Winter Foods in Focus
Built with my inspiring chef friend Joshna Maharaj, this delicious blend was developed for keeping you warm in the heart of winter or for those of you who tend to be cold year round.
Warming, nourishing and so darn tasty, this blend lends itself to slow cooking food. We created a nourishing root veggie soup but it can be used to rub on meats for slow roasting or add to curries you want to have that extra mmmmm toasty warmth.
You can easily prepare a jar of this to have on hand in your pantry. Very reminiscent of East Indian spice mixes, this wise blend has been nourishing people for centuries.
Including some of the warm yang spices in your diet is the perfect balance to the cold yin weather of winter.
Warming Spice Blend
Makes about 1 tbsp
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir. Multiply the recipe by 5-6 if you want to keep on hand and store in an airtight container.
Orange Root Soup
A delicious and nourishing soup to warm you up from the first crisp night of fall right through to spring.
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
4 tsp Yang Spice Blend
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into a 1-inch dice
½ butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into a 1-inch dice
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup red lentils
1 tsp salt
juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- In a large soup pot, heat vegetable oil on medium high heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and ginger and sauté for another 2 minutes to lightly brown. Add spice blend and cook for another minute.
- Add sweet potato, squash, carrots & lentils and fill to the level of the vegetables with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, when all vegetables should be tender.
- Remove pot from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until very fine, going a bit further than you think you need to. Add salt and lemon juice and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve garnish with toasted almonds.
This soup builds our root energy – the digestive system (spleen/stomach/pancreas system in TCM) loves orange coloured vegetables and with the addition of the warm spice blend, it helps to build heat, digestive fire and aids in the absorption of nutrients. This helps us to build our energy (or Qi) and keep our digestive system strong year round.