The deeper we get into these dark seasons, the more we will crave food that nourishes the energies of our root chakra to provide grounding and stability. Right on cue, Nature offers us her more hearty bounty filled with grounding roots and vegetables at this time. These foods are heavy, sweet, fibrous, and rich in complex carbohydrates and phytonutrients that help us prepare for the cooler, longer nights and to counteract the dry, light, and scattered qualities that dominate this time.
These foods are denser and take longer to soften, but the more time we spend cooking our food, the less work our digestive system will have to put in. Even though our digestive system is more efficient during this time of year, many can often overdo it with excessively heavy meals that lack digestive aids.
For those that have more Vata in their system, their dry constitutions will do better with more fat and creaminess, so I added some blended Coconut Cream and Pumpkin Seeds towards the end. Those with dominant Kapha constitution can omit this addition, and just add chopped Parsley when cooking is almost complete. With that said, given all the sweet roots in this soup, this could be imbalancing for some Kapha dominant types or those with sugar sensitivity (i.e. diabetes, candida).
This is a deeply grounding, demulcent, and nourishing tonic brimming with antioxidants and loaded with fiber for counteracting the dry and mobile qualities of Fall. As always, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help move all this plant material through your system. When all is said and done, my kitchen looks like a crime scene! Cooking with fresh Beets can stain countertops, clothes, and fingers, so make sure to wear an apron.
Here is some information on the medicinal and energetic actions of our star players, Beets and Carrots, and a bit on the other four roots:
Beets are full of soluble and insoluble fiber which bulks up your stool, so this stimulates the bowels and peristalsis producing a mild laxative effect. They cleanse, cool, and build the blood, making them very supportive for those with anemia. Beets also detoxify the whole body, strengthen the liver (livotonic), and improve digestion by stimulating the release of bile from the gallbladder (cholagogue). They are also considered a superfood during Fall as they help dispel any excess heat accumulated in the tissues over the Summer, giving them an anti-inflammatory effect.
Like Beets, Carrots also have a mild laxative effect and are great for eliminating toxins from the body. They too are livotonics and cholagogues making them great for digestion and highly supportive of the blood and liver. They are strengthening to the eyes and skin, and are cleansing to the kidneys and the whole urinary system. They have a lithotrophic action meaning they can help break up kidney and gall stones.
White Potato and Sweet Potato both add more of that sweet, earthy, heavy, and grounding quality so needed in the Fall. Onions and Ginger are going to add some pungency and stimulation to aid the digestive fire, and also provide anti-viral properties.
Energetically, this recipe is sattvic, so it brings peace and contentment to the mind, thereby supporting the nervous system. It also promotes the production of Ojas, which is our vital essence and immunity reserves. All these qualities above make this recipe true medicine for the Fall.
1 Tbsp Ghee (or Coconut Oil for vegans)
2 tsp Fennel Seeds
1 Onion, chopped
2-4 Celery Stalks, diced
4 Carrots, peeled & chopped
4 small Beets, peeled & chopped
1 White Potato, peeled & chopped
1 Sweet Potato, chopped
8 cups Water or your favorite stock
½ tsp Cumin powder
1-2 tsp Pink Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1-2 tsp fresh grated Ginger Root
*Add in for Creaminess & Fat*
Generous Handful of fresh Parsley
2 Tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
3 Tbsp Coconut Cream
Water to blend
Melt Ghee or Oil in a large pot.
Add Fennel Seeds and let sautee for about 1 minute, until you smell the aroma of the seeds.
Stir in the Onion & Celery and let sautee until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add water, Beets, Carrots, White Potato, Sweet Potato, Cumin, Ginger, Salt & Pepper.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium & simmer. Cover & cook until vegetables are tender ~ about 4o minutes.
With an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Can add water to adjust the thickness to your liking.
Put the Pumpkin Seeds, Coconut Cream, Parsley & water into a blender and blend until smooth.
Stir into the soup.
Serve warm with a fresh squeeze of lemon or lime and a sprinkle of Pumpkin Seeds.
Provides 6-8 servings.