In Ayurveda food is medicine.
The Digestive Fire God Agni is revered and for good reason, we truly are what we eat. Or more like what we digest.
The secret my friends is that it is not only what we are eating that determines our happy digestion and our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It is also how we eat, where we eat, with whom we eat, and from where our food comes.
This includes the love of the farmer for the land, the consciousness of the consumer to make good food choices, and the passion of the chef to create intentional, soul-satisfying, nourishing meals.
I happen to know one such mindful and passionate chef who also lucky for me is one of my best friends and soul-sisters on this fragrant journey of life. Myra Kornfeld is a chef, educator, author, and creative alchemist who has just completed and launched into the world her latest and most gorgeous book, co-authored with her husband Stephen Massimilla, a poet, scholar, professor, and painter.
This is a stunning book, a culinary and literary work of art to deepen your sensual experience of food, and to satiate your soul with delectable poetic beauty. Just released by Tupelo Press and available so you can order your very own copy!
Myra has generously shared her Spring Greens Soup recipe (below) from the book. This is the perfect soup for nourishing Vata, and satisfying Pitta. The pungent garlic, tarragon and dill are ideal at this time of year for energizing Kapha. Creamy without cream, bright and unbelievably delicious! (image of soup at top of blog).
The base of a good soup is a good stock.
One of my most satisfying things to do in the kitchen is to make really good broths. Whether they be bone, chicken or veggie. I save my peelings and veggie ends in a freezer bag and every week make a nice big pot of broth! Simply use a stock pot big enough for your veggie bits and cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes (depending on the type of broth it will require more time). Strain and reserve the broth for cooking, compost the veggies. A broth adds easy-to-digest minerals and rich nutrients and a depth of flavour you cannot get from a mere bouillon cube.
What is this vast love of food and cooking that brings people so heartily together? I believe it is an instinct that nature provides the most profound gifts deeply linked to our survival and our ability to be nourished on all levels. We connect to our highest selves and to all of life through joyful communion with these gifts. Through the five senses we experience colors which delight the eye, aromas which titillate the nose, sounds which harmonize the mind, touch which makes us feel at home, and finally the taste of this alchemy which brings delightful pleasure to our entire being.
This pleasure becomes our immunity. Our OJAS. Our life force. In Ayurveda it is the absorption and digestion of ALL the sense impressions that determines the quality of our overall vitality and experience of life.
With my 15th Anniversary coming up in May, I thought it would be fun and some serious eye-candy to share the exquisite masterpiece Myra made for our wedding. A labour of love and a work of art. The inside was ginger and coconut and I wish I had a piece of that now! Food, best of friends and gold fondant. That my friends is living The Spice Life!
Please freely share this blog with those you think will benefit. Cooks and good food-lovers alike! We would love to hear your thoughts and questions!
May you be well nourished!
With Fragrant Blessings,
Glynn and Mel
Spring Greens Soup
By Myra Kornfeld
Green and glimmering, velvety and creamy, deep and complex, this soup defines an enchanting way to eat your greens. It opens the emerald doorway to the limitless possibilities of spring. Mix any varieties of young spring greens, from mild escarole to pleasantly bitter mizuna or mustard greens to tender chard or spinach or its wild cousin, lamb’s quarters. You can taste a whole garden in every spoonful, from earthy garlic bulbs, to stems and newly minted leaves, to clouds and butterflies flickering in the distance. Just as every garden is unique, change the greens and you’ll have a slightly different soup each time; but they’ll all taste delightful. Start off with a nourishing stock and stir in the herbed butter, or add a dollop of sour cream or a spoonful of Pistou (page 191), with shaved Parmesan at the end.
Serves 4 to 6
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons ghee, aroma-free coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped leeks (whites and light greens only)
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
12 garlic cloves, peeled
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons white rice (basmati or any other type)
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds spring greens (2 to 3 bunches, depending on size; a mix of bok choi, mizuna, escarole, mustard greens, or chard), washed, stemmed, and roughly chopped (12 to 16 cups loosely packed greens)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Make the butter: Place the butter in a bowl and use a spoon to smash in the dill and tarragon. Transfer the herb butter to a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll it into a log. Refrigerate until firm. (This can be done up to a week in advance.)
2. Make the soup: Warm the ghee in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the leeks, garlic, and ginger and cook until the leeks are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add the rice and 1 teaspoon salt, and simmer covered until the rice is tender, about 10 minutes.
4. Stir in the greens (stuff them in and put the lid back on) and cook over low heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
5. Transfer the soup to a blender and buzz until smooth. (You may have to do this in batches.)
6. Return the soup to the pot. Stir in the lemon juice and a generous sprinkling of pepper. Taste, and add a pinch more salt if necessary.
7. Serve hot, with a tablespoon of herb butter swirled into each bowl.