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Vegetarian Cuisine

Potato soup

Among foods, potatoes are well known for their grounding energy; among asanas, it is the balancing exercises (crow, peacock, tree) that have that distinction. Traditionally served cold as a delightful summer soup, this version can also be heated (be careful that milk or soya milk is not boiled) with no loss of flavour. Serves 6.

450 g (1 lb) potatoes, peeled and diced
200 g (7 oz) turnips, diced
1 stick of celery, chopped
25 g (1 oz) butter or 2 tablespoons oil
500 ml (18 fl oz) water
400 ml (14 fl oz) milk or soya milk, plus extra if necessary
3-4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste

1. Put the potatoes, turnips and celery in a large pan with the butter or oil and the water, adding a little more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. Cover the pan and simmer the vegetables for 15-20 minutes, until they are soft.
2. Transfer the vegetables and the cooking water to a food processor or blender, add the 400 ml (14 fl oz) milk or soya milk and purée until smooth.
3. Pour the soup into a large bowl and add more soya milk if necessary to bring the soup to the consistency you desire. Stir in the parsley and season with the salt and pepper. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.
Vichyssoise with cheese: Substitute 50 g (2 oz) grated cheese or 25 g (1 oz) nutritional yeast flakes for some of the milk or soya milk. Serve hot, garnished with a little paprika.
Potage Cressonière: After puréeing the soup, return it to the pan and add 150 g (5 oz) finely chopped watercress. Add ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, if desired. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then stir in the soya milk. Alternatively, use spinach or young spring greens instead of the watercress. If using spring greens, use paprika instead of nutmeg.

The Lord’s ways are mysterious. There is something good even in all seeming failures. You are not able to see that now. Time will reveal it. Be patient. . – Sri Swami Sivananda

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Aham Brahmāsmi – A Vedantic assertion meaning I am Brahman. From the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣad (1.4.10). One of the four Mahāvākyas or Great Sayings of the Upaniṣads.
Ahaṃtā – I-ness; egoism
Ahaṅkāra – Egoism
Ahiṃsā – Non-violence
Aiśvarya – Divine powers
Ajāti Vāda – The theory of non-evolution, that is, that the Absolute is not subject to birth, change and death. The Absolute is aja, unborn eternal.
Ājñā chakra – The centre of spiritual energy between the two eye-brows
Ākāśa – Ether
Ākāśa-vāṇī – Ethereal voice
Akṣara – The imperishable Brahman; the sacred monosyllable OṂ
Āmalaka – The Indian gooseberry
Amara – Puruṣa. The immortal being
Āmnāya – The Vedas. Sacred texts handed down by tradition or repetition.