Your belly is probably mad at you.
First, you had Christmakah dinner. Then you had New Year’s Eve Drinks, Valentine’s Day truffles, St Patty’s Day beverages and soon enough, you’ll be having chocolate bunnies. Yeah, your belly is pissed, and it might be showing you how mad it is with some unique digestive patterns—bloating, gas, constipation, sluggish digestion, and if you’re really lucky, diarrhea.
In Ayurveda, the medicinal system that’s been practiced with Yoga for thousands of years, all disease has a root in poor digestion. That means, fix up your digestion, and you’re sure to be having less frequent visits to the chiropractor, acupuncturist, herbalist, or doctor, and you can save that money for the yoga workshop you’ve been lusting over.
So, rather than having another Gardenburger with cheese, try this delicious, therapeutic, spice filled soup.
Spring is the perfect time of year to eat all kinds of lentils, and I know what you’re thinking: “Beans? To cure my horrible gas?!” Yes, when spiced appropriately. The three spices in this soup pack a digestive power punch to the stomach and intestines, not to mention tastebuds. They soothe a myriad of digestive problems, and are so commonly used together that they have the nickname, “CCF”—short for cumin, coriander and fennel.
All three spices strengthen digestion, and have other bonus properties too.
Cumin heals indigestion, diarrhea, excessive heat, and malabsorption. Coriander is a natural anti-histamine (not bad in the springtime). Fennel (my favorite), aids metabolism and is good for abdominal pain, cramps, and gas. Lastly, this soup also includes Turmeric—the hottest anti-cancer, anti-inflammation, anti-everything-bad-for-you-on-the-planet spice.
Oh, and did I mention this soup is cheap and incredibly tasty?
Happy (Skinny) Belly Soup
2 T + olive oil
1 large handful combination of chopped yellow onion & celery
1/2 c black beluga lentils, rinsed well (look for them in bulk)
1 t fennel seeds, roughly chopped
1 t cumin seeds, roughly chopped
2 c water
1 c vegetable stock
1 t coriander powder
1/2 t turmeric powder
chopped cilantro & fresh croutons to garnish
In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat, then add onion/celery and saute until onion is soft, but not translucent. Add lentils and seeds, and stir occasionally for 3-4 minutes. Add water first, then vegetable stock. Stir, cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until lentil are soft, but not falling apart. Add coriander & turmeric, stir and cover for 5 more minutes. Lentil should be slightly falling apart upon serving. Serve with freshly chopped cilantro and warm croutons.
Kate Lumsden is a San Francisco-based yoga teacher & Ayurvedic Nutritionist. Kate sees Ayurveda as a health science that can translate to modern day living with ease and a little mindfulness to reap rewards of health, youth, vitality and joy! Read more of her recipes & check out her seasonal cleanses on her blog: San Franshakti Ayurveda Recipe Blog or follow her on facebook under San Franshakti.