The arrival of fall means it’s time to activate your digestive fire in preparation for the cooler months ahead. In Ayurveda autumn is known as the time of Vata dosha. Vata is characterized by the qualities of dry, cold, light, and mobile, as well as an emptiness and spaciousness that brings in new creative possibilities.
To find balance in the midst of this changeable season, Vata needs deep rhythm. This could look like a consistent routine of daily habits that help set the pace for ease and grace during the coming months. Or it might look like new rhythmic ways of nourishing yourself with easily digestible foods that help ignite your digestive fire while grounding your inner spaciousness.
To tap into your best autumn rhythm check out this simple and versatile soup recipe which includes activating spices and earthy seasonal veggies – a satisfying meal that helps feed your autumn fire.
But first, let’s explore more deeply deeper how this recipe helps balance the vata qualities of autumn.
Like Attracts Like While Opposites Balance.
One of the ways we can balance Vata is by including foods that have the opposite qualities of this dosha. Since Vata is known to be cool, light, dry and rough, the opposite qualities we should include in our diet are foods that are warm, oily, soft, and sticky.
What you choose to nourish yourself with can greatly support balance during this dry windy season, or instead invite the subtle energy of Vata to become sporadic in a way that compromises your health. You may notice when this imbalance occurs with disruptions in your sleep or mood, physical achiness, and spending more time in the restroom. So then how do you avoid this imbalance? To optimize balance add in deep rhythm by eating at a consistent time every day and by choosing foods that offer these grounding and balancing qualities.
Spices and Agni
Agni is the digestive fire within your belly. With strong Agni comes the ability to fully digest and assimilate your food and year-long vitality and health. Spices and herbs are great kindling for this fire because they contain robust flavors that signal the body to produce specific fluids that support your digestion. This is important because autumn is the ideal time of year to boost the immune system which resides largely in the gut.
Choosing to eat seasonal and local produce helps you attune to nature’s rhythms. In the northern hemisphere think of the squash, tubers and other veggies that are growing close to the ground this time of year. The earthiness of these veggies is very stabilizing for the subtle qualities of autumn and Vata. Now onto the recipe!
Autumn Balance Soup
2 cups of your favorite squash (winter squash varieties need to be peeled)
1 small yellow onion
½ bulb fennel
2 stalks celery
5 baby purple potatoes
2 carrots peeled
1 Tbs ghee (coconut and olive oil also work)
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
Vegetable broth or filtered water
1 lemon or lime
Your favorite fresh herbs chopped
salt to taste
Wash your veggies and chop them into large 1/2 inch pieces.
In a large pot toast the seeds in the ghee for 2 minutes or until they begin to pop. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and fennel and sauté on medium high for 2 minutes. Add potato, squash and enough filtered water to cover the veggies. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a soft simmer for 20 minutes or until the veggies are soft. No need to cover the pot.
Let the soup cool for a few minutes then add it to a blender that does not completely seal. I recommend using a vitamix. Blend until it’s a smooth consistency. About 20 – 30 seconds does it in a vitamix.
Season with salt to taste and serve with fresh lemon juice and fresh herbs.
This soup goes well with a side of steamed rice. You can double and triple this recipe as needed.
As you enjoy the creativity, clarity and spaciousness of fall remember to ground yourself into a new rhythm. Seasonal soups like Autumn Balance are the perfect way to create deep nourishment as we move into the last months of the year.