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3 Wonderful Winter Soups: Delicious Easy Recipes You Will Love

When the temperature drops, a steaming bowl of hearty soup can provide a nourishing and comforting meal.  Home made soups can also deliver a host of health benefits during the winter months.

Here we explore the top benefits of enjoying wholesome, home prepared soups in winter and share three delicious and super healthy soup recipes for you to try.

1.  Boost Your Immunity

Winter soups are best prepared from nutrient-dense, low water content vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, celery and corn, which are packed with vitamins and minerals that are particularly effective for strengthening your immune system.   Examples of nutrients in these foods that can help to build your body's defences include, calcium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C & K.

Additionally, when you combine these winter vegetables with fresh herbs and spices such as parsley, ginger, garlic and turmeric, you super-charge the health and immune-boosting benefits which is so important for warding off colds, flu and viruses.

2.  Warmth, Comfort and Cost Effectiveness

Winter can be a challenging time, but a warm bowl of vegetable soup can provide comfort, warmth and satisfaction during the colder months.

There's nothing like a hearty soup prepared from local, seasonal produce to help soothe your soul and lift your spirits, particularly when it's dark, cold and gloomy outside. 

One of the greatest benefits of all when it comes to home made winter soups, is that are extremely affordable and easy on your grocery budget, making them such a handy addition to your weekly meal planning.

3. Help with Winter Weight Management

Soups can also be a wonderful food for managing your weight during the winter months when it is very easy to consume more calories than normal or excess comfort food.

Hearty, home made soups will keep you satiated and fuller for longer so that you don't overeat, but they are very easy on your digestive system.

Additionally, soups prepared from a range of fresh vegetables are relatively low in calories and yet packed with quality carbohydrates, fibre and protein, to keep your body strong and energised!

Three Favourite Winter Soup Recipes

The following soups are three of our absolute favourite, hearty, vegetarian winter soup recipes. 

1. Vegetarian Minestrone Soup: This classic Italian soup is consists of the following ingredients:

  • Vegetable Broth or Stock
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Tomatoes (Canned)
  • Kidney beans or Chick Peas (Canned)
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Vegan Cheese (Optional)

When it comes to minestrone soup, what you add beyond these ingredients is really only limited by your imagination.  Additional ingredients you can easily add include, zucchini, green beans, kale and spinach to name a few.  

In a large pot, lightly fry the garlic and onions in extra virgin olive oil until translucent.  Then, add the carrots, celery and stir for 2-3 minutes on low to medium heat before adding the fresh or canned tomatoes, drained can of kidney beans or chick peas and stock.

Gently stir and combine, add plenty of sea salt and cracked pepper and bring to a light simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Ladle into bowls, garnish with chopped parsley, grated vegan cheese, extra salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.

2.  Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper/Capsicum Soup: This creamy and flavourful soup is quick and easy to prepare, light and super tasty.  You'll need:

  • Ripe red tomatoes
  • Red Capsicum
  • Vegetable Stock
  • Brown Onions
  • Garlic
  • Parsley
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Parsley

Wash and chop the tomatoes in half length ways and rest on a baking tray.  Slice the Capsicums in half, remove the seeds and stem and place on the baking tray also.  Lightly drizzle the tomatoes and capsicums with olive oil and sprinkle a little sea salt and pepper on them also.

Baked at approximately 200 degrees C for 15-20 minutes until the skins begin to blister and lightly blacken.  Remove from the oven, allow to slightly cool, then gently remove the blistered skins and coarsely chop.

In a large saucepan add 2-3 lugs of olive oil followed by the onions and garlic and lightly fry.  Add the chopped tomatoes, capsicum, salt and pepper, combine on light to medium heat and the vegetable stock.

Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes and then spoon into a vitamix, food processor or blender.  Blend and then pour into serving bowls.  Add a drizzle of olive oil, garnish with chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste and serve.

3.  Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Soup:  This is another delightfully satisfying and delicious soup that will keep you going!

Ingredients you'll need:

  • Cauliflower
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Vegetable broth
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Coconut Milk (Canned)
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Parsley
  • Pepitas or Pumpkin Seeds (Optional)

Separate the Cauliflower into large chunks after removing the outer leaves.  Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into large pieces.  

In a large saucepan on medium heat, add 2-3 lugs of olive oil and lightly fry the chopped garlic and onion until translucent.

Add the vegetable chunks and gently combine over heat, before adding the vegetable stock and coconut milk.  Add salt, pepper, then stir and allow to gently simmer on low to medium heat for 20-30 minutes.

Meantime, in a small frying pan, lightly brown a 1/4 cup of pepitas or pumpkin seeds then set aside. 

Check that the potatoes and cauliflower are tender before remove from the stove top.  Ladle into a vitamix, food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley, toasted pepitas and salt and pepper to taste.

The Main Take Away

    Home made soups are wonderful way to get you through the winter months.  They're easy to prepare from ingredients that are seasonal and locally abundant, they will keep you satisfied and they're super easy on your budget.

    From supporting your immunity, providing warmth, comfort, and giving you a handy alternative to heavy comfort foods, winter soups are a great choice to include in your weekly meal plan.

    Try incorporating some of the wonderful easy recipes we've shared with you here or experiment with your own.  Whatever you do, by making home made soups part of your winter food experience, you'll do your health, emotions and wallet a favour! 

    Tolman Self Care.


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