In early Spring, it's good to keep eating warming foods, but to add some lightness to them because it's the time of year to clear out the heaviness from winter. Early Spring is still Kapha season, so Kapha qualities dominate: heavy, cool, slow, dull, static, dense, gross (as opposed to subtle) and cloudy.
Your job is to oppose the Kapha qualities with these qualities: light, warm, fast, sharp, mobile, liquid, subtle, clear. That's how we strike a balance with Nature.
When I think of lighter meals, I think of salads because they contain a lot of the air element. That's what you hear when you crunch.
However, it's probably still on the cool side where you live, so salads may not sound quite appropriate yet. If this is you, then you are going to love my favorite salad recipe hack for early Spring.
You're going to try adding salad to a soup. I call it a Salad in a Soup. I know it sounds crazy. Maybe you've tried salad on pizza before, but never on soup! Blasphemy!
No, not blasphemy. Rather, it's one of the most refreshing meals you will ever have. It's warming and light at the same time. The key is to get the right type of salad and the right type of soup, and then the right ratio of warmth to crunch.
The soups that hold salad best have some kind of thickness to them. Anything that is thicker than a clear broth would work. You can use tomato, lentil, cream of mushroom, or even something like a minestrone soup. Not miso, for example, because it's too thin and will easily wilt the greens too much. My favorites to make a Salad in a Soup with are a vegan mushroom soup and a red lentil soup.
You can make the soup yourself or buy one. The important thing I hope you are learning here is that you can add salad to the soup.
So you have your soup, and then you get a little salad. I like to use Spring Mix, Mixed Greens or Butter Lettuce. I want the greens to be on the thinner, softer and more delicate side so they can bend well in the bowl. I don't personally like to do this with romaine or other greens that have thicker veins. Microgreens are amazing too. They are actually my favorite to do this with. If you have more vata going on, then Microgreens are the way to go.
If you are having one cup of soup, then add 1 cup of greens. If you eat through all the greens before you finish the soup, then you can add more later, but adding too many greens at first can overpower the soup.
For salad dressing, I dress the greens in a small amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. Don't use vinegar because it will really alter the taste of whatever soup you are eating. The saltiness and other flavors of your soup act as a type of salad dressing.
You will feel so light and warm and healthy, and that's perfect for a basic early Spring/Kapha season diet. It's invigorating and the roughness of the greens will give your gut lining a little exfoliation. That being said, please go easy on this and other raw veggies and "roughage" if you have inflammation in your gut!
Here's the recipe for Salad in a Soup:
- 1 cup of your favorite hot soup
- 1 cup of chopped delicate salad leaves
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. First, make sure your soup is hot and ready to eat. If it's not hot, then heat it up on the stove and then serve it in a bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, combine your salad greens, oil, salt and pepper.
3. Mix the salad ingredients together until everything is evenly coated.
4. Once your salad is ready, carefully add it into the bowl on top of your hot soup. The soup will wilt the greens slightly, but they will still add a fresh crunch to your meal.
5. Enjoy your soup and salad hybrid creation.
And this is the perfect opportunity to use a spork!
Let me know how this recipe goes for you!