It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

Join Soulspring for conscious insights... ...on all things life, wellness, love, transformation and spirituality...

And receive this very special audio recording from Panache Desai on Breaking Bad Habits.

Blogs

Vegetarian Spring Pho with Sweet Potato Noodles and Heirloom Beans

Vegetarian-Pho-Golubka-Kitchen1 Vegetarian Spring Pho with Sweet Potato Noodles and Heirloom Beans
As though writing a cookbook and trying to stay on top of a second grader’s homework and extracurriculars is not enough, we’re planning a long overdue and major kitchen renovation this summer. When I say long overdue, I am not exaggerating one bit, as we haven’t put a hammer or paintbrush to the kitchen in the thirteen years of living in this house. Something has always topped it on the priority list, which, I know, sounds crazy considering what I do.

Our kitchen is nicely sized and sunny, but has many questionable and outdated details from the 90s along with badly aging countertops, the layout needs improvement, and there is a low hanging ceiling in an otherwise high ceilinged house. There’s lots of unearthed potential, and we are finally coming around to letting it free. To me, this is extremely exciting – the kitchen is my office, the place where the family eats, and also happens to be the central hangout spot in the house.
Continue reading
  614 Hits
614 Hits

The promise of spring… or, how spring can be SO fickle!

delicious-lunch-picture-id922639598 The promise of spring… or, how spring can be SO fickle!

Sunny one day, rainy and cold the next. Peaceful, then wildly windy! Warm, then here comes a snowstorm! Spring is so beguiling… and so fickle!

Let’s not forget, we’re in another transition time. Spring is a little bit of a seesaw. So our immune systems can be tricked! We can get colds or leftover remnants of the flu.

It’s been super rainy here in the Bay Area, in fact, super rainy in many parts of the country. And while you may be yearning for those bright, fresh spring greens it isn’t quite time to jump into a big salad yet. But it is a time when you want to perk up and feel a little brighter.

How do you welcome in the green of spring and still successfully juggle all the vagaries of what’s going on outside?

Soup is the answer!

Continue reading
  778 Hits
778 Hits

Become a soup master in 9 minutes!

vegetable-soup-picture-id826799226 Become a soup master in 9 minutes!

What could be cozier or more welcome than homemade soup? If you've never tried cultivating this admirable culinary skill before, this popular post from the archives will guide you to success! Friends, family, and YOU will be thrilled.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s soup season!

When I get that first whiff, that first little inkling of Fall, I take my big old soup pot out and I start sauteeing onions -- the beginning of broth, the foundation of soups to come, the veritable core of both health and flavor, the indescribable difference. The YUM!

I come by my love of soup making honestly. In my mind’s eye, I can still see the little girl who learned to make soup while sitting atop the kitchen counter, watching in wonder as three generations of women worked their culinary magic over my Ma’s flame-enameled Le Creuset cast iron soup pot.

There was something about soup that enchanted me from the get-go. I think I instinctively knew that soup had the power to heal not only oneself -- I always felt better after having a cup or bowl -- but others as well. At my alma mater, Northwestern University, exhausted classmates would straggle by at all hours looking for a bowl of my Nana’s chicken soup.

Continue reading
  625 Hits
625 Hits

Edible healing

Edible healing Edible healing

Julie Burford, my beloved Soup Sister and neighbor about whom I’ve frequently written (watch us making soup together here) is always on the frontline of cooking for people in need. She’s the Florence Nightingale of the kitchen, the one in our neighborhood who absolutely shows up with something nourishing or comforting or both when someone is sick or struggling. Her husband Stan says, “She’s the edible therapist!”

There have been a flood of people in her world who have been ill lately, including five people this week. Granted Julie’s 74 and has a bit more time on her hands now that she’s not running a non-profit, but she. Steps. Up. Every time. For her friend diagnosed with Parkinson’s...  or for friends of friends... or friends of friends of friends! “Oh, I got home early from dinner tonight,” she says breezily. “I can whip up a batch of butternut squash soup.”

IMG_1616.JPG

She has her tentacles out for who needs what when, and an extraordinary capacity to nourish. Without any compensation. I mean, don’t even think about it! She cooks for a woman who has chronic leukemia every week.

Continue reading
  832 Hits
832 Hits

Colds & flu — achoo!

rebecca-katz-achoo-cold-season

Is everyone around you coming down with colds and flu? And those nasty respiratory infections that linger so much longer than anyone expects? That’s February. A volatile month, a gauntlet we run to make it to spring. Whether you’ve got kids in school, like little Petri dishes scooting around, or you’re hopping on an airplane, or shoulder to shoulder on the subway, unless you live in a bubble, you are vulnerable.


What can you do to prevent colds and flu?

Continue reading
  843 Hits
843 Hits

Do Unto Others… Recipe for Broccoli and Apple Soup

Broccoli and Apple Soup

Although the Golden Rule is not a new idea, I’m still awed by it. Years ago while dining in Washington DC, there was an unexpected interlude between courses that was just as wonderful as the food. The experience reminded me that the more trusting I am, the more others will trust me and vice versa.

 

A friend and I were having dinner at Restaurant Nora, the first certified organic restaurant in America. We decided to go all out and get the 4-course tasting menu. It was a big splurge, but it was my birthday. The manager assured us that if we placed our order quickly, we’d be able to finish in time to make it to the Kennedy Center where we had tickets for the symphony.

 

Suddenly, however, it was 20 minutes to eight and we hadn’t yet had dessert. The manager, Jack, appeared at our side. He told us we should leave if we wanted to make the concert. I asked if we could settle our bill first, but he said we needed to hurry. He told us to enjoy the show and come back afterward for dessert and drinks. We could pay then. He trusted us to walk away from a sizeable bill.

 

True to our word, we hurried back to Nora as soon as the performance ended. We had a delicious dessert, and were even treated to sauternes wine on the house. We paid our bill and left knowing we’d had a magical evening.

Continue reading
  3706 Hits
3706 Hits

Holiday pleasures: the anti-guilt trip!

Holiday pleasures: the anti-guilt trip!

A spot-on post from the archives: be kind to yourself this holiday season! Have fun. Savor those special treats! I wave my magic culinary wand, thus decree. Enjoy! :)

Why do we do it? We have this tendency over the holidays to put ourselves on a LONG nonstop guilt trip, like a first class ticket to Hong Kong and back, on the most expensive airline you can imagine. We splurge and purge AND beat ourselves up over it. I have a better idea: find a way that works for you to relax and enjoy life! If you have a brownie, enjoy it! And so you don’t massively overdo, and truly feel awful, plan ahead.

If you’re throwing the party, do what my friend Julie does and anchor your table with soups! Julie puts one on either end of her buffet, with lovely 5-ounce glass mugs, and peppers the rest of the table with different morsels (not mountains!) of yum. Hot smoked salmon. Serious mouthfuls of baked goods (she’s a fabulous baker). Beautiful cheeses. She replenishes as needed, rather than start with overwhelming masses of food. I watched how her guests interacted with all the tempting offerings this year, and noticed people kept filling their cups up with soup. The conversation flowed happily, and no one felt compelled to say, OMG, I’m going to pay for this! 

Continue reading
  2074 Hits
2074 Hits

Bright & Grounding Chickpea, Parsnip and Kale Soup

This post was created in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada.
Here’s a simple, nourishing soup that will help ground you through any holiday craziness or, really, any kind of stress you might be experiencing. Pureed soups offer such an easy way to get lots of veggies into your diet, and the possibilities for pureed soup recipes are endless. Think of them as warm, savory smoothies, and you’ll see that almost anything goes.




I love a smooth soup, but sometimes I crave a little more texture within that creamy format. Enter this Chickpea, Parsnip and Kale soup, which has it all in terms of texture: a smooth and silky base, with satisfying chunks of chickpeas and kale throughout.
Continue reading
  1349 Hits
1349 Hits

Rainy Day Soup

Rainy Day Soup

Last night I dreamed I was applying to universities and had been rejected from every single one. However, hidden underneath the pile of rejection letters, I found a small envelope offering me a free ride to a school in the Caribbean, even though I hadn’t even applied. In my dream, when I went to visit the tropical island that was home to the university, I inhaled the scent of plumeria and heard the gentle sea breeze rustling the palm fronds, and I realized that sometimes what we least expect far surpasses what we plan for.

Continue reading
  1300 Hits
1300 Hits

Vegetarian Spring Pho with Sweet Potato Noodles and Heirloom Beans

Vegetarian Spring Pho with Sweet Potato Noodles and Heirloom Beans

Hot soup has always been my ultimate comfort food, and I know I will be needing lots of it in the months to come. Vietnamese pho is king when it comes to soups that warm you from the core, and I’ve been experimenting with vegetarian pho recipes during the past couple of weeks.The main component of any pho, but especially vegetarian pho, is the broth. This pho broth is first and foremost based on toasted spices – star anise, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, peppercorn, and clove – each bringing its individual character to the flavor profile. I’m not normally the biggest fan of cinnamon in savory dishes, but in this broth it balances with tamari, brown rice vinegar and chili to create a fragrant and deeply nourishing broth.

Continue reading
  1226 Hits
1226 Hits

Fine Fall (and winter) Meals: Ayurvedic Soups

Fine Fall (and winter) Meals: Ayurvedic Soups

Nothing warms and nourishes quite like a hot bowl of delicious soup on a cold fall day. Ayurveda loves soups. They are easy to make, they are nutritious and easy to digest, and they are perfect for the light evening meal recommended by ayurvedic experts (vaidyas). Because they are so easy to digest, soups are ideal for children. Made with fresh organic fall vegetables, grains, pasta, beans, dhals, herbs and traditional ayurvedic spices, soups make great ayurvedic dietary anchors. Enjoy your soup with freshly-made chapatis (flatbreads) on the side, and it will be a meal you’ll want to return to.

Soups are also fast. You can have a finished soup ready to serve in 30 minutes. Here are a couple of easy ayurvedic soup recipes. Remember, whenever possible, favor fresh, organic and non-GMO foods.

Continue reading
  1245 Hits
1245 Hits