Soups and stews are amazing winter staple foods. They can be prepared with minimal effort and in only a few pots (less cleaning for you!), they warm you up almost immediately when the weather gets chilly, and they are inexpensive and are great for leftovers. Most soups can be frozen and easily reheated in small containers so that they are transportable to work! We’ve compiled four recipes of our personal favorite wintery soups to enjoy as the weather gets increasingly worse the next few months.
1. Butternut Squash Soup
Butternut squash is such a versatile fruit, and my personal favorite way of eating it is in this delicious creamy soup. The sweetness of the squash is uplifted by fennel, and the savory flavors are enhanced by the onion. It is a well-balanced, easy to make, few-ingredient soup that can be chilled and kept in the fridge for a few days! This recipe will make about 9 1-cup servings.
Nutrition RX: High in vitamins A and C
3 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
1 fennel bulb trimmed and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ tsp anise seeds
2 tbsp butter
5 cups water (or heavy cream or half and half, depending on how creamy you like your soup)
Melt butter in 8-quart pot; add squash, fennel, onion and anise seeds. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add water or cream, and simmer covered until squash is tender enough to mash with a fork, about 30 more minutes.
Blend soup in batches in blender until creamy. Heat until desired temperature in pot. Season with salt and pepper.
Minestrone soup is a classic Italian favorite. Full of legumes for protein and lots of veggies, this soup is filling and delicious but light at the same time—perfect for a first course. It may have a lot of ingredients, but it does have a lot of flavor. This recipe will make around 6 servings!
Nutrition RX: High in fiber, iron, magnesium
¾ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrots
½ cup shredded cabbage
10 ounces cannellini beans (about a half of a can)
10 ounces of kidney beans
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 ½ cups cubed potatoes
1 quart chicken broth
4 tbsp margarine or butter
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
½ cup elbow macaroni
½ grated Parmesan
Melt butter in 8 quart pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery and carrots.
Add beans, cabbage, tomatoes, tomato paste, potato, chicken broth, garlic parsley and salt to pot. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for approximately 1 hour.
Add pasta and simmer for 30 minutes more.
Serve with grated parmesan.
3. Split Pea Soup
Split pea soup, similar to squash soup, is universally loved for its unique texture and creamy, dense flavor. Because peas are full of fiber, this is a super-filling and nutritious soup as well! Delicious with toasted bruschetta alongside, or accompanied by an arugula and winter pear salad.This particular recipe has ham, a classic addition, and will serve 6 people.
Nutrition RX: High in protein, fiber, iron, potassium, magnesium
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped peeled carrots
1 ½ lbs chopped smoked pork hocks
2 tsp dried leaf marjoram
1 ½ cups green split peas
6 cups water
Melt butter in large pot; add onion, celery and carrots and sauté.
Add pork and marjoram, stir for 1 minute.
Add peas and water and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low.
Partially cover pot; simmer until pork and vegetables are tender and peas are falling apart. Stir often, about 1 hour and ten minutes.
Transfer hocks to bowl. Puree soup in batches in blender.
Dice pork and return to soup.
Season with salt and pepper.
In place of the traditional chicken soup, we have included a Greek lemon chicken soup recipe that is a traditional medicinal in many Greek families. This soup combines egg and stock to create a creamy base, and orzo or rice and lemon to update a classic recipe. This recipe includes making chicken and chicken stock yourself, but can be done more easily and quicker with ready-made chicken broth! This recipe serves 6.
Nutrition RX: High in protein, vitamin C
Remove organs from chicken. Place in a pot just large enough for chicken and add water to cover by about 1 inch. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, skimming fat from top.
Chicken is done when meat pulls from bones easily. Transfer to a large bowl to cool. Add rice to stock and season. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Turn off heat.
Whisk eggs with lemon juice. Whisk one ladle of broth into the lemon egg mixture slowly so eggs do not curdle. Pour egg mixture into pot and whisk.
Add pieces of chicken to the soup and serve!
*Recipes adapted from http://epicurious.com/ and http://allrecipes.com/*
*Images courtesy of Google Images*