On a recent trip to Mexico City I stayed in the historic district across the street from a sweet little restaurant that became my nightly haunt. A relic from the ’50’s, Cafe La Blanca served a lovely, mild, easy-to-digest vegetable soup that calmed my nerves and soothed my stomach after a long day of sightseeing and spicy lunches.

This is an easy soup to replicate, and is just one of many great ways to get your kids to eat vegetables, as it is slightly sweet from the liberal amount of onion and carrot.

Ingredients

one large brown or sweet onion, sliced
2-3 large carrots, cut in big pieces
4-5 zucchini, cut in big pieces
3 celery stalks, chopped
one large white or russet potato, quartered
salt and pepper to taste
2 quarts of water, or more

Directions

Put the water and onions in the pot on a high flame. Once boiling, turn down to medium. Cook the onions while you slice the other vegetables. Now add all the other ingredients and cook on a low flame until everything is nice and soft.
Serve with some nice whole grain bread.

Comments and Modifications

Cooking for a long time breaks down the cellulose, making this soup very easy to digest. But if you want you could add the zucchini a bit later, and it will remain more green.

One could also add some leafy greens or broccoli towards the end to increase the vitamin content of the soup, but remember vegetables are not just about vitamins. If they are too raw to digest, you won’t extract the minerals and phyto-nutrients, so I like this well cooked soup sometimes.

And young children have immature digestive tracts, so it’s good to give them very well cooked foods, including vegetables.

I have added cumin powder, garlic, and Mexican oregano to this soup with success, even a dash of turmeric, and also sweet potato or hard squash and crimini or white mushrooms. Fresh dill could be delicious.

In summer I might cook with cumin powder and serve with fresh Cilantro and yoghurt, which is cooling.

Ayurveda:

This soup is excellent for nourishing Vata, as it is naturally and mildly sweet and warming. One could even add a little bit of olive or sesame oil to this recipe for Vata, or some Chicken broth.

It is well tolerated by Pitta, which also benefits from the sweet taste, and it would be nice for a Pitta to introduce some green vegetable into the soup, as Pitta benefits from the bitter taste and cleansing quality of greens. Even some beans like Chick Pea could be added for a Pitta, especially a Pitta Kapha.

While the sweet flavor is not indicated for Kapha, this dish is not too sweet, and not at all oily, so also quite tolerated for Kapha; but for someone with a strong Kapha imbalance one could step up the spices, make it a little more peppery, substitute beans for the carrot and potato (if there is no Vata imbalance–beans are astringent and drying; good for Kapha bad for Vata), and add some green vegetable.

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