It’s the start of 2015, so naturally everyone is sipping on juices, scarfing down kale (this is true; they were out at two grocery stores last weekend), and going to the gym for the first time. React to your natural instincts, people, and look outside! It’s dropping into the negative temperatures and there’s a nice, icy layer of snow on the ground for the first time this winter. Go home and start cooking up those veggies instead.
Soup is one of my favorite foods for many reasons. It comes in so many delicious varieties, it’s warming and filling, and most are easy to make. Here are a round-up of five of my favorites that I can’t wait to make again this winter.
Admittedly, I don’t eat meat (if you want to stop reading this list now, I’ll only be slightly offended). But I truly love Mexican food and have always wanted to make a delicious tortilla soup that doesn’t taste like it’s missing the meat. This is it. The spices really make this one come together, and the garnishes are necessary. I opted to top mine with full-fat Greel yogurt instead of sour cream, baked tortilla strips rather than fried, and a hefty helping of cilantro, avocado and lime juice.
I’m not very familiar with African food, but if this soup is any indication of the typical flavors, I’m in. It’s just so simple, yet the flavors come out very complex. All you need is onion, garlic, ginger, collards/kale, rice, peanut butter, tomato paste and broth. Oh, and pull the hot sauce out of your fridge for this one. It’s creamy without tasting too indulgent or unhealthy, and extremely filling. I’m considering topping some soba noodles with it next time.
This is proof that soup can be made to entertain. It can be made in to a whole dinner to feed your family. Or you can just make it for yourself and eat it all in 3 days. Either way, this is a delicious way to make a typically boring vegetable soup. You can easily change up the recipe and add whatever veggies you have on hand. I omitted the bacon and used sweet potato instead of butternut squash. If you aren’t eating this all right away, I’d recommend storing the biscuits separately after baking so they don’t get soggy, and heating them up in the oven. Biscuits are always amazing, and since these are whole-wheat biscuits they’re healthy too (right?!).
I know I said the West African soup was easy…but this one is even easier. Open your pantry. Grab the lentils, a can of coconut milk, a can of crushed tomatoes, and add in an onion for good measure. Tons of warm and comforting spices, like tumeric and cumin, and you’re set. I’ve made this recipe over and over again, and it never gets old. I’ve added in carrots. I didn’t have tomatoes so I added in some tomato sauce I had in the freezer. It’s delicious every time, and one of the cheapest meals you can make.
To me, Ina Garten is the queen of cooking. If she tells me how to make something, I do it – no questions asked. So when I came across this cream of tomato soup recipe several years ago, I made it, and made it again, and never looked back at another recipe. I did, however, ignore her advice to make my own chicken stock, and I’d suggest you do to as it will save you tons of time. Since it’s the middle of winter, opt for canned tomatoes as they’ll have more flavor than fresh generally.Serve piping hot with a large grilled cheese on the side.
Photo Courtesy of Joy the Baker