This soup is great for Kapha season as we transition from the cooler temps to the spring. Celery root, which is one of lighter of the root vegetables, is a mild diuretic and slightly warming for the lungs and sinuses. Fennel and celery are diuretics as well. All three help pacify Kapha and encourage healthy digestion. Adjust texture and flavor with other spices by adding a fingerling potato or splash of heavy cream or replace the quantity of butter with ghee or olive oil. You can also use the fennel stalks in lieu of the bulb if you aren’t sure for what to use them.
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 or 2 fingerling potatoes, chopped (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 large celery root, peeled and chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 5-6 cups stock (vegetable or chicken, less for a thicker consistency)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1/8 cup half & half (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Fennel fronds or fresh dill for garnish
In a large pot, heat oil and butter. Sauté onion, fennel, and celery until tender for about 5-10 minutes, adding 1 tsp salt a few minutes into cooking. Add potato if using, then add garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant. Add celery root, stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until celery root has softened. Remove from heat and purée mixture with hand blender. Add pepper and if using, half & half and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish bowls with chopped fennel fronds or fresh dill.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Lao Tzu
A Doctor’s Experience: Having a Yoga & Meditation Practice when Faced with Illness
“My experience is a powerful reminder that aligning spirituality with health not only can help you stay well, but can help you weather “dis-ease” with more intention.”
Article/Blog from Harvard Health Publish – Harvard Medical School Blog (January 2022) title “When the doctor becomes the patient: A transformative experience“
It’s that time of year when our immune system may need a little help adjusting to the colder season. This dish contains ingredients that contain anti-viral properties (garlic, ginger and shiitake mushrooms, as well as antioxidants (bok choy.) For preparation, you can either layer it noodle bowl style or combine it all before serving. The former is a prettier and more ‘bowl’ presentation, but I typically use prepared noodles and like combining them and the tofu into the broth to warm.
- 3 Tbs canola oil, divided
- 2 ½ tsp toasted sesame oil, divided
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
- 4 green onions, sliced, whites and greens separated
- 1 small jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, sliced
- 4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
- 1 cup water (or 1 additional cup of broth)
- 2 Tbs soy sauce
- 6 to 7 oz shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 3 heads baby bok choy, thinly sliced, lengthwise
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 10 oz yakisoba, soba or buckwheat soba noodles (fresh or dry)
- 1 14-oz package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into bite-size cubes
- Cilantro for garnish
- Furikake (optional)
If using dried noodles, bring a medium saucepan to a boil.
In a large pot, heat 1 Tbs canola oil over medium-low heat. Add 2 tsp toasted sesame oil, garlic, ginger, green onion whites and jalapeño and sauté until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add broth, water and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a slight simmer.
In another large skillet, heat 2 Tbs canola oil on medium-high heat and sauté mushrooms and bok choy until the bok choy stalks become slightly translucent, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and add remaining ½ tsp sesame oil, salt and white pepper.
If using prepared & refrigerated noodles, add noodles to the broth mixture. Set tofu on top and return broth mixture to a simmer until noodles and tofu are warmed through.
Either add vegetables to broth mixture or bowl and serve, or for a prettier presentation, in a bowl place noodles, top with tofu and vegetables, and then add the hot broth. Garnish bowls with green onion greens, cilantro and furikake (my favorite is noritamago furikake.) Add salt, pepper if desired.
“Take rest: a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” – Ovid
A timely read for the season: Tips for handling seasonal anxiety and depression
“Learning to say no and lowering expectations may be the most important resolutions for the holidays.”
Article from Richmond Magazine (December 2021) title “Happy Holidays?.”
I’m back on my soups and stews trend, for they make great leftovers and freeze well. This satisfying soup is full of aromatics and flavor. It has hearty mushrooms, healthy vegetables and tender barley. I love the color and texture and the extra finish with black garlic salt. And, if you like and have white truffle oil on hand, try adding a couple drops to each bowl. This wholesome soup is simple and filling.
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- 10 oz shitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, cleaned, about ¾ of them sliced & ¼ chopped
- 1 small to medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 8 oz white button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cup diced tomatoes with juice
- ¾ tsp cumin, ground
- 1 tsp coriander, ground
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
- 7-8 cups stock (vegetable, chicken or beef)
- ¾ cup parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Black garlic salt for finishing (optional)
In a large pot, heat 2 Tbs oil. Sauté shitake and sliced cremini mushrooms until mushrooms soften, about 5-10 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pot and set aside.
In same pot, add remaining oil and sauté onion, celery and carrot until onion has softened, about 5-10 minutes. Add chopped cremini and white button mushrooms and sauté another 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, and then add tomatoes, ½ tsp salt, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika and barley. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
Add 7 cups of stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Then, cover and simmer on low heat until barley is tender and cooked through, about 45-50 minutes, adding more stock and adjusting spice amounts if needed. Once barley is tender, add the cooked shitake and cremini mushrooms. Stir and cook for an additional 5 minutes until mushrooms are warmed through. Remove from heat and combine in ½ cup of parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
Finish individual bowls with small pinch of black garlic salt (and white truffle oil if you have it on hand.) Garnish bowls with parsley.
Serves 6-8. For leftovers, a splash of water may be necessary as barley continues to absorb liquid.
Harvard Medical Recommends Yoga, Meditation and Breathing Technique to Deal with Covid-19 Anxiety
While this recommendation dates back to the near beginning of the pandemic, it’s just as valid now as many suffer Covid-fatigue, social isolation, depression and stress. The methods are tried and true for many. Article is from the Harvard Medical School Harvard Health Blog (March 2020) title “Coping with Coronavirus Anxiety.”
Another good reference: Coping with Coronavirus
As we transition into fall, it can be helpful to pause and reflect on the busyness and outward movement of the summer and prepare to turn inwards and find comfort as we prepare for the winter. A comforting soup made from this season of harvest, along with herbs that remind us of the fall and winter seasons can be just what the mind and body needs. And, one can never have too many butternut squash recipes.
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1Tbs unsalted butter
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 small to medium onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 Tbs fresh thyme
- 2 pinches dried rosemary or ¾ tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- ½ tsp Aleppo pepper (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Puncture the butternut squash a few times and place on a baking sheet. Roast until squash is fork tender, about 60 minutes.
Once the butternut squash is done, cut it in half and allow it to cool until it can be safely handled. Remove and discard the seeds. Scoop out the flesh from the skin.
In a large pot, heat oil and butter until butter begins to froth. Sauté onion, celery, carrot and thyme until onion has softened. Add the rosemary and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the squash, stock and Aleppo if using, stir, bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Purée mixture to desired texture with a hand blender. Salt and pepper to taste and warm the soup until ready to serve.
Garnish with fresh thyme.