Ayurvedic Soup Recipe: Coconut Curry Root Veggie Soup for Vata Season and Vata Dosha
Ayurvedic Soup Recipe - Fall and early winter are the "vata season" in Ayurveda. Vata dosha is made of the elements, air and ether (learn more about the Ayurvedic elements here; and then read more about the Ayurvedic doshas here). Throughout summer, vata is in the "accumulation phase" in our world and in our bodies, preparing for what Ayurveda calls the "aggravation phase" in the fall. When fully expressed, or aggravated, vata is dry, cold, mobile, unstable, and light. Aggravated in our bodies, we can see this as dry skin, eyes, and mucous membranes, dry hair, unstable joints, gas, bloating, and constipation. Aggravated in our minds, we can see this as worry, fear, anxiety, overwhelm, and depression.
Do you dread fall? You might already have a great deal of vata in your Ayurvedic constitution (the way your genes express themselves through the elements and doshas, when you came into this world). On the other hand, you might have a great deal of vata aggravation, or imbalance, especially if you live a fast-paced lifestyle with a lot of movement, "busy-ness," and/or travel (and not a lot of rest or routine).
To balance the vata symptoms you might experience any time of the year, and especially in the fall, or vata season, Ayurveda tells us to bring in the opposite qualities of vata: warmth, moisture, stability, and heaviness (fire, water, and earth elements). So we eat more soups, stews, curries, and stir fries, cooked with more oils for moisture, spices for warmth and improved digestion, and root vegetables for stability/earth quality.
Here's a fabulous recipe that you can use as a "template" for soups, stews, and curries all fall and winter long! Feel free to change out any of the veggies for others, add any protein (great with shredded chicken), and change up the spices to suit your tastes. Don't like onion and/or garlic? Throw in a pinch of hing (asafoetida) powder.
However you like it, here's to balanced vata dosha!
Ayurvedic Coconut Curry Root Veggie Soup Recipe for Vata Dosha and Fall Season
1 tbs. Ghee (can sub Butter or Oil of Choice)
1 tbs. Sunflower Oil (can sub Sesame/Oil of Choice or more Ghee)
1/2 Medium Yellow/Sweet Onion, diced
2 Small or 1 Large Russet Potato(es), chopped into 1/2" cubes
1 Small Butternut Squash, chopped into 1/2" cubes (about 2 cups if using frozen cubes) (feel free to toast the seeds, if you're starting with a whole squash, to sprinkle over your soup!) - you could also sub in sweet potato, parsnips, rutabaga, more russets, or more carrots and celery here
3 Medium Carrots, sliced into thin coins
3 Large Celery Stalks, sliced in half lengthwise and then sliced across thinly
1/2 lb. Shiitake Mushrooms - optional, but they make it so earthy and further strengthen the immune-boosting power of the ginger and garlic! (de-stem and slice the caps -- save the stems for a mushroom or veggie broth later)
1-2 inches Fresh Ginger, peeled and grated (or sub in 1-2 tsp. Ginger powder)
3-4 Cloves Garlic, peeled and grated
1 Tbs. Curry Powder (or if you don't like the heat, 1 Tbs. Turmeric powder)
1 Tbs. Cumin Powder
1/2 Tbs. Coriander Powder
4 Cups Vegetable Broth (I like to make my own with leftover and accumulated, frozen veggie peels and scraps, including those aforementioned mushroom stems.)
1 Can Light (or Regular) Coconut Milk
1 Can Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, drained and rinsed (or chopped, boneless, skinless chicken breast/thighs - about a pound total works here)
2 Tbs. Sea Salt (or more or less depending on your taste and how salty your broth is)
1 Bunch Cilantro, chopped - save stems for another use, like tossing them in with your next stir fry (optional - can sub in flat-leaf parsley if you don't like cilantro)
Juice of Limes (optional)
Heat ghee and/or oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat.
Add onion, potatoes, squash, carrots, and about a tablespoon of salt to help soften/draw out moisture from the veggies; sauté, stirring frequently, until softened (about 7-8 minutes).
Add celery and mushrooms, sautéing another 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until also softened.
Add garlic, ginger, curry/turmeric, cumin, and coriander and stir constantly so everyone is coated in seasoning and to avoid burning the garlic.
Add broth, coconut milk, and chickpeas (or protein of your choice--great time to throw in chopped, skinless, chicken breast or thighs); stir well until combined.
Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer, partially covered, for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes and squash are fork tender.
Stir in optional lime juice and cilantro.
Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding the remaining tablespoon of salt (or more or less, depending on your taste).
Serve it up, and enjoy!
Meghan Hays is an Ayurvedic Practitioner offering Ayurveda Salt Lake City. To Schedule Your Initial Ayurvedic Consult, PleaseContact US