TENDING the TABLE

Carrot Ginger Soup

Today I’m sharing the recipe for this super satisfying five ingredient carrot ginger soup. This is the soup I make any time we need a quick meal or when the fridge is bare. It’s simple, fast and so nourishing. Continue reading for the recipe and some Ayurvedic tips to improve digestion.

Yoga and Ayurveda are a big part of my life and I’ve spent many years studying both. Until now, I’ve intentionally avoided talking too much about either on the blog for fear of pigeonholing myself. However, I’ve begun to notice a lot of interest in Ayurvedic herbs around the internet and wanted to share some thoughts and resources with you all so that you can be well-informed and make the most of this powerful system of healing. I’m planning to share more Yogic and Ayurvedic resources with you soon. For now, here’s a little intro to Ayurveda and some thoughts on promoting healthy digestion.Ayurveda has been around for 5,000 years. It provides a practical lens through which we can view ourselves and the world. According to Ayurveda the five elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth make up the three energies or doshas. Vata is the energy of ether and air and is dry, cold, light, mobile, subtle, rough etc. Pitta is the energy of fire and water and is wet, hot, light, oily etc. Kapha is the energy of earth and water and is wet, cold, heavy, smooth, stable, soft etc. These energies are responsible for all physiological, mental and emotional functions. We are all born in a state of perfect doshic balance, but over the course of our lives, various factors, both internal and external, lead to imbalance and disease. Ayurveda, the science of life, can help guide us back to a state of balance and optimal health. Ayurveda advocates for a three pronged approach to healing that incorporates diet, lifestyle and herbs with the understanding that like increases like and opposites reduce. Most imbalances can be treated with diet and lifestyle alone but it is important to understand which doshas and qualities are at play in order to choose an effective approach. Check out the resources below to learn more and to begin to determine your constitution. In the meantime, I’ve outlined some basic dietary principles and some simple ways to improve digestion.

Balanced agni, or digestive fire, is essential for good health and for proper absorption, assimilation and elimination. Without healthy digestion, malnutrition, stagnation and toxicity occur. According to Ayurveda, there are several types of digestive imbalances that can arise. Digestion can be irregular, hypermetabolic (too fast) or hypometabolic (too slow). Each type of digestive imbalance is caused by inappropriate dietary choices. Irregular digestion (visama agni) is caused by over consumption of cold, light and dry foods which vitiate the digestive fire and result in irregular appetite, indigestion, bloating, constipation, and pain. Hypermetabolism (tiksna agni) is caused by over consumption of spicy, sour and salty foods which fan the digestive fire and cause acid reflux, heartburn, diarrhea, and other inflammatory issues. Hypometabolism (manda agni) is caused by overconsumption of cold foods, eating too much or eating too often which dampen the digestive fire and result in congestion, allergies, dullness and heaviness. Most of us suffer from at least one of these digestive issues but changing a few little things can make a big difference.

Here are just a few ways to improve digestion:

  1. Eat only when hungry
  2. Eat at regular times each day
  3. Make lunch the biggest meal of the day ( this is when digestion is strongest) and eat a light, early dinner
  4. Leave at least three hours between meals to allow the previous meal to fully digest
  5. Eat in a calm, relaxed environment
  6. Eat the right amount of food (not too much, not too little)
  7. Sip warm water or ginger or licorice tea during your meal to promote optimal digestion
  8. Take a short walk after eating
  9. Incorporate digestive spices such as ginger, cumin, coriander, pepper, and fennel into your meals
  10. Incorporate all six tastes into each meal (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent)
  11. Eat for your constitution (you can find a chart here)
  12. Avoid iced beverages, cold/raw food, processed/frozen/microwaved food and leftovers as these all dull the digestive fire

And here are some additional resources if you want to learn more:

Books

Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing

Resources/Articles/ Workshops

The Ayurvedic Institute

Life Spa

Dr Claudia Welch

Herbs/Oils/Skin Care

Banyan Botanicals

Sarada

I hope you find some of these tips helpful and please comment below with any thoughts or questions.

Have a lovely week!

XO Sasha*Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos of my recipes  with #tendingthetable. 

Carrot Ginger Soup

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced

5 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks

4 cups vegetable broth

*optional: chive blossoms, radish sprouts, soaked buckwheat groats to garnish

PROCEDURE

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the carrots and broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the carrots are easily pierced with a knife. Transfer to a high speed blender and puree until completely smooth. Garnish with chive blossoms, sprouts and buckwheat groats.