Once we start to feel a general sense of slightly cooler weather in Phoenix, it’s funny because 90° can feel chilly. Once the fall season starts, I find myself craving warm soups. Turmeric Coconut Yellow Dal Soup is one of those soups that can nourish me throughout the day. And here in Phoenix, the fall season has large temperature fluctuations throughout the day that soup seems to help me with.
I’m just finishing up teaching an introductory Ayurvedic course to physicians. It’s been one of the most rewarding journeys of my professional career, and I’m deeply grateful for everyone who signed up for the course and participated. I’ve learned so much about the art and science of Ayurveda. Learn more about my teacher, Dr. Vasant Lad here.
Every week during the course we had a cooking class. We tried lots of different recipes and principles from Ayurvedic cooking. This soup was probably one of my favorites. Though, generally, I don’t play favorites in the kitchen.
I jumped right in to make this again quickly after we had made it for class, and it was just as good the following time. It’s a version of kitchari that has a slightly different flavor profile and includes coconut milk, which gives a beautiful flavor. Though it’s not quite the same principles as eating kitchari, this Turmeric Coconut Yellow Dal Soup does nourish our digestive fire or Agni.
Turmeric, cumin, coriander, fennel, and saffron are the spice base for this soup. It’s OK to leave out the saffron, though, with its a wonderfully distinct flavor; if you can even add a few petals, that would be good.
People talk about adding spices to an oil base to bring the flavor out. This may be true; however, I have been cutting back on high heat cooking with oil. This recipe allows all the spices to be placed in the slow cooker and blend in nicely over 30- 45 minutes and yields a flavorful and delicious soup that can last for several days. You can vary the taste profile by adding different sauces, chutneys, or by the side dishes you serve with it.
I welcome you to enjoy what may be a new staple in your diet.
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