I hope you’re all having an inspired and balanced week. This here veg soup is one of my all-time favorite recipes! So I thought it is a MUST-share recipe for the blog. There are MANY benefits to having this soup be one of the recipes tucked up your sleeve for whenever you need a go-to, easy, delicious and balanced meal. Some of the benefits I will outline below:
· It is a one-pot wonder: meaning it not only takes minimal prep, but also uses minimal equipment (that is to say: JUST ABOUT NO WASHING UP TO DO AFTERWARDS)
· It is super budget friendly. Those that say veganism is expensive can think again with this hearty beauty of a meal, perfect for that student life. Not only does it make a BIG batch allowing for some easy go-to meals during the busy days ahead, but it also uses really easily accessible, cheap ingredients such as seasonal vegetables and brown rice.
· It is super nutrient-dense. This meal is jam-packed with nourishing goodies. Talk about a winner. It is one of those soups that make your body just sing with satisfaction – on many levels. It contains a great array of vegetables: from broccoli to peas to carrots, kale and chard.
I have briefly touched on Macrobiotics in my “Energy and Health: The Connection” blog post. For those of you that would like a quick overview of what Macrobiotics is, you can head over there for a quick squizz link in brackets (https://www.thehealingroot.com/life/healingrootpost) . A more in-depth blog post will be up on the blog soon.
In Macrobiotics the tools and techniques used to achieve balance and homeostasis in ones’ life vary greatly. One of the primary tools used however, is that of a balanced, natural, whole plant foods diet.
Essentially, everything in life is energy – from the foods we eat, to the activities we do and everything in between. There are two main groups of energy, namely: Yin and Yang. Yin energy is feminine, lunar energy. Some of the characteristics of yin energy are: dark, passive, Earth, water, female, slow, calm, cold. Conversely, yang energy is masculine, fire-sun energy. Some characteristics of yang energy are: hot, intense, passionate, bright, active, hard, dominant. Here are a few examples in terms of yin and yang energy in common foods and exercises. Running is considered a yang exercise, while yoga is seen as more yin. Red meat is a very yang food while fruit is considered a yin food. Learning about the energetic qualities of things enables us to choose foods and activities that allow us to find balance in our lives. In terms of food choices, below is a chart demonstrating where particular foods lie relative to their energy.
As you can see, the most neutral and balanced foods are those near the middle point, namely: whole grains, legumes, vegetables, seeds and fruit. It makes sense then to eat a diet rich in these foods to enable you to find balance through dietary means (which often tends to neutralize and balance you even if other areas of your life are out of balance) which is such an effective way of increasing and maintaining your health. Have you ever had that experience when you have eaten a very savory or meat-rich meal and then afterwards you crave something sweet? This is an example of the body’s way of trying to find balance. The saltiness of the meal or the fact that it is animal-product rich means it is considered a very yang meal, and consequently the body tries to rectify that by going for/craving its extreme opposite: very yin foods. When we eat too many yin foods or too many yang foods two things can happen. Either you will crave more of whatever type of food you are eating excess in, or, you will crave the complete opposite extreme. However, when you eat foods that are closer to the middle point of balance you will find that most cravings disappear because you are balanced.
What becomes even more fascinating is that this all goes deeper! Even different cooking methods impart different energetic qualities onto the food you are preparing. For example, steaming food imparts an uplifting, light energy. While roasting food imparts a more contractive, dense energy onto the food.
Another example of this “going deeper” is that different foods within food groups have different qualities. For example, foods that grow up towards the sky like celery, kale and rhubarb give you an uplifting energy as they grow UP. While foods that grow down into the Earth like sweet potato, carrots, and beetroots (root vegetables) give you a grounding energy that is hearty, comforting, wholesome and helps to center yourself. This way you can literally pick and choose the food you want to eat and the methods/techniques you want to use to prepare the food according to how you want to feel after a meal. Isn’t that just wondrous? Isn’t that just so empowering? Test it out, try this exercise. Next time you eat a meal of root vegetables and brown rice see how you feel afterwards. Jot it down somewhere. Then next time you eat a meal of steamed, upward-growing vegetables like broccoli, green beans, fresh greens and asparagus with brown rice note how you feel afterwards. Compare notes and you will likely find that after the first meal you felt grounded, centered, strong and solid. And after the second meal you likely felt lighter, uplifted and energized.
Where am I going with all of this? Well, back to the soup of course. This soup is a very grounding, uplifting, hearty, wholesome and balanced meal. It leaves you feeling light, but satisfied, energized but calm. Grounded but uplifted.
· 1 large yellow/white onion
· 1 small red onion
· 1 leek
· 1 tomato
· 1 tablespoon of dried Thyme
· 1 tablespoon of dried Oregano
· 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
· ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
· 1 cup water
· 1 large carrot
· 5 stalks of celery
· 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
· 2 cups of chopped sweet potato
· 8 cups of boiling water (you can also add 1 tin of chopped tomato if you'd like to made it more tomato-y, although in Macrobiotics tomato tends to be somewhat avoided due to it being a nightshade vegetable)
· 1 cup of boiling water mixed with 2 vegetable stocks
· 1.5 cups of chopped yellow bell pepper (or 1 medium bell pepper)
· 3 cups broccoli florets, chopped
· 1 cup frozen green peas
· 1 cup frozen corn
· 1.5-2 cups precooked brown rice
· ½ tin drained and washed chickpeas
· 1 cup warm water
· 2 tablespoons of dark miso paste
· 2 packed cups chopped and washed kale
· 2 packed cups chopped and washed chard/spinach
· Squeeze of lemon
· Salt and pepper to taste
1. Place a big pot on the stove. Bring to medium-high heat. Chop your onions, leeks, tomato. Place the chopped foods into the pot. Add the 1 cup of water. Now add the dried herbs and spices. Mix well and cook until soft and tender about 10 minutes.
2. Add your grated ginger and mix well. Cut your carrot and celery, adding that to the pot. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
3. Add in your sweet potato and 5 cups of boiling water. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes while you prepare some of your other vegetables.
4. Add in the remaining water (3 cups normal hot water + 1 cup of water that has 2 stock cubes dissolved into it).
5. Once the potatoes are cooked through add in the yellow pepper and broccoli. Cook for 5 minutes while you prepare and measure the rest of the ingredients.
6. Turn off the heat. Add in the frozen peas and corn. Add in the chickpeas and rice.
7. Now add in the washed and chopped kale and chard allowing the heat to gently cook it.
8. Now take 1 cup of warm/hot water and dissolve the 2 heaped tablespoons of miso paste in it. This is important so that the miso is evenly distributed through the soup. It is vital to do this part at the end so that you don’t kill of the beneficial probiotics in the miso paste (adding the miso while the soup is on the heat of the stove and boiling will destroy some of the probiotics). Add the miso liquid to the soup.
9. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper to taste. Optionally garnish the soup with herb of choice.