Lunch for Sophia

What do you serve when you have 75 Yogis over for lunch? I’ve found that the easiest way to address all the likely eating styles is to make it whole food, plant based: vegan and gluten-free. Of course, I have to add Ayurvedic, nourishing, and delicious ~ and I want eye-opening, mouth-watering, belly-tapping delicious.

So, at the Sophia Conference this past weekend, this was our menu:

1. Soup for Sophia: Prepared with love in our “Dancing Plums” kitchen with talented friends, personal chef Georgia Ferrell and Yoga teacher Paige Sapp. The recipe is here.

Sophia Lunch #AyurvedicSoup
Tara Gita: In-Sight Photography

2. Pumpkin Quinoa Salad: A rich, hearty salad from Wendy McGuire’s Ganosh Gourmet.

#Pumpkin Quinoa Salad

3. Edible Flowers & Vibrant Greens: Also from from Wendy McGuire’s Ganosh Gourmet.

#Edible Flower Salad
Tara Gita: In-Sight Photography

4. Incredible Desserts: Bourbon-vanilla brownie bites, Carrot cake with bourbon-vanilla-flecked cream cheese frosting, Chocolate-nut bars all prepared with nourishing beauty by author and gluten-free chef Stephanie Weaver of Recipe RenovatorRaw Key Lime Pie made by Carolyn Sanders Kull from Cafe Gratitude’sI Am Grateful recipe-book.


#vegan carrot cake
Tara Gita: In-Sight Photography
#raw #vegan #chcololate crispies
Tara Gita: In-Sight Photography

#keylimepie #raw #vegan

5. Peace Tea: A unique and sweet blend handcrafted by Katie Parham and Nicole Plaisted of San Diego Herb Co.

Tara Gita: In-Sight Photography

Everything was incredibly wonderful, and brought forth with so much beauty and grace. Thanks to everyone who contributed. You live in my heart with oceans of gratitude.


I thought Lori Naylor described it perfectly ~

“My experience of the Sophia Conference was simply magical. Thank you for this gift of love, devotion, and Divine Sisterhood. It represents the ways of our grandmothers and the generations of women before them; to gather together in love, nurturing and nourishing each other so they can return to their families, friends, and communities filled up, to give again. It is women tending to women so they can tend to others. We have lost this practice in our culture and the Sophia Conference was a reminder that tending to one another is a spiritual practice we cannot afford to lose. Our daughters depend on us to maintain this tradition and continue to pass it from generation to generation.”






Thank you Tara for so many wonderful photos. Thank you sweet sisters who attended this year or past! Thank you sacred sisters and brothers everywhere who seek to nourish this world with your love and your light.


Tuscan White Bean Soup for Sophia

Breath Of Gaia: Divine Mother Earth

In Yoga, as our revered Dr. Frawley teaches, the feminine divine possesses three primary aspects: power, beauty, knowledge. Through the worship of these energies as Mahakali, Mahalakshmi and Mahasaraswati we worship Shakti in her cosmic dance of transformation, prosperity and illumination leading to our soul’s final purpose ~ Cit-Shakti, or Ultimate Reality.


In sacred remembrance of this Truth, my fellow Yogins and I gather every year with Divine Women of our community to celebrate the Sacred Feminine. We call it The Sophia Conference, in honor of the goddess of wisdom, whose loving grace flows through all life, and whose power is available to all who choose to turn inward towards this Cit-Shakti.

Sri Yantra: Matrix of the Heart

Sharing a meal with women in a sacred experience like this is so… well, holy, that considering what to serve for lunch becomes its own sacred contemplation. As is so often the case whenever I surrender to Sophia, answers come in a flash.

This time, the answer came as Tuscan White Bean Soup: a hearty, flavorful soup from Anna Watson Carl’s charming blog, The Yellow Table. I’ve adapted her recipe for Vegetarians and will serve it with whole grain breads for a warming bowl of love on what is predicted to be a cold, rainy day. Our menu also includes Roasted Vegetables, Red Quinoa, Autumnal dips, a plate of Artisanal Cheeses with my Ayurvedic Jam, and many Vegan options. But, like the Moon in a sky of stars, the Soup will be the prime heavenly light.


Why? Blended with root vegetables and Autumn herbs of rosemary and thyme, this soup is like a song of earth’s bounty. There is something, too, about white beans ~ navy, northern, small white, and cannellini ~ that seem so feminine to me. Maybe it’s their shape, with its smooth curves, every one unique, or its almost perfect, creamy skin. But it is their sweet, enduring taste that most assures. I’ll give you power, beauty, wisdom, this protein-packed pod of purity seems to say. I am here for you.

The Yellow Table’s Tuscan White Bean Soup with Chard

Vegan Sausage gives this soup lovely texture and added flavor. Try Field Roast for their Vegan Grain version. For the Sophia Conference we added their Smoked Apple Sage, but I’ve enjoyed this soup with their Italian Sausage. It’s thematic ~ and  spicier. You can make the entire soup Vegan by leaving out the Parmesan rind, but you might add a few soaked cashews in that case to give it that extra bit of heft.

We serve it with fresh grated Parmesan cheese which finishes the soup with just the right note of dry, salty, enriching sweet!

Click for Print Version

I hope you enjoy it. Remember with every delicious bite, that Food is Divine Love seeking to nourish the power, beauty, and intelligence within you. May your Light shine!

Happy 11.11.11 ~