ayurvedic lemon, coconut and chickpea soup.

October 5, 2011, Michaela Evanow, 1 Comment

Today is a good pregnancy day! Yesterday was not. After requesting that Jay make lentil soup for dinner, I promptly projectile vomited. Twice. I felt so bad throwing up all those lovely organic ingredients cooked together by my sweet husband, and then having him clean me and the bathroom up afterwords. That is love.

So after all that, I was inspired to cook again today, seeing it’s my day off (and the best day of the week!) I’ve also decided to take Fridays off, because the burden of working nearly full time, finding time to cook (ask Jay what’s for dinner) and eat, bathe regularly and do something with my increasingly voluminous locks (so far curls are here to stay! and oh, are they ever soft and shiny), had me in tears at least 3 times a week. Couple that with extreme exhaustion and nausea (and vomiting), and I feel pretty good about cutting my workload.

The recipe below is for one of my favourite soups. It’s simple, healing and unique, combining the refreshing taste of lemon, with ginger, coconut milk and the gentlest Indian flavours. Ayurvedic cooking combines some of the best ingredients that always appeal to my palette.

“Originating in India over 5,000 years ago, Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of healing. The Sanskirt word is derived from two root words, Ayus, which means ‘life’ and Veda, which means “knowledge” (cheers for baby Veda! A dear friend of mine named her baby girl Veda). “Ayurvedic schools throughout India teach herbal medicine, massage, surgery, psychiatry, obstetrics, gynecology, meditation and yoga. Indian women cooking in their homes will regularly use the principles of Ayurvedic cooking in their meals, to maintain health, cure a variety of illnesses from the common cold to serious ailments.”

I don’t believe in the spiritual side of Ayurveda or yoga, although I do appreciate the impact healing foods and exercise have on the spirit.

In any case, I find Ayurvedic food to compliment my lifestyle the most. I often turn to one of my favourite vegetarian cookbooks, The Modern Ayurvedic, for recipes. I always feel so good after eating these meals and drinks, and the whole process of chopping fresh herbs, roots, grating spices, mixing different bases and simmering such healing concoctions ministers to me. Call me crazy, but I swear I would have been called a heretic and burned at the stake in the 1600’s for practicing “witchcraft” (a.k.a encapsulating placentas, using herbal concoctions and burning incense).


Adapted from The Modern Ayurvedic by Amrita Sondhi.

lemon, coconut, chickpea soup

Lemon, Coconut and Chickpea Soup


  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas (I use cooked frozen, since I hate canned beans)
  • 1 cup navy beans, or more chickpeas
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • plain yogurt for garnish
In a large pot on medium low, heat the 1 1/2 tbsp oil. Add onions and saute until lightly caramelized, being careful not to burn, for 6-8 minutes. Push onions to one side of pot, add more oil along with mustard seeds. Cover with lid and let pop for 30 seconds, then stir together with onions. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric and coriander and saute for 3 minutes. Add chickpeas and beans, stir and let cook for a few more minutes. Finally add vegetable stock and cover and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.
Add coconut milk. Pour half mixture into blender, or use a hand blender and puree until smooth. Be sure to keep some of the onions and beans in tact if us
ing a hand blender in the pot. Add lemon juice and maple syrup and stir well. Garnish soup with yogurt and cilantro if you prefer.
The end result is a delightfully tangy, yet creamy bright yellow soup. Enjoy!

1 Comment

  • Reply Michaela. October 6, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    I just had a friend request a substitute for chickpeas. Navy beans all the way! I often only use navy beans when I’m not in a chickpea mood.

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