“Live Eat Cook Healthy: Simple, fresh and delicious recipes for balanced living” offers so much more than recipes. It’s based on the simple premise that we can create balance in our lives through simple, healthy eating. The book opens with an interesting, informative overview explaining whole foods, organic foods, antioxidants, foods to avoid and foods that promote wellness.

Writer Rachel Khanna also explores the five-element Chinese theory of food and balance, a section that was fascinating to me, as it relates to other reading I’ve done on macrobiotics, feng shui and energy.

Khanna has lived all over the world, so her cookbook is full of not-too-complicated, healthy recipes and beautiful photos of dishes from far-flung spots – Asia and India, South America and beyond.

“Live Eat Cook Healthy” inspired me to change my diet and eat more mindfully. The author has a clear, warm writing style, and sees preparing healthy food with thoughtfulness and love as a pathway to joy and health for oneself and for others. I recommend this cookbook for that message alone.

I tested the carrot-ginger soup recipe because orange vegetable soups are my absolute favorite. Beyond that, I find that eating root vegetables in the fall and winter is a natural way to help create “rootedness.”

The soup was easy to make and delicious. I served it with an arugula, fig and walnut salad, also from the book, for a perfect cold-weather lunch.

— MELISSA PRITCHARD

Carrot-Ginger Soup

You can substitute pumpkin or winter squash for the carrots.

Serves 6

11/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 to 4 shallots, sliced

3/4 cup sliced leeks, white and light green parts only

6 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped

Half an apple, peeled and diced

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water

1/2-inch piece of freshly grated ginger root

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large sauce pan. Add the shallots and leeks.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the carrots and apple and cook over low heat until the carrots are soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add stock or water. Bring the soup to a simmer, uncovered, over medium-high heat.

Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add ginger.

Let the soup cool slightly.

Working in batches, purée in a blender or food processor.

To make the soup especially silken, place a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth over a bowl or pot and pour each batch of puréed soup through it. Use a rubber spatula to help press the soup through the cheesecloth.

Season the strained soup with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.

To serve, garnish with cilantro leaves.