MD is going through a soup phase right now (hey, who hasn’t been there, am I right? Hello?) and we are ALL the beneficiaries of that! I would like to think that the mere act of preparing (slicing and dicing) the vegetables for these delicious soups would be therapeutic in its own right, alleviating some on the irritability and stress that is Liver Qi Stagnation’s hallmark. Alas, even better is having this soup made for you. Better still is having two soups made for you–thanks, MD! (I got word later in the week that other students were already making the Szechuan carrot soup to rave reviews!)
Liver Qi Stagnation
Western correlations for liver qi stagnation include but are not limited to depression, anxiety, high blood pressure (in the case of liver yang rising), liver disorders (hepatitis), PMS, and headaches.
TCM clinical manifestations for liver qi stagnation – irritability, anger, depression, rib side pain and/or discomfort, headaches (vertex), PMS and other gynecological disorders, frequent sighing, gastritis, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic cholecystitis, chest pain, and inability to handle stress.
Tongue – normal (pink)
Pulse – Wiry
Foods that help liver qi stagnation – Onions, Garlic, Celery, Mustard Greens, Turmeric, Basil, Bay Leaf, Cardamom, Cumin, Fennel Marjoram, Dill, Black Pepper, Horse Radish, Cherry, Rosemary, Pickled Vegetables, Cabbage, Beets, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots, Plums, potato, tomato, lemon, lime, spinach, kale, raspberry, wheat, rye, spelt, pine cut, lima bean, pea, black sesame seed, pork, saltwater fish, crab, cow milk cheese, yogurt, goat and sheep milk cheese, anise seed, brown sugar, rice vinegar, wine, grape, lychee fruit
Foods to avoid – Alcohol, Caffeinated Coffee, Fatty or Fried Foods, Highly Processed or Refined Foods, Very Spicy or Hot Foods, Heavy Red Meats, Sweet and Sugary Foods, raw foods, frozen foods, greasy foods
Helpful cooking methods – steaming, boiling for shorter period, blanching, and cooking with alcohol, stews, soup, baking
“Beet” the Stagnation Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 medium beets, peeled and chopped
2 cups beef stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
heavy cream (we used Silk soy creamer)
Warm olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic; cook until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in beets, and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in stock, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cover, and simmer until the beets are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly.
In batches, add soup to a food processor, and pulse until liquefied. Return soup to saucepan, and gently heat through. Ladle into bowls, and garnish with a swirl of cream.
Szechuan Carrot Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped,
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp grated ginger
2 cups veggie stock
1 cup water
1/3 cup Szechuan peanut sauce
1 cup plain soy milk
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes. Stir in ginger and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add carrots, stock, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree soup in the saucepan using an immersion blender, or transfer in batches to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, then return soup to the saucepan. Add peanut sauce and milk and simmer until heated. Do not boil.