Remember the pure open sky of your own true nature.
~Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation~
Happy New Year! Here’s a quick and cleansing pot of soup to help start off this beautiful New Year in a fresh and healthy way – Turmeric Broth Detox Soup. The Turmeric Broth is the real star here – healthy and cleansing, turmeric is soothing and healing, full of powerful antioxidants, while aiding the liver, giving it a little boost. The Turmeric Broth is a “jumping off point” to whichever direction you want to take it. Keep it vegan by adding noodles, greens and legumes, or add leftover chicken, rice and spinach. It’s pretty fool-proof once you have the nutritious fragrant broth made, which takes about 15- 20 minutes. When its done, it’s rich and flavorful and just slightly spicy, which of course you can elevate or minimize. I always feel like I’m giving my body such a gift when I make this. It’s perfect when feeling under the weather, soothes the tummy and good for a hangovers.
Turmeric, whether it’s fresh or ground, seems to be what I turn to each New Year, to help “reboot” the system, so to speak. Last year it was Turmeric Tea, a daily Ayurvedic detox tea and the year before that, it was Turmeric Tonic, a fresh fruit and veggie juice with fresh turmeric root. And maybe it’s because this is the time of year I want to put an end all the indulging and do something good and healthy for my body. I do a Simple 7 Day Detox to help myself get started on the right track.
Make the fragrant detoxing Turmeric broth, then make the soup your own. This one meal can easily be made in 30 minutes or less!
Today I felt like slurping so I added rice noodles, chickpeas and kale.
Last week I added lentils, basmati rice and chickpeas….a sort of “Middle Eastern Minestrone” ( see below) The time before that I added leftover Thanksgiving turkey, dill and quinoa, and before that, I dropped some orzo and little meatballs into the flavorful broth until they began to float.
Seriously, it’s pretty hard to mess this up.
Go through your fridge and cupboards and use what you have. Use leftovers. If you have dry beans, pre-soak them over night for faster cooking and easier digestibility.
To keep the soup brothy take care not to add too much pasta or rice or other things that swell, or you will end up with stew vs. soup – which is not necessarily a bad thing. Also be mindful of cooking times. For example, basmati rice and small lentils cook at about the same rate. But pasta and un-soaked dried chickpeas do not. So be sensible and thoughtful about this and you won’t go wrong.
It starts with a large heavy bottom pot to make the Turmeric Broth. You can always make the broth ahead and refrigerate.
Saute onion, ginger and garlic and add the turmeric — either freshly grated turmeric or ground turmeric. Add the rest of the spices, salt, stock, water and a bit of acid. At this point you will have a delicious tasting broth- a great base for your creations.
Bring to a simmer. It’s done!
Now it’s time to have fun.
Add pre-soaked (or canned) beans or lentils. Or use another form of protein like cooked chicken, turkey, or meatballs. Then choose a starch: noodles, rice, quinoa, or orzo. Then pick an herb or a green. I find that parsley, cilantro, mint and dill all work well with turmeric, but be playful and try something new if you want. For extra anti-oxidants and nutrients, add chopped spinach, arugula or kale or other veggies like cauliflower, sweet potatoes or really, anything.
As this New Year begins, I find myself asking the serious questions again. 😉
What am I here to learn? What is my “purpose?” What am I here to do? A few years back, while being led in a meditation, I was directed to ask my “deepest self” these questions. One word came to the surface. I actually gasped because it seemed so ridiculous. SING? My first thought was…I don’t sing, that can’t be right. But it was clear as a bell.
And then I conveniently forgot all about it.
Until recently, when a strange thing happened. My elderly father fell and broke his hip a few months ago. He also has dementia. The combination has been tragic. Before the broken hip, even though he lost his memory, he was relatively “stable” – content and at peace. His memory loss changed him into this sweet, childlike being, dissolving away his “dark side” and for the past 6 or 7 years, we’ve had time together, allowing me the opportunity to work out all my “issues” with him. It has been good.
But after the hip surgery, everything changed. There are days when he becomes really miserable. Inconsolable. Depressed. Ready to leave this world. And in these moments, I feel so helpless. It’s so hard seeing someone you love suffer when nothing you do or say helps. So out of pure desperation, I began to sing to him. My voice shaky, timing off, notes blurred, words often made up, but somehow it soothes him.
I still don’t know what my purpose is. Or what I’m supposed to learn. Or what it is that I’m supposed to do here in this life.
Maybe it’s as simple as being with the suffering of another human being… singing, when words no longer mean anything.
Wow….this is depressing! How do I segue way into wishing you all a Happy New Year?
It’s life, I guess. Real.
Cheers and Love.
p.s. for the rest of the story… go here.
- FLAVORFUL TURMERIC BROTH
- 1-2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion- diced
- 1- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated or finely minced
- 4-5 garlic cloves- grated or finely minced
- 2 teaspoon turmeric powder (or 3 teaspoons fresh turmeric, finely grated - see notes)
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seed (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ¾ - 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups water
- 4 cups veggie or chicken stock
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
- 1-3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar - or lime or lemon juice ( to taste)
- Optional Soup Additions:
- Middle Eastern "Minestrone"
- ½ cup basmati rice (dry) or pasta, quinoa (or 1½ cup cooked)
- ½ cup little dry lentils (or 1 cup cooked)
- 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans (or canned, drained)
- 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes ( or use 1-2 cups fresh, diced tomatoes)
- cilantro as garnish
- Chickpea Cauliflower Kale Noodle
- 1- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or chicken)
- 4 ounces dry noodles
- 1-2 cups chopped cauliflower
- 2 large handfuls chopped kale
- Garnish with fresh herbs: cilantro, scallions, mint or dill and serve with lime
- Other veggie options: carrots, celery, fennel, cauliflower, tomatoes, bell pepper, sweet potatoes, greens
- In a large heavy bottom pot or dutch oven, saute onion in 1-2 T olive oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add ginger. Lower heat to medium low and saute 5 minutes until it begins to brown, stirring often.
- Add garlic, saute 2 minutes. Add all the spices and cook 1 more minute.
- Add water, stock and salt.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Add vinegar or citrus.
- Taste. Adjust salt, acid and spice level to your liking. At this point you will have a flavorful base to add what you like. You can also refrigerate or freeze this in batches for later use.
- Remember uncooked pasta and beans will double or triple in size, so add moderately.
- Remember to think and be sensible about cooking times for each ingredient you add.
- (see notes in post )
- NOTES: If you are cooking the broth for any length of time, uncovered, remember it will reduce --intensifying the flavor and salt --so you will need to add more water, or it may be too salty. So be sure to dilute the broth to your taste.
- Using ground turmeric gives the soup this lighter golden color you see in the photographs. Fresh grated turmeric gives the broth a deeper color.