For me spring inspires and conjures so many beautiful feelings and smells. Honestly, I can't compare anything to a Wisconsin Spring. Lilies of the valley start pokin their little heads out, daffodils for miles, cherry trees in blossom and their nectar filling the air, apple blossoms blowing in the breeze, that CRAZED feeling you get when the big thaw finally happens and you're runnin in the grass barefoot and it's so squishy cold and fresh between your toes, robins and red winged blackbirds start dotting the landscape and swingin on the cat-tails.... ahhhhhh! Makes me feel SO HAPPY AND ALIVE!
Right now as I type on March 8, there is still 2 feet of snow there, and although my sis reported her first robin sighting, it's still cold as hell back in Wisconsin! Here in San Diego however, my bones are achin for that feeling! It's raining and crisp and 60's during the day, thus my inner clock thinks its time. Time to start planting seeds, blasting open all of the windows, shake the rugs, cleanin out the rafters, purging and donating to goodwill...... aaaaaand purging and cleaning out my body! That's right! For me now in my adult years, the second I get this crazed spring feelin, food no longer sounds appetizing (for the most part) and all I want to do is give this bod a break for a few weeks and flush it out! Alas, I will not be baking for the next month, but I'll still be here blogging about delicious juice concoctions, smoothies, soups (think liquids) and other ramblings and creations. My goal is to do a full 30 days of juicing this year! I've been doing a spring fast for almost 10 years now, and let me tell ya, nothin feels better!
I'll probably start it next monday, since I'm due to go to the big Natural Foods Expo this Friday (YAY!) and snacking and tasting are completely unavoidable. 3,000 vendors- all of which are under the umbrella of natural foods. Good God! There will be a whole blog dedicated to that this weekend, needless to say. I've never attended this expo, and now that I have my own personal chef service, I'm finally goin! Remember the first time you went to Disney? Yah, it's like that.
To close, I'd like to share this creamy and satisfying soup I made last night. It's the one thing I've been craving lately, and it sure did the trick. Very easy to make, especially if you use a pressure cooker like I did. I'll admit, I didn't take the typical notes and photos like I usually do, as I wasn't planning on bloggin, but it's a great enough soup I'd like to share it. For the spices, I generally just threw in a pinch of each.
Also, Hello, Meatless March! This is a great, warming and hearty soup for those of you graciously giving up animal flesh for the month. I hope you enjoy it!
Before and after pureeing... delicious any way you spoon it!
Coconut Mung dal Soup
1 large leek
5 cloves garlic
2 small potatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 cup mung dal
Enough water to cover
1 bunch swiss chard
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 can coconut milk
If using a pressure cooker, this only took about 15 minutes. Regularly i'm guessing 30-40 minutes.
Saute leek, garlic and spices in olive oil and cook for about 10 minutes on medium/lo heat. Add chopped veggies, mung dal, and fill pot with water to about 2 inches above mixture. You will know this soup is done when the lentils have broken down and the soup has become thicker. Be sure to keep it on a low heat, or the lentils will scorch on the bottom. Be sure to stir often!
When the soup has finished, turn off the heat and throw in your chopped swiss chard, cilantro, can of coconut milk and juice of one lemon. Use either a blender or immersion blender to puree the mixture. Unless you like it chunky, you can also leave it that way. Season it to taste with salt or tamari, adding more cayenne or black pepper also if you like.
*In hindsight, i wish I would've used fresh ginger in the soup, so if you like ginger, toss some in when you saute the leeks and garlic. This soup is quite delicious without it too.
OOh, or jalapenos! There's many options to garnish it as well- toss in fresh scallions, chopped tomatoes, toasted pumpkin seeds, or you can even serve it over basmati rice for a good hearty meal. This is a very versatile soup, so play with it and add whatever you like :) Happy spring everyone, and happy cleansing!!