Green juice is all the rage these days. And it is a great way for many people to starting getting more green vegetables into their diet which I am a huge fan of. And come summer, you will certainly see me sipping away on one.
In the other months of the year, however, Ayurveda advises swapping out green juice for green soup. Now, as there were not Vitamix’s in ancient India, the traditional Ayurvedic texts don’t address green juice vs. green soup specifically, but if you look at the qualities of both in the context of Ayurveda the recommendation makes perfect sense.
First and foremost, green juice is cold and green soup is hot. Ayurveda believes hot food is easier to digest, particularly in the colder seasons, which is why during the hot days of summer, the height of Pitta season, green juice can have a place in your diet. Secondly, Ayurveda has certain food combinations it advises us to stay away from as they can impair digestion, and one of them is mixing fruit with other foods. Ayurveda advises that all fruit should be eaten alone, and as most green juice recipes have an apple or other fruit thrown in there to balance out the taste that can be another Ayurveda road block. Lastly, when you cook the vegetables before you blend them you can add spices and healthy fats which is the key to ensuring the nutrients from your greens get absorbed into your tissues so you can put them to good use.
As springtime, or Kapha season, is the time where we should be getting more bitter, astringent and pungent greens into our lives, I made green soup today. Especially as here in NYC spring is slow to come this year, it was a perfect warming way to get my greens in. This is a great recipe as it balances out the bitterness of the greens with the sweetness of the parsnips and carrots still hanging around from last season so it is easier on the taste buds and for the seasonal transition. And the beauty is, if you have the tools to make juice, you have the tools to make soup. It is all the same in the end, you just have to take an extra step to cook the food before you blend it. Try it out and let me know what you think!
Spring Cleaning Green Soup (makes about 3 cups)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 parsnip, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock or water
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger (either finely chopped by hand or by Magic Bullet)
- 1 cup chopped greens (today I used spinach, you can also use kale, swiss chard or whatever you are feeling)
- ½ lemon (juice only)
- In a large pot, heat the coconut oil, add the broccoli, parsnip and carrot and cook over low heat for five minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the vegetable broth or water, salt and spices and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for 5-7 minutes, until vegetables are tender but not mushy.
- Stir in the greens and cook for two more minutes.
- Transfer soup to high speed blender. Add lemon juice and blend until smooth.
- Enjoy! Also goes great with a bowl of kitchari!