I love to give my doula moms a healing postpartum soup. It is good to eat warming foods after birth. In Chinese medicine they believe that you loose a lot of your qi (energy) during birth and there are specific foods and soups that you can eat to replace that energy that you lost. I don’t follow the strict recipes but I definitely believe in the healing power of soup. My grandmother used to say for a soup to be healing it had to have “one up top and two below”, meaning that you needed at least two root vegetables and one that grows on top of the earth. I don’t know where she got that from, but it has always held up for me. I love making soup because you can throw most anything in there, you can also stretch it if a few extra people show up.
Certain soups hold emotional healing properties for me as well; chicken and dumplings remind me of the last time I spent time with my grandfather, just he and I, before he passed several years ago. Potato soup takes me back to when I was sick in my childhood and my mother would make a simple watery potato soup when we were recovering from a stomach bug. Congee is a thickened healing rice porridge that I love with chicken or cooked with chicken broth that a Chinese friend made for me once when I was sick and I have craved it ever since when I have a cold.
I recently had a delicious soup made from a dear friend that contained sweet potato, coconut milk, kale, and turkey sausage…it was delicious and made me feel warm and loved inside. (that’s the healing property of homemade food!) It was accompanied with a sweet potato cornbread that took it over the top. I remade it tonight with the addition of a few other vegetables and recreated that homey feel for my family. (Food always tastes better when someone cooks it especially for you instead of you cooking it for yourself…:)
I cook by sight and not measurement (sorry!) feel free to tweak it anyway you want… this makes a huge pot of soup…
3 cans of coconut milk
1 large bag of kale (few lbs)
1.5 lbs of ground turkey
3-4 medium sweet potatoes (diced)
2 cans of pureed pumpkin
2 turnips (diced)
5 -6 carrots (diced)
1 can black beans
2 boxes of chicken stock
First saute onions, grated ginger, garlic, curry powder, and ground turkey. After browned, pour in chicken stock and scrape the delicious bits off the bottom of the pot. Add sweet potatoes, turnips (optional, I was cleaning out my fridge), carrots and kale. Add a bit of water if not enough stock. Let it cook down until vegetables just start to get tender then add black beans, coconut milk, and pureed pumpkin. Simmer until root vegetables are tender. Sprinkle love and salt and pepper to taste! 🙂 Serve with homemade rolls, biscuits, or cornbread. Enjoy with good company.