3 cozy winter soup recipes

‘Tis the season for warm drinks by the fire and cozy soups to curl up with.  

But it’s also the season for excessive alcohol and sugar consumption, and an overall loss of routine and self-discipline.

While it’s important to allow yourself to indulge (it’s all about that balance, right?), taking a couple hours to prepare your food for the week will keep you from resorting to shortbread and Christmas chocolates for dinner, and instead encourage you to fill up with nutrient-packed, wholesome meals. Plus, soups help keep you hydrated, which will combat the effects of a couple extra glasses of wine at your holiday parties, and it’s also easy for your body to digest, meaning you’ll quickly reap the benefits of nutrient absorption.

Here are three soup recipes via Gimme Some Oven, Steph Gaudreau, and From a Chef’s Kitchen keep you healthy as we head into winter. Feel free to add free-range chicken, extra veggies, and your own substitutions.

  1. Cozy autumn wild rice soup

 Photo and recipe via  Gimme Some Oven

Photo and recipe via Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock)

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice*

  • 8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 medium carrots, diced

  • 2 ribs celery, diced

  • 1 large (about 1 pound) sweet potato, peeled and diced

  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or spelt flour)

  • 1 1/2 cups dairy milk (or coconut milk)

  • 2 large handfuls of kale, roughly chopped with thick stems removed

  • Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

Instructions

1. Heat (an extra) 1 tablespoon butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.  Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.

2. Add in the vegetable stock, wild rice, mushrooms, carrots, celery, sweet potato, bay leaf and Old Bay seasoning.  Stir to combine.

3. Continue cooking until the soup reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally.

4. Meanwhile, during those final 10 minutes, prepare your cream sauce in a separate saucepan on the stove.  In it, cook the butter over medium-high heat until melted. Whisk in the flour until combined, and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually add in the milk, and whisk until combined. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture nearly comes to a simmer and has thickened.  (It should be very thick.)

5. Add the cream sauce and kale to the soup, and stir gently until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper (plus any extra Old Bay seasoning, if you would like) as needed.

6. Serve warm.  Or transfer to sealed container(s) and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

2. Roasted butternut squash soup

 Photo and recipe via  Steph Gaudreau

Photo and recipe via Steph Gaudreau

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp ghee or olive oil

  • 1 butternut squashlarge, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 3 carrots medium, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 onion medium, roughly chopped

  • 2 to 3 cups chicken broth* unsalted, if possible

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

  • 1/8 tsp ground sage

  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 defrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

2. Put squash, carrots, and onion onto baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for about 30-45 minutes on until soft and caramelized. (This baking time depends on your oven). You may need to take the onion and carrot out first, then allow the squash to keep cooking.)

3. Remove and allow to cool. If you have a blender or Vitamix, you can probably do the next step in one batch. If using a food pro, you may have to do multiple smaller batches.

4. Place roasted veggies, stock, coconut milk (optional), cinnamon, sage, nutmeg and a little cracked pepper into the blender. Process for 3-4 minutes, adjusting the amount of stock if necessary to thin the soup out a bit. The result should be a smooth consistency.

3. Thai red curry sweet potato and lentil soup

 Photo and recipe via  From a Chef’s Kitchen

Photo and recipe via From a Chef’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste (or to taste)

  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (1/2-inch cubes)

  • 1 can (15-ounce) petite diced tomatoes, undrained

  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, picked over

  • 1 can (14.5-ounce) coconut milk, light or regular

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro plus more for garnish if desired

Instructions

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy pot such as a Dutch oven.  Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until onion begins to soften.

  2. Add the garlic and red curry paste, give it a quick stir, then add the broth, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and lentils.  Bring to a boil, cover slightly and simmer until potatoes and lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.

  3. Add the coconut milk and heat through.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.  Stir in cilantro.

Riley Webster