Sweet and Grounding Makes Autumn Sing
Photo courtesy of the author
Stay in balance this Autumn season.
In the northern hemisphere, where it is Autumn, it is the season when Vata dominates. Vata means “wind, air,” or “to flow, to move, or to command.”
Vata is the underlying force that governs all movement in the body including circulation, muscular movement, joints, nerves, thoughts and digestion. When Vata is healthy and balanced we have good energy, mental agility, emotional presence, creativity, and attuned senses that enable us to listen, engage, connect and inspire.
But when Vata dominates in the climate, season or person, it can cause imbalances marked by low energy or fatigue, restlessness, a scattered mind, memory loss, reduced immune function, dry skin, stiff joints, digestive disorders and sleep disturbances. If this Vata imbalance is not managed, it can lead to chronic illness. In fact, Ayurveda considers that some degree of disturbed Vata is involved in all disease.
Therefore Autumn is the season to really take care. Keep warm, massage your body with healthy oils every morning, sip spice tea throughout the day, enjoy an epsom salt bath in the evening, rest well, regulate your sleep, and enjoy autumn’s harvest in hearty soups and stews.
Sweet Potato Soup
Sweet potatoes are the rooted grounding to Vata’s light and airy. Roasted and cooked with ghee, coconut milk and spices, they blend into a creamy soup. It’s the perfect warm, bright tone for a blustery, dissonant day.
2 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon ghee
1 onion, roughly chopped
2” piece fresh ginger, sliced and peeled
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon pink salt & fresh cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
2 wedges lime
Garnish options: Basil, dill, thyme, chives
Preheat your oven to 475F. Poke the sweet potatoes a few times with a fork. Place them on parchment paper on a baking tray and set on a rack in the middle of your oven. Roast until you can pierce easily with a fork, about 30-40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.
Melt the ghee in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger, and stir occasionally until the onion becomes translucent. Spoon in the curry and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes and cut into bite size chunks. Add to the soup and cook a few minutes to heat through. Stir in the coconut milk. Blend with an immersion blender or in your electric blender, or mash the potatoes with a potato masher or the back of a spoon for a chunkier version. Turn off the heat. Squeeze in the lemon juice to taste and season with salt and pepper.
Ladle into bowls and drizzle lightly with the toasted sesame oil. Garnish with cilantro, other herbs if choosing, and a wedge of lime.