AUTUMN FOODS & RECIPES

YELLOW & ORANGE ARE THE HEALING COLORS OF THE SEASON!

Chinese Medicine is based on the tenets of nature. Organ systems are related to seasons, directions, emotions, sensory organs, foods, colors and taste. For example Autumn is related to the Earth Element which corresponds to the Spleen organ. The emotion of the Spleen is worry, over thinking and brooding. The Spleen can be prone to dampness, dampness meaning a coated tongue, heaviness, possible water retention or fatigue.

The foods that fortify the Spleen and help to resolve internal Dampness, are the yellow and orange and even red foods such as squashes, carrots, yellow peppers, sweet potatoes, yams, pears, apples etc. These are the smart sugars with a slow and steady sugar carb release for endurance foods that when cooked can assist in drying dampness and tonifying the Spleen all of which increases our energy.

Increasing yellow, orange and even red  foods in a cooked form prepare us for the upcoming winter months. They are more substantial foods than the lighter fare that we eat during the hot summer months. We begin to seek more sustaining comforting foods when Fall arrives.

This is the last of my summer bumper crop of yellow zucchini. So far I have made Zucchini Gratin, Zucchini Relish and a low sugar Carrot Marmalade which is fabulous on gluten free toast with cultured cream cheese. But these are “put up” (meaning in glass jars) for the months ahead. This weekend I will make a Yellow Zucchini Autumn Bisque. As I am not a total recipe follower I leave myself plenty of room to improvise. So please use this solely as a guide and feel free to add or detract, as you desire. I hope you enjoy it and add it to your repertoire of recipes, as it is so easy to make!

In Good Health…

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YELLOW ZUCCHINI BISQUE

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium sized onion diced

2-4 cups finely chopped summer squash

2-3 finely diced clean and scrubbed carrots

1 red sweet apple or pear cored and diced

2-3 cloves of garlic

¾ tsp of ground Coriander

½ tsp of smoked Paprika

¼ tsp of Cinnamon

¼ tsp of Chinese 5 Spice ( optional)

1 tsp grated fresh Ginger

1 tsp SPICE HUNTER STEAK CHOP MIX ( this is a standard in many of my recipes)

1-2 tsp good sea salt ( use half and then add the rest if needed at the end)

¾ of a box of Imagine No Chicken Broth Vegetable Broth.

Toasted Slivered Almonds or Pumpkin Seeds for Garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Gently steam or boil the diced zucchini and carrots to give them a head start on your soup. When they are still bright but softened, shut off the heat, then add the diced apple or pear to sit in the hot mixture for 5 minutes. Strain in a colander and set aside.
  2. While the vegetables are boiling, you can prepare the diced onions. Over a medium high heat put the oil in a large dutch oven. Add the onions and stir periodically until the onions begin to soften and even caramelize. If you add a pinch of baking soda this will help to caramelize the onions faster and alkalinize your soup.
  3. Add the salt, spices and minced garlic to your softened and slightly browned caramelized onion mixture and cook again on a low to medium heat for 1 min.
  4. Now add your softened cooked squash and carrots to the onion mix, stirring well to coat vegetables with spices. Continue to cook for another 5-7 min. Again add just a light pinch of salt to season as you go.
  5. Now is the time to add your liquid. Pour in the contents of the broth and bring to a boil. As soon as you see a boil turn the heat down to simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat off and let your soup cool. If the pitcher of your blender is plastic cooling your soup is essential or an increase of plastic molecules will be in your soup. If you have a glass blender pitcher then you can puree your soup while hot but carefully.
  7. Puree the entire mixture until ultra smooth.
  8. Return to the soup pot and add your coconut milk or non dairy option for a more creamy version if desired. Simmer on the lowest setting for 15 minutes and season as needed to taste.
  9. Serve with toppings such as either toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds or ground hazelnuts, with either chopped parsley or cilantro and a drizzle of olive oil. Chopped dried pears are another option!

OPTIONS:

  • For a more creamy version then one can of coconut with the cream and only half a box of the No Chicken broth.
  • A small amount of fresh cream can be added if desired.
  • For non dairy options use 1 cup Vanilla or Original Almond Milk added to a lesser amount of total broth.
  • If you are out of broth, plain clean water is fine.
  • A small can of fire roasted tomatoes added to the mix before pureeing your soup.
  • There are many variables and options for change and accommodations for dietary needs. If you do better with leeks instead of onions, then switch them out. Find what works best for you but the main tenets are the vegetables and seasonings with a liquid.

NOTES:

This soup can be savory or sweet based on preference. For a sweeter soup use of pears or apples ( or both!) and a sweetened non dairy milk. I used Flax Milk in this batch along with the broth from boiling the vegetables since I was out of No Chicken Broth.

If you like a more spicy savory soup use drained diced fire roasted tomatoes added to the soup after it is pureed along with a bit of smoky chipotle chili. Or a roasted red pepper mixed in with the puree.

For those that prefer a thicker soup use less liquid. For a thinner soup use more liquid. This is a very forgiving soup and can be easily adjusted to personal preference

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