Jade-green in color and delicate in flavor, this sweet, slightly bitter, astringent, and oily soup is both refreshing in summer or winter and good for reducing Pitta. Because it is cold and heavy this soup increases Vata and Kapha. The vegetables can vary with the seasons.
Serves 6 to 8
4 cups chopped Swiss chard, loosely packed
2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped bok choy or Napa cabbage leaves
1 cup chopped beet greens
i small parsnip, peeled and sliced
5 cups unsalted Pitta Broth (pages 148-149)
1 very ripe avocado, mashed
1 cup heavy cream (1/2 pint)
1 teaspoon minced fresh French tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
6 or 7 mint leaves, chopped
1/2 cup shredded raw beets or thinly sliced red radish 8 to 10 sprigs fresh fennel, dill, or small mint leaves
1. Steam the vegetables for 12 minutes, or until the zucchini is very soft. Or cook the vegetables in a pressure cooker for 4 minutes. Cool slightly and puree in a food processor or blender until creamy.
2. Heat 5 cups of Pitta Broth in a large heavy pot and add the vegetable puree. Simmer and stir until well blended. Use a hand mixer in a small bowl or a food processor with a steel blade to blend the mashed avocado with half of the cream. Slowly blend in until smooth and creamy. Add the tarragon, the pepper, and the mint. Stir vigorously into the vegetable soup. Serve it warm or cover it, cool for an hour, then chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
3. Serve in a large decorative glass bowl with a shredded beet, radish, and fresh herb garnish. Or garnish each bowl individually as you serve it.
note: This recipe can be cut in half if you are cooking for less than 6 persons with Pitta dosha. Kapha types can substitute buttermilk for the heavy cream and add extra ground pepper or picante sauce to taste. Vata types would always eat this soup warm and substitute spinach, with its hot quality, for bok choy or Napa cabbage leaves.