Three easy postpartum soups (or anytime!)

Soup season is upon us…and soup can be an excellent nutrient-dense and nourishing meal or snack for busy new mamas.  The beauty of soup is that is can be made ahead of time, even frozen, one batch can last several meals, and its fairly easy to reheat and consume (we just have to circumvent baby’s head as we heap spoons of hot soup into our mouths!). Here are three great soups recommended by master herbalist, midwife, and medical doctor Aviva Jill Romm for the postpartum.  Dr. Romm has other great postpartum meal recipes and many other rich resources for new mamas in her book Natural Health after Birth.  (She also has a fantastic pregnancy book called The Natural Pregnancy Book.)

Barley Stew

barley soup

Okay, technically a stew and not a soup, this stew is great for encouraging good milk production.

  • 2 carrots*
  • 2 celery stocks*
  • 1 parsnip*
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups of dried pearl barley
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 8 cups water
  • salt, to taste

*diced

Sauté all of the vegetables in the olive oil for 3-5 minutes.  Move to a large pot, add the barley and water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for an hour or until barley is tender.  Season as you wish and enjoy warm.  This stew will keep for three days in the frig.

Sesame and Shiitake Mushroom Soup

shiitake soup

  • 1 t toasted sesame oil
  • ½ inch fresh ginger root, peeled and diced small
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 4 oz. shiitake
  • 6 cups of broth
  • 4 oz. of soba or somen noodles
  • 1 T tamari
  • 4 oz. of tofu (optional, good for milk production)
  • 1 T cilantro
  • salt to taste

In a soup pot, sauté all the vegetables (not the cilantro) for 4 minutes.  Add broth, noodles, and tamari (and tofu if using).  Turn off the heat after 10 minutes.  Add the cilantro and serve.

Lentil Soup

lentil soup

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion*
  • 1 carrot*
  • 1 red bell pepper*
  • 1 cup of dried green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 16-oz can or jar of tomatoes
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 T fresh mint, chopped
  • 1.5 t salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • black pepper to taste

* diced

Sauté in oil, the onion, carrot and pepper.  Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf and water.  Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 1 hour (until lentils are soft).  Add mint during the last 5 minutes of cooking.  Add pepper as desired.