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Quintessentially autumn: cauliflower, butter bean & dill soup

31/03/2014

cauliflower soupCarrying on from my post about everything you need to know to be “Living well in autumn“, I prepared this delicious soup that sums up the essence of the season in one bowl.

Chinese medicine five element theory assigns autumn to the metal element. The colour associated with the metal element is white. The flavour is pungent. Although we can add a nice mix of bitter and sour to this. We use cooking methods that take a little longer but preserve fluid content (such as soups) to benefit our Lungs, Large Intestine and skin. Foods that are neutral to warming are ideal depending on how far through autumn you find yourself. This concept is further explained in the living well in autumn link above.

The dish that pops into my head as quintessentially autumn is cauliflower soup. It is white, creamy and nourishing, which a slight pungent and warming quality. It was a childhood favourite for me. Perhaps this is because as a dairy-free child, cauliflower soup offered a soothing, ‘creaminess’ not found often in the rest of my diet. In addition to the texture, I also think I just enjoyed the flavour. Fans of cauliflower cheese will know what I’m talking about.

Some of the key ingredients in this soup and their Chinese medicine properties  are:

  • Cauliflower (of course) –  Neutral-cooling and nourishes Yin. It is said to be sweet and slightly bitter, benefitting the Stomach, Spleen, Lung and Large Intestine.
  • Butter beans – Neutral-cooling and sweet, these beans nourish Yin and benefit the Liver, Lungs and skin.
  • Onion and garlic – Garlic is hot and onions are warming. They are pungent and may also be sweet. They benefit the Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach and Spleen.
  • Dill – Warming, pungent and slightly bitter.
  • Nutmeg – Warming and pungent.

Here is the recipe for cauliflower, butter bean and dill soup. You’ll be eating in about 30 minutes – it’s quick to cook. I used one and a half tablespoons of fresh dill rather than the dried herb. I do love dill. And for those with food sensitivities, it is free from dairy, gluten and eggs. It’s a good meat-free dish too as the beans add some protein and contribute to satiety.

For further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture).  Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health at her Broadbeach clinic and is the Chinese Medicine Senior Lecturer at the Endeavour College of Natural Health Gold Coast campus.

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