It is that time of year again in Chicago like many places throughout the world: 20 and 30 degree Fahrenheit temperatures, sunset starting at 5pm.
I find vistas of spindly trees against glowing morning or evening skies relaxing, and a walk or run while bundled up refreshing. Perhaps you agree. Perhaps you don’t.
But I think we can all agree that wholesome, satisfying soups are the absolute *best* of the winter season. Here are a few of our family’s healthiest, heartiest winter soup recipes these days. They happen to all be vegetarian- but all except one can also easily be vegan:
- Old-Fashioned Lentil Soup
Diced onions, diced carrots, lentils, and vegetable stock is all you need for the world’s tastiest, heartiest lentil soup. Slow cook for hours. I prefer the lentils slightly turgid but not crunchy. Salt and pepper to taste.
- White Bean and Tomato Soup
This is the easiest recipe I have ever created for our slow cooker. I sautéed spinach in olive oil and sea salt and transferred it all to the base of the slow cooker. Adding in (hydrated) white beans, diced white onion, diced garlic, and equal parts whole/peeled canned tomatoes cans with white beans, it is a feast for kings. Serve solo, or with white or brown rice, or add sautéed or baked chicken breast for additional protein.
- Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
Our girls love broccoli and cheddar soup…and while this one is not too tough to make, I usually capitulate and buy it. When I have made it, the version where you sauté onions, broccoli and in vegetable stock, and then add shredded cheddar, cream, and some flour as a thickening agent usually delivers the best flavor profile. And of course salt/pepper. A recipe I like can be found here.
- Potato and Leek Soup
The heartiest and tastiest of all. I could eat potato leek soup with an omelet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Best of all, it’s vegetarian and gluten free. The short answer is you must sauté the leeks in butter before adding in the vegetable broth/cream/diced and boiled red potatoes. And most recipes recommend an emulsion blender- I use our Vitamix. A great recipe for potato leek soup is available here.
Have a favorite soup recipe we didn’t suggest? Share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org!