Souper Soups to Warm Up Your Winter
The nights are drawing in right now, and the mercury in the thermometer is starting to fall — it is safe to say that winter is almost here. As we are about to enter the last month of fall, your thoughts will probably have turned to the chilly weather that is about to descend on us, and you will probably already be planning how you can make your evenings in as comfortable and snug as possible. Why not cook up large batches of soup to get you through the wintry evenings?
Hot soup tastes great, but it can also warm you all the way to your cockles — a real soul warmer! Plus, when you make your own soup, you can make sure that you add plenty of fresh veggies for as many vitamins and minerals as possible.
There are loads of great soup recipes out there for you to try this winter, but here are some of my favorites:
‘Tis the season for pumpkin soup. Pumpkins are in all the markets right now and will be for the next month or so. They are fantastic for this hearty soup, which is also perfect for freezing, so you will be able to enjoy it once pumpkin season is over.
2 Tbsp of butter
1 onion, diced
1 lb of pumpkin flesh
4 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of double cream
- In a large pan, melt the butter and then gently saute the diced onion until it starts to soften. Add some salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn the heat up slightly and add the chunks of pumpkin.
- Stir the pan to mix the pumpkin and onion before adding all of the chicken stock. Bring this to a boil and let it simmer for around 45 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked through.
- Once the pumpkin is cooked, pour in the cream and then bring to a boil again.
- Once the mixture is boiling, take it off the heat and let cool. Then blend it to create a creamy texture.
If you want, you can also fry diced bacon and sprinkle this on top of the soup when you serve it. This soup tastes great with a large crusty bread bun!
Chicken noodle soup
Asian soups are super delicious, and you can add a bit of extra spice to yours if you want to make it extra warming. Lots of these Asian soups also use meat and fresh vegetables, so you know that they are packed full of essential nutrients that can help you through the bleak mid-winter.
This chicken noodle soup is especially delicious, and you can add some dumplings to it if you want to make it a bit more filling.
1/2 lb skinless chicken breasts
4 chopped spring onions
A good pinch of reishi mushroom powder to taste
1 cob or 1 can of corn kernels
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp soy sauce (you can add more or less if you prefer)
4 cups chicken stock
2 servings of egg noodles
- In a large bowl, mix together the sliced chicken breasts, spring onions and ginger.
- Meanwhile, cook the corn for around 5 minutes in boiling water.
- Drain the corn and mix it into the chicken along with the soy sauce. You can use this mixture to fill Chinese-style dumplings for your soup, or you can simply add it as it is if you would prefer not to have dumplings.
- Bring your chicken stock to a boil. Add the filled dumplings or loose chicken, spring onion and corn mixture.
- Cook until the chicken is well done.
- Stir the noodles into the pan and leave for a few minutes until they are cooked.
When you serve your soup, you can drizzle on some chilli sauce or sprinkle on toasted sesame seeds if you like. As this soup has noodles in it, you shouldn’t need to serve it with any bread. This soup will still be good to eat after a few days in the fridge, but you might find that it begins to lose its flavor. As with most soups, try and eat it on the day you make it so that it is as fresh as possible. Then you will get all those awesome Asian flavors through.
Spicy lentil soup
Lentil soup is really thick, so is a great comfort meal on wintry evenings. If you prefer your soup to be a bit thinner, then you can always add a bit more stock as you blend.
2 Tbsp curry paste
1/2 lb red lentils
3 carrots, chopped or grated
4 cups vegetable stock
- Saute the onion and curry paste together in a frying pan.
- After a few minutes, add the lentils and carrots. Mix this well so that everything is equally coated in curry paste.
- After about 5 minutes, pour in the vegetable stock. Bring this to the boil and then reduce the heat so that the mixture can simmer gently. After 20 minutes, the lentils should be cooked and you can then blend it to your prefered consistency.
If you like, you can always add a touch of chili powder to your lentil soup if you prefer it on the spicy side. If you like your soup really thick, you can always add a tin of chickpeas to the mix while you cook it. This soup will last a few days in the refrigerator, and it is also suitable to portion up for the freezer. Just remember to eat it within six months if you do decide to freeze some.
Broccoli and stilton soup
Broccoli is one of the greatest superfoods out there. It has a very high nutrient content and a low calorie count, so you can eat as much as you want and you don’t have to worry about putting on any extra pounds. However, the stilton cheese that goes in this soup is quite fatty, so you won’t be able to eat too many bowls of it.
1 onion, diced
1 stalk of celery
1 sliced leek
1 potato, diced
4 cups chicken stock
1 head of broccoli
1 cup of crumbled stilton cheese
- Gently saute the diced onion for a few minutes until it starts to soften. If you think that the onions are cooking too quickly, it is a good idea to add a splash of water to the pan.
- Add the potato, celery and leek to the pan. Add a touch more butter if you need more to cook everything in.
- Put the lid on the pan and let all of these vegetables to cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the stock to the pan, followed by the broccoli. Cook for around 10 to 15 minutes.
- Once everything has been cooked in the pan, you should then blend it until completely smooth.
- Stir in the stilton cheese, but remember to reserve a bit to sprinkle on top of the soup when it is ready to serve.
This is another soup that will pair well with a soft white bread bun. It will also taste great with a generous sprinkling of ground, black pepper. It is best to eat this soup while it is fresh, as it won’t keep for too long in the fridge.
These are just a few of the different soups that are great for the winter season, though there are loads more out there that you might want to try over the next few months.
Article by Grace Coates