This is the story of an encounter… between two passionate girls. Passionate about yoga, cooking, and traveling… Such a meeting could only happen in Bali, an island of discovery, exchange and surprises! As a matter of fact, none of us could have imagined that such a creative and joyful collaboration would be born one year and a half later…
When we met in Bali, in April 2014, during a yoga immersion, Eloise and I were seeking for a new impulsion and inspiration in our lives. And the Island of the Gods was just the right place to be fir that… With a former career in business and management, and after having spent some years in international companies, we both decided to go towards a more balanced lifestyle and search for our wellbeing. In Bali, our choices were confirmed, and new aspirations were born. After this travel, Eloïse followed a special program in Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine - read below for more information) and I decided to launch Bread & Olives.
One year and a half later, we met again in Paris, and so much progress has been made! A common work on cooking seemed obvious. We both like simple and generous cooking, and we see food as an essential element for wellbeing. So we naturally decided to unite our energies and inspirations to offer you ‘fusion’ recipes: Mediterranean and ayurvedic, healthy and delicious, simple and creative, and always vegetarian!
For us, local and ayurvedic food is above all about respecting products that nature offers at a certain time and the cycle of seasons. This is why we’ve decided to start this collaboration with a special recipe to help you handle the change of season with this rough beginning of autumn J
Ayurveda states that the macrocosm reflects in the microcosm and therefore influences directly our metabolism. So it recommends a seasonal life-style. It means we have to understand the characteristics of each season and adopt a special routine and diet accordingly. Every season has specific attributes and obeys to certain energies.
Autumn is generally described in Ayurveda as dry, light, humid, rough, changing and windy. All these attributes are those of Vata, one of the 3 doshas - these fundamental energies that governs psychic and physical functions in the body. Vata is therefore in excess during autumn.
An increase in Vata can lead to different disorders: stress, insomnia, fatigue, gas, constipation, joint pain, sciatic, irregular appetite, loss of memory, feeling of loneliness…
Since Ayurveda aims to find balance between the different doshas, it will therefore looks for diminishing Vata influence during the fall, trough a specific diet and habits.
We choose to present you a generous, savory and unique recipe, specially conceived to reduce our Vata that is going out of control at the moment J. So we were looking for attributes that are the opposite of those of autumn: oily, warm, liquid, heavy (nutritious), soft and stable. In other words, digest, energizing, nutritive, rich and generous ingredients!
To do so, there is no better way than going to the market and start from seasonal products! When they are well combined and seasoned, these products are our best allies to struggle against fall disorders and bring us back to balance.
This squash and lentil soup will bring your body the softness it is craving for. And the candied ginger cream will give you this energy boost we all need at this moment!
For more information about Ayurveda and the ingredients we use, please reed below.
Squash Lentil Soup with candied Ginger Cream
1 kg squash
125 g brown/green lentils
1 onion, sliced
1/2 leak, sliced
2 tbsp ghee/smen
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp fenugreek
1 tsp turmeric
2 garlic cloves
For the Candied Ginger Cream
125 g silky tofu
50 g candied ginger
1 tbsp hazelnut oil
Pre-heat the oven 180°C. Put the squash unpeeled, roughly cut, on a baking sheet. Lightly oil with hazelnut oil. Cook for about 40 minutes. Check with a knife if the flesh is tender enough. Remove from oven, let cool and cut in big cubes.
Cook the lentils in big volume of water, with the garlic cloves. Depending on the type of lentils you use, the cooking time will vary between 20 and 30 minutes.
In a cooking pot, heat the ghee with the spices. Add the onion and the leak, and let brown for 5 minutes. Add some water if needed. Pour the squash and the lentils; then cover with lukewarm water little by little. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat.
In a food processor, mix the preparation adding some water, until it is the right consistency. The result we are looking for is closer to a purée than the one of a « velouté » or a liquid soup.
To make the ginger cream, mix the ingredients in a blender until you obtain a homogenous consistency.
Serve warm in large bowls. Drizzle with the candied ginger cream.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian medicine. Literally the "Science of Life", Ayurveda is a global healthcare system which aims at improving not only human health but also its relationship to the cosmos. Its purpose is to cover the wellbeing of the individual, both physical and psychological, and to restore balance.
Ayurveda is based on the system of doshas. The doshas are fundamental energies of the body and organizational principles that govern physiological and psychological functions of the body. It is a system based on the 5 elements used to codify the functioning of the body, mind and soul.
There are three doshas:
Vata = Air + Ether
Pitta = Fire + Water
Kapha = Earth + Water
In addition to nutrition and herbal medicine, Ayurveda teaches a seasonal rhythm of life called "rutucharya". In Sanskrit, the word "rutu" means time and seasonal movement ;"charya" means rhythm or routine life.
Each season is dominated by some elements, doshas and attributes that characterize it. Given that the macrocosm reflects in the microcosm, these same characteristics directly affect our metabolism, our organs, our body and our mind. Understanding seasonal components is fundamental in order to adopt the pace of life in harmony with the seasons.
Why we chose these ingredients...
Winter squash V↓P↓K↑ (Vatta decreased, Pitta and Kapha increased)
Nature has a wonderful intelligence. So it's not for nothing that squashes abound in the fall. They are there to help balance us! We chose winter squash, lighter than its cousins (butternut, acorn...) to marry the brown lentils, without making the soup too heavy.
Its sweet taste and "heavy" quality make a rich and nutritious food that is involved in tissue and energy regeneration. This combines with its high Beta Carotene.
The metabolic action "heating" also promotes digestion, assimilation and absorption of nutrients.
Its digestive action "pungent" is catabolic which has a slightly laxative effect.
Another of its particular actions is its emollient and expectorant action that helps fight against seasonal colds by liquefying the mucus and helping their elimination.
The brown lentils V↑P↓K↓
Its digestive action "pungent" supports the catabolic metabolism during digestion and elimination. Its richness in fiber is laxative and detoxifying the colon. Autumn is a season of transition that is important to perform some detoxification to rebuild a stable and solid ground before winter. The brown lentil is a good ally for this purpose.
It is also "heavy”. Indeed, it is a nutritious food, rich in protein, iron, potassium, phosphorus and digestible fibers. Vata dosha is the one who most need stability, energy and nutrition. However its digestive weakness often prevents it to enjoy the benefits of its diet. We must therefore choose carminative herbs targeting Vata to compensate for that.
Cooked onion V↓P↓K↓
The V spices V↓P↓K↓
We chose a trio of ginger, turmeric and fenugreek.
These three herbs are very beneficial herbs for Vata. Thus combined, they also temper Vata, Pitta and Kapha. All three are heating. They increase metabolism, appetite, digestion, assimilation and absorption. Their catabolic action supports the elimination of toxins and aid digestion problems. They are allies during autumn to allow our body to digest the food we give it.
Ghee / Clarified butter V↓P↓K↓
Ghee is the clarified butter. This action removes casein. Ghee can be used by lactose intolerant.
Ghee is used in many cultures of the world and exists under other names as Smen in the Maghreb. In India, it is used in cooking for its sweet flavor, for resistance to temperature (does not burn easily), its nutritive qualities, as well as a therapeutic remedy. Indeed, there are medicated ghees prepared with many herbs to treat mild or advanced health problems.
Hazelnut (oil) V↓P↑K↓
Silken tofu V↓P↓K↓
*This blog post was co-written with Eloïse Figgé, author of Hello Ayurveda.
Hi there! I'm Majda.
Foodie, yogini, life lover!
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