Beet the heat.Jump to Recipe
In Ayurvedic medicine, and in other cultures around the world, there are myriad ways to make a cooling, blood-cleansing and balancing beet soup. This one is mine.
For those struggling with an abundance of heat in the body, perhaps finding restless nights, a few skin blemishes or scattered thoughts on these very hot summer days, this soup will work wonders to cleanse and bring equilibrium and calm to the body, working hard to milk every last magical minute out of this best season of the year. And for those of us just looking for a nourishing, light, easy way to use up the abundance of beets in our farm share, it’s a great option too!
This recipe is a wonderful example of just how the bio-energetics of our food truly make a difference for body, mind and being. When consumed raw, beets are heating and aggravating for pitta; one great reason not to simply shred up those beets and eat them on a salad when you have an overabundance! But, when cooked gently in spices, the sweetness and cooling properties of this brilliant root come out, providing anti-inflammatory properties instead.
I like to make a pot of this soup in the evening, after the summer sun has set, then blend and chill it over night. Then I pull it out of the fridge in the morning so it can warm slightly before lunch, dolloping coconut cream and dill into the bowl and swirling. I often enjoy a bowl of soup with some steamed greens and rice, or with a hunk of sourdough bread slathered with hummus to make it a meal.
Flavors are FUN, yes, but they also are the mechanisms by which our bodies nourish themselves. Flavors basically tell our bodies what the food is giving us – on a nutritional and energetic level. Our bodies then prepare enzymes to break those components down, assimilate them, and turn them into fuel for our vibrant lives. We can’t eat just one flavor and get all of the things we need, so learning to track the flavors in our foods helps us to be sure that we’re really getting all of the things we need in our meals. This particular recipe has four of six flavors. The more flavors we can enjoy in any meal or food, the happier and more balanced our bodies will be. If you’re wanting to learn more about how the flavors we eat fuel our bodies – energetically and nutritively, check out this little blog post.
Beet the heat.
Add the olive oil to a 5-quart saucepan and turn over medium-high heat. Add the beets, coriander and salt and sauté until the spices are fragrant and the beets start releasing some of their juices. Add the water and bring the pot to a simmer. Cover with the lid and cook for 20 minutes, until the beets are tender.
Remove the pot from the heat and pureé the soup with an immersion blender, or in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Allow to chill until ready to serve, or enjoy warm.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, blitz the fresh dill and pumpkin seeds until chunky. Add the salt, lemon juice and zest and buzz again, until the mixture is paste-like.
Transfer the dill-seed mixture to a pint-sized glass jar and cover with the olive oil. Season to taste.
Remove the can of coconut milk from the fridge and open the bottom of the can. The heavier cream in the can will have sunk to the bottom, allowing you to scoop out the thick, white coconut cream only (reserving the light coconut milk liquid for another purpose.)
Stir the coconut cream with the juice of the lemon, and a pinch of salt.
Serve the soup chilled, or warm, with a dollop or two of coconut cream and a spoonful of dill pistou.