soup. The markets are still filled with sugar pumpkins, the sweet edible pumpkins used for pumpkin pies and all things pumpkin.

Pumpkin, like squash, is one of the favored foods of Ayurveda because it is so easy to digest. It’s ideal for vata and pitta. For watery kapha, it’s still fine if balanced with warming spices. I’ve chosen cinnamon, cardamom, allspice and fresh ginger—

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