January used to be the hardest month. Back to school, back to work, back to cold, intense urban environments. Now January is this… Warm soup on lovely days. Writing. Researching. Planning. Walks on the beach. Morning prayers with the sunrise. Sitting by the fire in the evening. Meals with my beloved.

January. Slow. Mindful. Deep. Days of hope. Days of white snow, skies, interior scapes. Days of spiced tea and hot soup.

This simple winter soup has been our favorite so far. Made with three basic ingredients: split mung bean, carrots and chard, it’s easy, the way January should be.

This winter soup recipe is easy to digest, easy to make and easy to love.

Be sure your mung beans are split, otherwise it will require soaking and a longer cooking time, and frankly it just never tastes as good. You can find them at any good Asian or Indian grocery store, or you can order them online here.

Enjoy!

Detox Dal

Detox Dal

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp ghee (be generous)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vata spice mixture (see below)
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 cup split mung beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 small to medium sized carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 bunch chard, rinsed and loosely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • Seasoning: gluten-free tamari or shoyu, extra virgin olive oil, fresh cracked black pepper
  • Optional: scallions, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cilantro, sage leaves

Instructions

  1. Melt the ghee over a medium flame.
  2. Sweat the onions, then add the garlic and give it a swirl.
  3. Add the spices and swirl again, now for about a minute.
  4. Stir in the mung beans, turn the heat to high and slowly pour in the vegetable broth.
  5. Add the bay leaves. Bring it to a boil, cover and reduce heat.
  6. Allow it to gently boil for about 25 minutes. Add the carrots. Stir and check your liquid levels. It might need another cup of water. If so, add it now.
  7. Cook for another 15 minutes then add the chard. Let it sit on top of the soup to steam. Cook until it wilts, about 5-10 more minutes. Stir the chard into the soup. Taste to check if the beans are cooked through. They will be soft if they are done.
  8. When the beans are done, turn off the heat. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the miso and mix well.
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls. Season with tamari or shoyu and a generous splash of olive oil. Sprinkle with cilantro, chopped scallions, roasted seeds and optionally, a toasted sage leaf.
http://ayurvedanextdoor.com/winter-soup/

 

How well do you know your dals? When I was home visiting my mother recently she shared with me this article from the Chicago Tribune which is a great feast of delicious information about legumes and how best to prepare them. It’s worth a read for any travel, culture or culinary lover.

Happy New Year. May it be nourishing and bright.

Images via Laura Plumb and Food-ALoveStory.com