As the weather cools down and our bodies need more energy to keep us warm, I love making soups!

Not only do we get the added water, but the cooked veggies support our health in so many ways.

You can pack so much goodness into your soups!

When we eat soup, it creates a more alkaline environment for our bodies. We want alkalinity over acidity, as acidic environments contribute to more disease processes. The alkaline foods help decrease inflammation resulting in less pain. 

Eating foods like onions, celery, parsnips, and potatoes can help to alkalize your body and help create environments that are un-friendly to foreign invaders. 

Carrots are full of Vitamins A and C while onions help alleviate symptoms of inflammation, cold hands and feet, restless leg syndrome, gastritis, and hot flashes. Onions also help with feelings of anger toward one’s self and others. 

Sweet potatoes help with dandruff, anxiousness, colon issues, heart palpitations as well as helping with creating feelings of self-love and coziness.

This week’s recipe puts all of these foods into one soup that I jokingly call my ‘Spleen Soup’ since yellow and orange fruits and veggies support the spleen in helping to build our immune systems. In Chinese Medicine, the spleen is the area that helps us to feel warm, cared for and cozy. When it’s supported, we feel an invisible mother’s hug wrapping us up tightly.

Winter Squash-Immune-Boosting Soup

2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2-3 inches peeled fresh ginger
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 carrots peeled and cubed
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
4-5 cups Vegetable broth or 2 veg broth cubes with 4-5 cups water
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 can coconut milk (optional)

In a large sauce pan, sautee the ginger, onions and garlic in the oil over low flame. Stir every couple of minutes and cook until very lightly browned. Add carrots and sautee for another few minutes, until soft. If your veggies are sticking, add a bit of water to pot. 

Then add your squash, sweet potato and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the squash and sweet potatoes are soft. If you’d like a smooth and creamy soup, you can either use your immersion blender or stand-up blender to blend. Sometimes I like it all smooth, and other times I like some ‘chunks’ for a more hearty feel. If you’d like to add coconut milk, do so after you’ve blended. 

Serve immediately. For a ‘fancier’ effect, you can fry some fresh sage and crumble on top. You can also garnish with some toasted pine nuts or add a side of cooked wild rice and a dollop of greek yogurt. 

Note: This is another one of those places where you can toss in some more turmeric, as you sautee the ginger, onions and garlic

Wishing you a warm and cozy fall! It’s my favorite time of year, as the light changes and the sky is bright blue and the colors become so vibrant before eveything goes into hibernation for a few months. Take this time to take good care of yourself by dressing warmly, eating a bit more whole foods, and being extra kind to yourself and others.

Sending big hugs to you, wherever you
are in the world, 
Dr. Arjan

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