A Velvety, Comforting Soup for your Ayurvedic Diet
Are you curious about eating the Ayurvedic way as a lifestyle diet shift? This system has been around for thousands of years, and will improve your overall health and mind balance. Because following an Ayurvedic diet is based on the principles of balancing the different types of elements and energy within the body, it can help anyone nourish or heal.
In the Ayurvedic diet, it is important to consider seasonality. Winter with its short days and slow, cold mornings can lead us to feel sluggish, stagnant and internally ‘gloomy’. These qualities are similar to the kapha dosha and therefore winter is generally believed to be a Kapha season.
According to Ayurveda, we need to bring food to our diets that balance these energies of the cold winter. We want to calm kapha without aggravating pitta or vata doshas. Our bodies require more food to stay warm and boost our immunity through this particular season. We want to eat warm, nourishing, easily digestible foods.
This recipe by Ayurvedic chef Divya Alter brings us a warm, velvety soup that combines cauliflower, almonds, and delicious spices. Cauliflower can sometimes aggravate Vata dosha, however the way this soup is prepared by balancing with almond cream should cause no problems. It’s a good example of a dish that has a vegetable that is considered not beneficial to Vata/air element, but when combined with another ingredient that has the opposite energy of Kapha/earth element which is heavier, the cauliflower becomes balanced to the digestive system. Cauliflower is said to be good for the lungs and supports bone and joint health. And almonds contain medicinal properties due to their fiber, antioxidants, and other minerals such as magnesium and riboflavin.
Cauliflower Soup with Almond Cream
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook and Finish: 25 to 30 minutes
2 tablespoons ghee, sesame oil, or coconut oil
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
6 curry leaves
2 ½ teaspoons Soma Salt
1/8 teaspoon asafoetida powder or ¼ teaspoon Hing Ghee
1 small cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets; stems and smaller greens chopped (6 cups altogether)
2 medium taro roots, peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick (about 1 cup)
½ cup raw almonds, soaked overnight in water to cover by a couple inches, drained, and rinsed
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper or to taste
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley
Heat the ghee in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the turmeric and toast for 10 seconds, then add the cumin seeds and toast for 5 more seconds. Add the curry leaves, salt, and asafoetida and toast for about 10 more seconds, until the leaves crisp up. Add the cauliflower and taro, stir to mix the vegetables with the spices, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 5 cups of water and bring to a full boil, then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the cauliflower and taro are tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the almond cream: To peel the soaked almonds easily, cover them with a cup of boiling hot water for 7 seconds (this way the almonds will remain raw). Rinse, drain, and peel the almonds. In a blender, blend them with 2/3 cup water to a smooth cream. Set aside ¼ cup of the cream for garnishing each soup bowl.
Let the cooked soup sit uncovered for 10 minutes to cool it down a bit, add the pepper, then blend the soup with the remaining almond cream to a chunky or smooth consistency, whatever your preference is, adding more water if necessary.
Reheat the soup until hot. Garnish each bowl with fresh dill and a swirl of almond cream. Serve immediately.
For more Ayurvedic recipes and guidance from Divya Alter, visit http://divyaalter.com/.