Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Food is Medicine

 During the course of the pandemic, warm meals, carefully crafted fresh dishes, and layered soups have been creating much comfort and joy. Some days, a bowl of hot homemade vegetable soup has made a world of difference during these chaotic days. Sharing a freshly made dish with a neighbour, a friend or patient from my practice has also made me feel like I am participating in the solution. 

We can offer comfort and support through the love that we place in kitchen. I have found that cooking has been one of the most meaningful expressions of love and connection during these challenging times. I am deeply grateful for the beautiful vegetables and care that the farmers have given to their crops this past year. Sang Lee, Amber Waves and Balsam Farms are a my favourites. 

When I have had extra soup, I have packaged it and given it to friends and neighbours when they least expected the gifts. It fills my heart with goodness to share now more than ever. While we may not be able to share a meal in our homes, we can certainly share love in this gentle and nourishing exchange. 

I began a new feed on Instagram, the title of the feed is @pure_soups. In this feed, I share images of the flowers that sit on the table while eating, the herbs, the soups, the ingredients, and the intentions behind the soups. I have also included thoughts on the nutritional values of different foods through the five elements and the lens of Chinese medicine. 

I have enjoyed photographing the images of the ingredients, the color, the textures and the toppings that I have placed on the soups. At this time, I am finishing the squash and root vegetables from the winter shares of Amber Waves and Sang Lee Farms. 

The sweet potato soup has been the most frequency made soup. Enriched by garlic, onion, sesame oil, vegetable broth, hours of slow roasting and cooking, topped with beautiful elements from the last herbs in the garden.

One of my favourite ingredients has been Japanese pickled plums. I chop them finely and add them to the toppings of many soups. The sour and sweet taste offers a nice opposition to the sweet earthiness of the pureed root soups. The plums are astringent and offset the sweetness creating more of a balance in the soup.

As the days are growing longer and we gear up for warmer weather, I will be posted more of my recipes and my photography. My hope is that my posts inspire new explorations in the kitchen. Tonifying the middle Jiao is an important way to keep our immunity strong and resilient, especially during the colder days. 

As I am writing this post, I know that the farmers are enjoying the last days of rest before preparation for the next planting season. My seeds are being sorted and my new gardens designed in my dreams.