Food & WineDelicious Soups to Keep You Warm in the Winter

Delicious Soups to Keep You Warm in the Winter

Delicious Soups to Keep You Warm in the Winter

It really feels like the season changed over night here in the National Capital Region, with significant snowfall and cold temperatures over the last week or so. The one positive thing about the impending winter though is an excuse to eat a lot of warm and delicious food! Soups are particularly great at this time of year–they fill your home with such a warm, comforting smell as they cook and are perfect if you find yourself coming down with some sniffles. Here are three healthy and hearty soups you should give a try this season!

Green Power Soup

This soup takes all the benefits of a green smoothie and transforms it into a warm, comforting soup. Perfect for if you feel a cold coming on or just need an extra fibre boost. For this soup you’ll need 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 chopped large onions, 3 cups of unsalted vegetable broth, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 bunch of swiss chard, 14 cups of fresh spinach, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and cayenne pepper to taste. Feel free to substitute the chard and spinach for other greens you like such as kale or broccoli.

Firstly, sautée your onions and oil in a skillet over medium heat until they are soft, translucent and slightly brown. Remove from heat and place aside for later. In a large soup pot over high heat, add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. De-stem and chop your greens and add them to the boiling broth. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until the greens are tender but still bright green and not mushy. Remove pot from heat and add the cooked onions. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it is smooth. Now is the time to add the salt, cayenne, lemon juice. Other seasonings such as paprika, freshly cracked black pepper and chilli flakes would work great as well. Stir well and you’re soup is ready to serve!

Slow-Cooked Chicken Taco Soup

Take all the ingredients of a classic chicken taco, throw them into a slow cooker and voila! Using mostly canned ingredients, this hearty soup is truly fuss-free. For this recipe you’ll need 1 chopped onion, a 16 ounce can of black beans that have been rinsed and drained, a 16 ounce can of kidney beans that have been rinsed and drained, a 16 ounce can of corn which has been drained, an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, 2 14 ounce cans of diced tomatoes and chillies, 1 packet of your favourite taco seasoning, and 2 boneless and skinless chicken breasts.

Add all ingredients, except for the chicken breasts, into your slow cooker and mix well. Lay the chicken breasts on top of the mixture, place the cover on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. Alternatively, cook on high for 3 to 4 hours. Remove the chicken breasts from the slow cooker, shred with a fork and add it back to the stew, stirring everything together. Let the stew cook for another 20 minutes or so and then it’s ready to serve! This soup is great for a party-lay out a bunch of different taco toppings, such as sliced avocado, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream and cheese, and let your guests garnish their soup themselves!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

If you’re craving something simple, but still rich and flavourful, try this delicious pumpkin soup! Of course you can use steamed or boiled pumpkin for this recipe, but roasting the vegetable brings out so much richness and sweetness that it’s really the best way to go. Feel free to use any edible pumpkin or squash of your choice such as butternut squash, peanut pumpkin or kabocha. You’ll need a small to medium sized pumpkin, approximately 1 kg, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes, 1 large onion, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, 4 cups of vegetable stock and salt and pepper to taste.

Pre-heat your oven to 340°F. Cut the pumpkin in half length-wise and remove the seeds. Place the pumpkin halves cut side up on a large baking tray and season with olive oil, salt, black pepper and chilli flakes. Place the pumpkin in the oven and roast for about an hour, until it is fork tender and caramelized around the sides. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients. Roughly chop the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the vegetables. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the veggies are soft. Cut the pumpkin into chunks, add it to the pot and then add your vegetable stock. Turn the heat to high and let the stock come up to a boil. Once your broth is boiling, remove from heat and, using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Top with sour cream, a few drops of olive oil, or toasted pumpkin seeds if you wish. Serve with some crusty, warm bread for dipping and you’re all set!

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