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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Ayurvedic cooking - pumpkin soup


I love to learn about different styles of cooking - often when i’m on holiday i like to take a cooking class to experience the local way of creating and eating dishes…plus you get to eat lots of delicious food! So when a friend of mine had done an Ayurvedic class I was keen to learn about this way of cooking.

Ayurvedic means literally “science of life” and is the world’s oldest healthcare, evolved from India. Ayurveda is holistic and aims to create harmony between your body, mind and spirit in order to prevent / treat illness and support a long and healthy life. Its philosophy extends into yoga as well. It’s cooking essence is about healthy and restorative food to optimise your body’s elements. It promotes a balanced diet focused on plant foods and healthier food preparation (e.g. steaming and roasting).

As it was a cold autumnal day, we chose a three-course meal to cook that would be warm and comforting.


We flipped through the pages of “The large Ayurvedic nutrition book: healthy living and satisfying food


To start with we chose a pumpkin soup.

I set to work chopping all the ingredients…


…and of course having a little fun along the way!

Then it was time to start cooking. We were using ghee which I’d never used before.


Ghee is a type of clarified butter that originated in ancient India. It’s made by simmering butter and removing the liquid. Its very popular in Ayurvedic medicine and Indian cooking. In Ayurveda, ghee is also part of a detox cleanse as it has a host of benefits which I found here:
  1. Flushes old bile from the body.
  2. Stimulates the liver to make new bile, so 94% of old toxic bile is not re-absorbed.
  3. Scrubs the intestines of toxins and bad bugs.
  4. Supports the primary source of energy and immunity for the cells of the gut.
  5. Supports the health of the beneficial bacteria in the gut who make butyrate.
  6. Lubricates and softens the hardened tissues of the body.
  7. Pulls stored fat soluble toxins and molecules of emotion out of the body.
  8. Encourages fat metabolism and weight loss.
  9. Supports stable mood and energy levels.
  10. Protects against bad bacteria in the gut.


Ghee education over. Back to the cooking!

In first went the leeks


Then the celeriac, potatoes, pumpkin apple plus herbs (lemongrass and curry powder)

Mixed it all together.

Then added the coconut milk and coconut water (the water wasn’t in the recipe but we thought would be a good idea to thin down the soup and mean we weren’t too full for the next two courses)

And then left it to simmer.

After a while all the veggies had softened up and the liquid thickened up - and a yummy smell filled the kitchen.

We blended everything up to make our finished soup.

Ta-dah!

We were a little surprised how non-orange our pumpkin soup was but figured it was down to the amount of dark green leek we’d included.

But it tasted delicious - especially with extra fresh herbs mixed in.

Main meal followed quickly on…blog to follow!


Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1kg pumpkin
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 leek
  • 1/2 bulb celeriac
  • 1 apple
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • herbs & spices
  • * we also added coconut water to thin the soup down

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