This is the season of vata – warm soups, hot cup of teas, fall breezes, and spectacular foliage. Long before we knew about food pyramids, RDA’s (recommended daily allowances), Ayurveda came up with six distinct tastes to formulate a balanced diet. Amongst the six tastes, three of which reduce a dosha and three of which increase the same dosha.Tastes that increase vata are astringent, bitter, and pungent. Tastes that reduce or pacify vata are sweet, sour, and salty.
We all know, how stress can take the life out of us! When we start feeling out of control, start skipping meals, mind starts racing, have difficulty getting sleep – our bodies are giving us early symptoms of vata imbalance. This is the time to slow down, take time to rest, enjoy nature and savor warm soothing soups!!
It’s proved by science, that we all first eat with our eyes…look at this vibrant inviting green color!! I assure you it tastes equally good as it’s boastful appearance!
Spinach-Mung Soup is warm and creamy, moderately heavy, soothing, and nourishing to our body and mind, fits right in to balance our vata! Let me tell you this soup is quite filling and can be a whole lunch on it’s own.
Combination of mung beans and spinach makes this dish not only protein rich but a nutritiously dense balanced meal. Per, Ayurveda when we eat according to our body constitution and in tune with the changing seasons, the natural outcome is detoxification and weight loss!
Let’s get started – (serves 2-3 people)
- 1- 2 tsp unrefined Sesame Oil (or Olive Oil)
- 1 tbsp Date paste
- 1 tsp fresh minced Ginger
- 2 cloves minced Garlic
- 1/2 -1 tsp crushed Black Pepper
- 1 pinch of Red Chilli Flakes (optional)
- 2 tsp Cumin pwd
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom pwd
- 1 tsp Spice Mix ( 21 day salute or allspice)
- 1-2 tsp Lemon/Lime juice
- 2 tbsp Nut Paste (pumpkin seeds and walnuts)
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup chopped Leeks (or onions)
- 1/2 cup chopped Celery
- 1 cup cooked Yellow Split Mung Beans
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped Spinach
- 1/2 cup diced Carrots
- 2-4 cups Water (you can also use vegetable stock)
Yes, it looks like a long list of ingredients, but most of these ingredients we generally have in our pantries. Feel free to skip/substitute/add ingredients that you like to have.
Take a stock pot, add the oil and saute the chopped veggies along with all the seasonings except spinach. Saute for 5-10 mins, your kitchen will be filled with appetizing aromas!!. Now, add the spinach and water to the mixture. Saute for few more mins. At the end add the mung beans and simmer until everything gets well incorporated.
Blend to a soup like consistency. When ready to serve garnish with parsley, tomatoes. Small cubed avocados go well with this soup!
During the vata season, Ayurveda tells us to eat cooked greens in moderation and stay away from eating raw salads. Eating raw salads during vata season tends to increase the dryness quality in our bodies which eventually leads to constipation and bloating.
I do cut back on my green smoothies during the fall season and have them occasionally. In my own observation, my body does embrace cooked greens in soups more than having them raw in smoothies or salads. The key is to listen to your body, – it knows what’s best for you!
Enjoy this beautiful season. Happy Healthy Eating!! _/\_