soup II

In my last blog I discussed the readymade soups and I also promised my readers that I shall share some jazzy, yummy and yet healthy soups recipes.
Before we get into the ‘how’ of soup making let me share an interesting bit of history…
Ayurved has discussed in detail the preparation of various foods, both vegetable & fruits as well as meats of various animals and birds. It goes on to also discuss in great details the types of vessels to use, and the methods to follow for preparation of these foods. The texts also describe in detail what type of foods should be eaten and how, depending on each person’s ‘Agni’ – the ability to digest . In the course of its discussions further, a great many Ayurvedic practitioners have detailed out myriad recipes .
Here is that interesting piece of historical titbit… The 16th century Ayurvedic practitioner Ksemsarma while detailing such healthy recipes, has mentioned soups, the original Sanskrit word used in his texts is by pronunciation: ‘SOUPAH’. Amazing, isn’t it..?
Among the main ingredients for such soups the ancient texts have mainly relied on
 Legumes of green gram
 Black grams
 Red lentils
 Seasonal vegetables
 Various meats and
 Flavourful spices, asafoetida, rock salt, cumin seeds and so on!
The best method to prepare a healthy soup is primarily by boiling the desired ingredients like vegetables, lentils or meats and then adding flavouring agents which also have many therapeutic values.
Take this for example: The soup of green gram is recommended for those who undergo ‘Panchkarma” detoxification treatments and for those suffering from ulcers.
Soups of meats are described as nourishing, aphrodisiac and help in healing wounds.
Ayurvedic texts also discuss what we call clear soups as a good remedy for bowl movements and is said to help effectively address thirst and exhaustion.
Now let me give you one basic recipe for making a healthy clear soup:
 Thinly sliced cabbage
 thin slices of carrots (make sure that the centre stem which is lighter in colour is removed)
 A few thinly sliced beans
 Juliennes of ginger
 A slight add of Garlic (if taste permits)
Boil these veggies or any other preferred veggies to make a stock. Once you are sure that the flavours of these vegetables are thoroughly blended with the boiled water, season it with juliennes of ginger, a bit of garlic (if you prefer), a bit of asafoetida and rock salt to taste.
Tip :
When you want a little thickness to the soups, you may add any one of the lentils/grams mentioned above. However, please make sure that you roast these thoroughly well and then grind these in a grinder before adding a small quantity to the boiling water and make sure that the flour is cooked well.
When you are making non vegetarian soups please make sure that the meat is cleaned well and cut into small pieces. There are two most popular methods of using the chunks of meat:
1. to directly boil the meat pieces/chunks along with/without vegetables, or
2. frying these chunks in a bit oil and then adding these chunks to the broth
While concluding, let me also tell you another interesting fact…Contrary to the commonly held belief, Ayurved has in detail discussed the effects both good & bad, of various meats that go beyond just chicken or lamb or fish but extends to wild buffalo, horses, camels and birds like blue rock pigeons, black partridges.
But remember, One should eat what one can digest!
Bon appétit!!