Spring is Nature’s birth cycle…of fresh greens, shoots, sprouts, and blossoms. Spring greens are full of chlorophyll, which acts as a natural detoxifier to the rich, heavy foods of winter. Greens reach upward to the sun. Their lighter, uplifting energy helps us transition from the slower, more contracted lifestyle of winter.
Spring is a wonderful season to incorporate more cleansing greens into meals and to rotate with warmer and longer days into lighter meals and greater physical activity. It is a wonderful season for fresh starts and new resolutions….perhaps to cook early in the day and to move more, walk more in the early evening to take advantage of the longer days, extended now by daylight-saving time.
1 onion, chopped fine
1 parsnip, chopped fine
8 cups filtered water or rich vegetable or chicken stock
2 bunches watercress with stems, washed and chopped
2 tablespoons light miso or umeboshi vinegar, to taste
Simmer onion and parsnip in stock 20-30 minutes, covered, until very tender. Add watercress and simmer 3-5 minutes, uncovered. Add miso and puree with a immersion wand or in a blender. Serve with favorite garnishes…delicious topped with a broiled or poached fillet of fish.
(For a thicker soup, add some cooked grain with the miso and puree. Or, add 4 T. agar flakes when cooking, for increased mineral nutrition.)
Source: Pathways4Health, derived from Elson Haas.
Creamy Parsley Dressing
2 ounces soft tofu Place all ingredients in blender.
2 tablespoons tahini Puree until creamy.
½ cup water
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar (or lemon juice)
½ t. sea salt, or to tast
1 handful washed parsley
Source: Book of Whole Meals, Annemarie Colbin.
1 ripe avocado
2 T. lemon juice
6 black Greek olives
Sea salt to taste
Scoop the avocado pulp into a bowl; add the lemon juice and mash with a fork. Pit and finely chop the the olives; stir into the avocado. Add salt to taste. Garnish with sliced radishes and serve with whole grain toast or crackers.
Source: Book of Whole Meals, Annemarie Colbin
Hearty, Comforting Pea Soup—Laurel’s Kitchen, adapted by Ellen Arian
1 onion, diced Makes 8-9 cups.
2 tbsp. olive oil or butter
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. celery seed
1 cup green split peas
1/4 cup barley (I like pearled for this)
1/2 cup lima beans (I have used both big and baby. Both are good)
2 quarts water
2 tsp sea salt
1 carrot, sliced into half moons
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 potato, diced
1/2 tsp each, dried basil and thyme
Soak overnight or for 6-8 hours: peas, barley and lima beans.
Saute onion in oil until very soft, along with bay leaf and celery seed. Stir in peas, barley and lima beans. Add 2 quarts water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer, partly covered, for about an hour.
Add remaining ingredients. Turn heat very low and simmer for another hour or so. Taste to see if it’s done and thin with water or stock if needed. Correct seasonings.
Cream of Asparagus SoupWith Dill
2 T. butter or olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 t. cumin
1 T. fresh or 1 t. dried dill
1 bunch asparagus, washed and cut into 2” pieces
2 cups vegetable of chicken stock
2-3 cups water
1 bay leaf
½ cup rolled oats
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup sour cream for garnish
Heat oil in a pot and sauté onion, celery, cumin, dill until vegetables are soft.
Add asparagus and sauté a few more minutes.
Add stock, water, bay leaf, oats, and salt.
Bring to a boil. Simmer 15 minutes.
Let cool. Puree in a blender or with an immersion wand.
Add fresh lemon juice to taste.
Garnish with sour cream with desired
Any seasonal vegetable can be used in place of or in addition to asparagus.
Can be served cold in hot weather.
Source: Feeding the Whole Family, Cynthia Lair.
Green Jade Soup
3 dried Chinese mushrooms
4 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup carrots, peeled and cut in 1” matchsticks
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
½ cup thinly sliced mushrooms
10-12 spinach leaves
3 T. soy sauce
(serves: 4, source: Sally Pasley, The Tao of Cooking)
Soak dried mushrooms in 1 cup hot water for 20-30 minutes, until soft. Drain and reserve stock. Slice in thin strips.
Bring reserved mushroom stock and vegetable stock to a boil in a saucepan. Add carrots, green onion, and both kinds of mushrooms and simmer for 3 minutes. Add spinach leaves and soy sauce for a few more minutes, until spinach is just wilted. Adjust seasoning.
Serve this simple clear soup with nori rolls or tempura. Thin Japanese noodles can be added for a more filling soup.
Watercress Bisque (serves: 6; source: Haas, Cookbook for All Seasons)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine (optional)
8 cups water
2 bunches watercress (about 8 cups), coarsely chopped, including stems
2 T. light miso
Lemon wedges to garnish
Simmer onion and carrot in wine (or ½ cup water) until onion is limp and transparent. Add water and chopped watercress; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree in blender or food processor with miso. Serve garnished with a lemon wedge.
1 bunch fresh basil, washed with stems removed
1 T. light miso
1 clove garlic
¼ cup pine nuts and/or walnuts
3 T. olive oil
(Makes about 1 cup; source: Elson Haas, Cookbook for All Seasons)
Puree all ingredients well in a blender or food processor. If too thick, dilute with a little water. This is a nondairy pesto that can be used for pastas, grain and vegetable dishes where grated Romano cheese and more olive oil can be added if desired.
2 medium avocados
1 lemon, juiced
1 t. salt, to taste
½ cup water
1/8 t. cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic
(makes 1 ½ cups; source: Haas, Cookbook for All Seasons)
Blend all ingredients well and toss with salad.
Green Pea Soup
2 cups whole or split peas, presoaked Layer vegetables in a pot in order given.
¼ onion, diced (optional) Add peas, water, and bay leaf
1 cup celery, diced Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1+
1 cup carrots, diced hours until peas are soft and mushy.
1 bay leaf Add dulse, mustard, and salt and simmer 10
5-6 cups water minutes more.
½ cup dulse Add vinegar before serving.
¼ t. dry mustard
1 t. sea salt
1 T. vinegar (optional)
(serves: 6; source: Paul Pitchford, Healing With Whole Foods)
1 bunch asparagus spears Steam asparagus for 10 minutes
1-1 ½ cups vinaigrette dressing* Toss with dressing;* marinate 2-3 hours
*(3 parts olive oil to 1 part umeboshi vinegar
+ herbs of your choice)
(serves 4-6; source: Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods)
Simple Sprout Salad
2 cups alfalfa sprouts Arrange an outside ring of sprouts on a plate
2 cups mung sprouts Add a ring of mung sprouts
1 cup sunflower sprouts Place sunflower sprouts in the center
Serve with your favorite dressing.
(source: Paul Pitchford, Healing With Whole Foods)
Green Spring Soup
6 cups water or broth Bring liquid to boil
4 medium potatoes, chopped Add potatoes, onion, and salt. Cover
¼ medium onion or leek Reduce heat and simmer until tender
2-3 cups kale (or spring greens) Add kale and garlic…simmer until kale is
2 cloves garlic bright green.
1 t. sea salt Puree all ingredients.
1 t. olive oil Add olive oil before serving
(serves: 6; source: Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods)