For those of you who don’t know, I have been studying and practicing yoga for the better part of 10 years. Beginning with my first yoga class at 15, I quickly became hooked and pursued my yoga instructor license. I now teach yoga classes 4-5 times per week in the DC area and have made a point to maintain my personal yogic philosophy lessons. That includes incorporating such concepts into my daily exercise, meditation, and cooking.
In Vedic philosophy, there are 3 Gunas (tendencies or states of the true Self): sattva, rajas, and tamas. Sattva represents that which is pure, balanced, and organized. When cooking think about light fruits, coconut water, broths, etc. While sattva is pure and clean, rajas tends towards movement high intensity. These foods will represent spice, heat, and other complex favors (jalapeños, lemon juice, vinegar). Finally, tamas demonstrates lethargy, dullness, and heaviness. You can identify such heavy tamas qualities in potatoes, bread, cream, etc.
The perfect harmony in one’s self occurs when all the Gunas exist in a balance. The same can be said for a satisfying meal. That one plate should intrigue the senses with a balance of clean, satiating, and tantalizing tastes and textures. My Ayurvedic Carrot Soup is just that. It begins with a tamasic heaviness that lends dense richness. The soup then spins into a tingling of spice and kick when mixed with a parsley pesto. But the whole meal finishes with the pure linger of a clean palate.
The following recipe won the hearts of my family this Labor Day weekend. I hope the soup creates for you the same harmony I found while cooking, eating, and laughing at the dinner table.
- Ayurvedic Carrot Soup
2 lbs carrots (8-10 large carrots)
2 stalks celery
1 medium yellow onion
4 cloves fresh garlic
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes
2 Tbs mixed, dry herbs (I like to use basil, parsley, and thyme)
Salt and pepper
Peel carrots, and roughly chop. Clean celery and roughly chop (same size as carrots for consistency). Peel onion and roughly chop. Peel 4 cloves garlic and cut into quarters.
Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally. Season with a touch of salt and pepper, and stir. when carrots are very tender, and onions and garlic are slightly golden, add broth and stir. Drain cashews and add to soup Add dry herbs and cook over medium heat 15 minutes for flavors to combine.
When soup is ready, remove from heat and purée. If you have an immersion blender you can purée the soup directly in the pot. If you don’t, purée the soup in a standup blender in small batches and store in a large serving bowl. Once all soup is puréed, mix it all together with a spoon to make sure all favors are spread evenly throughout.
Serve carry soup hot with a dollop of parsley pesto in the middle. You may also want some crusty bread to soak up the last drops (if there are any!)