Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. Kicking up crisp, fallen leaves in the park, looking forward to casseroles and hearty stews and planning on what I need to make the house hygge in preparation for winter.
The transition, though, always sends me into a tailspin. As the wind picks up and the air begins to cool, I start to feel a bit ungrounded. I can become a bit unreliable. I make social plans and then sometimes all I want to do is be indoors in the warmth as the days become shorter.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, the air element increases in autumn and vata, being predominant in air, also increases. Vata’s qualities are light, dry, rough, cool, subtle, and movement. It’s not surprising that this can create a sense of being exposed and ungrounded.
My autumn routine includes reducing my social activity just until the transition passes. I stop eating raw food and pull out the warming spices from the back of the cupboard, adding them into autumn meals and teas. I start to make more soups. This one is a favourite – warming ginger with earthy mushroom and a salty taste from the nori. It’s warming, not too heavy and doesn’t take long to put together after work.
INGREDIENTS A handful of shitake mushrooms
A handful of broccoli or greens of your choice
1 tbs dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups of vegetable stock (or the stock of your choice)
1 spring onion, finely sliced on the diagonal
1 tsp miso paste
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
1 tsp of lemon or lime juice
Soak the porcini mushrooms in hot water for about 30 minutes or according to the instructions on the packet. Do the same for the nori in a separate bowl. Once it has hydrates, slice into slivers.
In a pot, add the stock, the porcini mushrooms and their soaking liquid, ginger and nori and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the broccoli and shitake mushrooms and simmer for about 5 more minutes until the broccoli is tender. Add the lemon or lime juice and stir.
In a bowl, add the miso paste and enough of the soup broth to make a loose paste. Stir back into the pot and take off the heat.
Sprinkle with the spring onions.