A magical blend of warm comfort food with squash, rutabaga, carrot, onion, and sweet potato, I created this creamy soup for my Qigong students, an example of how to heal inflammation, epidemic in our times. Easy to make if you have an immersion blender, it has a naturally sweet flavor of root veggies.
How does this soup heal inflammation? In Chinese Medicine “dampness” means a pattern of inflammation, congestion and lethargy. Common foods that cause dampness are sugar, alcohol, coffee, caffeine, stimulants, greasy foods, desserts, donuts, cold foods and drinks, soda, and refined grains or flours such as wheat. These cause problems especially in the Spleen system, which includes the pancreas and stomach. Reversing a pattern of dampness is difficult. You can do it with a combination of dietary change, acupuncture, and movement such as Qigong or Tai chi. Balancing foods for the Spleen system include celery, cabbage, onion, red rice, adzuki bean, cucumber, water chestnut, bamboo shoots, clams, olives, carrot, squash, pumpkin, rutabaga, honey, cardamom, anise, onion, burdock root. Grounding foods such as cooked root vegetables are helpful.
BTW this recipe is quite flexible – you can use almost any winter squash or root veggie available. This makes a large pot, so I freeze it in serving-size containers for easy future meals. But my class consumed it all. Hah! Serves 6.
- 4 cups filtered water
- 2 onions, in chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon unprocessed salt to taste
- One winter squash such as Acorn, Butternut, Kabuki, Pumpkin, etc. baked and removed from the shell.
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and in chunks
- 1 parsnip peeled and in chunks
- 2 carrots, coarsely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 1 inch fresh ginger root, diced
- 2 teaspoons cardamom to taste
- 3 tablespoons organic ghee or coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground anise
- Bring all ingredients to boil in a large soup pot. Turn the heat down and simmer 15 minutes.
- When the veggies are soft but not overcooked, puree the soup with an immersion blender.
- Season to a balanced taste with salt, white pepper, ghee or coconut oil, and spices. Serve with your favorite fresh herbs.