Each season has food preparation and cooking styles that specifically benefit the season, and our bodies. In general, summer foods should be prepared simply, and use quick cooking techniques such as grilling or stir frying. Summer soups should be lighter and brighter than the heavier stews of winter. The energy of summer moves upward and outward. And the foods we eat should be lighter, brighter, and relatively easily digested.
This vegan Corn Chowder is a lovely example of a simple summer soup. Native to the Western hemisphere, corn has a neutral energetic temperature, and sweet flavor. It strengthens and regulates the Stomach, and improves digestion and appetite. Corn also strengthens Kidney function, is mildly diuretic, and helps to overcome sexual weakness. It promotes healthy teeth and gums. Corn is also considered a mild Heart tonic.
A member of the nightshade family, potatoes are also neutral and sweet. They tonify Spleen/Pancreas function to harmonize and strengthen digestion. They nourish Qi and are mildly diuretic. But they also strengthen Yin, and act to harmonize the Stomach and lubricate the intestines. They are a mild Kidney Yin tonic. And because they neutralize body acids, potatoes are considered anti-inflammatory. They can therefore relieve rheumatism and arthritis, lower blood pressure, and treat Stomach and duodenal ulcers.
The onion, garlic, and scallion in this recipe are all warmer energetically, and have a mild spicy or pungent flavor. As such, they serve to circulate energy – thus counter-balancing the tonifying effects of the corn and potato.