Archive for March, 2018

March 27, 2018

Creamy Carrot Soup Recipe

20180326_090158Since Easter is just around the corner, and I hear bunnies love carrots, I thought this might be a timely post. I have always loved snacking on carrots. Not so much in the civilized little stick format, but in more of a bugs bunny inspired, whole vegetable nibbling approach. I still do this regularly, but from time to time I deviate from raw, or simple steaming, to yummy carrot soup. I tried a bunch of different approaches before  finally finding the favourite that I am sharing here.

The best thing about this recipe, aside from its deliciousness, is that it is so easy to make. The first few recipes I tried had me messing up most of the dishes in my kitchen as I moved from step to step. This one just uses the soup pot and the blender and will leave you wondering why you haven’t been eating this Ayurvedic super health food more often.

Carrots have been used traditionally in Ayurveda for a whole range of ailments such as cancer, arthritis, high cholesterol, and digestive issues. Of course carrots are not the whole picture but when added to your diet they can play a role in promoting overall health and wellness, particularly in these areas. For those of you who know your doshas, carrots decrease vata and kapha imbalance and promote pitta.

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carrot soup boullion

And now for the recipe.

Ingredients

2 tbs ghee (or butter)

1 medium-Large onion,

1-2 stalks celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 slices ginger, chopped

1 tbsp chopped parsley

5 cups chopped carrots (About 5 Large carrots)

6 cups water

2 blocks organic veg broth

Himalayan Sea Salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

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Instructions: Heat ghee/butter in soup pot on medium heat until it melts. Add onion and celery and cook 5 min or so until soft. Add garlic and parsley. Stir as you cook for 10-15 seconds. Add carrots and stir. Soften the broth cubes in a cup of hot water and then add this and 5 more cups of water. Simmer on med high till boiling. Reduce heat to to maintain an active simmer and cook for 25 minutes.

Pour into blender and puree until smooth. (Careful here! I ladle the soup into the blender until I get to the very end to avoid boiling hot splashes. Or you could wait till the soup cools a little). Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a swirl of cream,or without if you don’t do dairy. I like it fine without the cream. Sprinkle on some parsley and serve.

You can make this in advance, refrigerate and serve the next day. It also freezes well.

If you are inspired to make ghee (clarified butter) check out this link to my blog post on how to make ghee. Once you have a bottle made you can use it for all kinds of cooking projects.

Enjoy!

 

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March 19, 2018

Shakti Books: Night Boat

Fuji

What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?

Book Night Boat and JizoThis famous paradoxical riddle is one of the many legendary historical zen references in Alan Spence’s biography of the illustrious Zen Master, Hakuin. These riddles, or koans, are used to illustrate the limitation of  logical reasoning, and in turn trigger enlightenment when one meditates on them with sincerity, and intensity. Hakuin taught that every life experience was a koan of some form. This story of his life is inextricably  woven into an exposition of zen art and poetry, portrayed against the backdrop of the enchanting Mount Fuji, and the bustling activity of the Tokaido, the famed walkway between Tokyo and Kyoto.

Geisha

The book begins with Hakuin as a scared, spiritually thirsty child struggling with a terror of hellfire and brimstone. Encouraged by his devoted mother he chooses a zen path despite his father’s objections.

His journey meanders through the many struggles of his seeking years as an earnest young monk, eventually arriving at his colorful twilight as the world’s most renowned and influencial zen instructor.

Alan Spence skillfully blends the man, the time and the teachings into a breathtaking zen tapestry. For those interested in learning more about the practice of zen this well-researched book provides a multi-faced exposure in the form of Hakuin’s many teachers, experiences, zen poetry and artwork. Lovers of Japanese aesthetic and history will feel as if they have just taken a stroll down the Tokaido.

Miss Fuji,

Cast aside your hazy robe

And show me your snowy skin.