Fall is a time of transition, there’s no doubt about it. This season represents an important time when we learn to let go of all the things that no longer serve us, and begin to discard all of the excess baggage we’ve accumulated from the year. A time where we make a conscious shift from the excited yang energy of summer to the quieter more grounding yin energy of the winter. It’s a time to welcome growth, nourishment and change.
It’s vital to pay attention to the cues that our bodies are sending us during this time. When it comes to Autumn, we naturally begin to crave warmer, heartier foods over cold, raw foods. This is because our bodies are highly intuitive and it’s only natural to turn to foods which are more comforting and warm with colder, darker days. Soups and stews are on heavy rotation in my kitchen at this time of year, while raw, cold foods like salads and smoothies take a backseat. A healthy, homemade soup provides an easy way to digest all the various nutrients we need to protect our immune systems from illness. And who wouldn’t steaming bowl full of veggies and vitamins that tastes delicious and captures all the wonderful flavours of the fall harvest?
Autumn foods are certainly abundant in nutrients, but their natural sweetness, density and warmth affect us on an emotional level, too. They conjure up feelings of coziness and nostalgia from childhood, which activates the reward centre in our brains, leaving us feeling satisfied and satiated. Thus, when we incorporate these nutrient-packed seasonal foods, like root vegetables, into our daily menu, we significantly decrease our cravings for high-sugar, refined and processed foods. This means we can enjoy the comforts of these dense, warming meals without the added guilt trip!
Lastly, if you happen to be feeling under the weather, then the Autumn Harvest Immunity Soup has got you covered. It is chock full of delicious, antiviral goodness due to all the immune-boosting ingredients, such as; garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric and cayenne. Root veggies, like sweet potatoes and carrots boast healthy doses of vitamin C, potassium and fiber. The delicious blend of Fall flavours will delight the palette as it nourishes the body and soul. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Be sure to check back next week for more recipes.
Autumn Harvest Immunity Soup
(Makes approximately 8 servings)
- 1 Tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ tsp ginger root, peeled and diced
- 2 cups cauliflower, coarsely chopped
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 tsp fine Himalayan sea salt (you can add more as you go along, to taste)
- Fresh black pepper to taste
- Juice of one lemon
- 900 ml (1 carton) organic, reduced sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- A dash of cayenne pepper adjust to preferred level of spice
- ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- Fresh coriander, parsley or green onions are nice on top
- Plain, unsweetened yogurt (dairy or non-dairy), for added creaminess
- Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Prepare all the veggies first for a smoother process.
- In a large cooking pot on the stovetop, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Saute the onions for 4-5 minutes, until they start to soften and become translucent.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and turmeric and saute for 2-3 minutes, until the spices become fragrant.
- Add the sweet potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Saute for several minutes longer. You may need to add some additional oil at this point.
- Stir in the freshly squeezed lemon juice over the vegetables.
- Add the broth, cayenne powder and additional salt and pepper, if desired. Bring to a boil, cover and boil for about 15 minutes, or until the veggies are soft. Stir often.
- Use an immersion blender, or add the contents of the pot to a blender or food processor. You may need to blend in small batches, depending on the size of your blender. Puree until smooth and creamy.
- Return the soup to the pot, and heat through.
- Serve with the toppings of your choice.
Sharyn is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and a Yoga Instructor who is passionate about sharing her holistic wellness knowledge with others. She strongly believes that good health and healing is rooted in the simplest, most natural practices such as; eating real, whole foods, moving our bodies regularly, getting enough sleep, cultivating a mindful meditation practice and spending ample time in nature. Sharyn is the creator of Wild Culture Wellness, a blog dedicated to all things ‘wild & well’. You can find out more about her and get more delicious recipes here and here.