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Winter Soups

January 14, 2010 | by Gitta Bixenspanner

Nourishing soups to warm your heart during these cold, wintry days.

Soup can be a meal in itself when accompanied by a wholesome slice of whole grain bread. It is delicious served as an entr?e to an elaborate meal or as a main dish. Any occasion calls for a hot bowl of soup. Dieters can certainly delight in a variety of vegetable soups that are kind to the waist.

Leftovers can be great served the next day for lunch. These soups freeze very well. Whenever I prepare any of these soups, I make them in big batches and freeze them for future use, without the hassle.

Cream of vegetable soup

Use root vegetables of your choice: butternut squash, sweet potato, carrots, kohlrabi, zucchini, turnip, rutabaga, celeriac, or any other vegetable available at your local grocery. No need to fret over exact vegetables or exact amounts.
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbs sea salt or to taste
6 quarts water
2 stalks scallions

Peel and cut root vegetables into chunks, cook them in 6 quarts of water in a large pot, or according to amount of vegetables used. As mentioned previously butternut squash will offer a very tasty soup. Add spices, cumin, ginger, garlic and sea salt to taste.

Cook until all vegetables are tender.

With a hand blender, blend all the vegetables to obtain a creamy consistency. Decorate with some sliced scallions. Serve with homemade croutons.

Preparation: 30 minutes

Serves 12

Vegetable stock

Vegetable stock is a very useful ingredient in many recipes. Stock is generally prepared with vegetable peels. Whenever making a large pot of soup or other vegetable dish, save the peels, wash them really thoroughly to remove all residues. Broccoli stem peels, ends of string beans that get cut off and discarded, the hard ends of zucchini and the peel, carrot, parsnip, rutabaga, turnip, sweet potato peels, ends of celery and every vegetable imaginable will make a very good stock.

Cook all these peels in a large pot adding some salt and lots of garlic and onions. Cook it for a long time to obtain a more concentrated and tasty vegetable stock

Certified organic vegetables are best to use to make stock, but any peels will do. Stock freezes well. Use small containers so that you can have them available anytime a recipe calls for vegetable broth. Add them to any dish that calls for water for added vitamins and minerals.

Preparation: 30 minutes (depending on vegetables available to peel)

Cooking time: 2 hours

Creamy Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of the easiest recipes to prepare and one that everyone loves. It’s a great way to use butternut squash.

1 medium sized butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into large chunks (2-3 inches)
2 large carrots peeled and cut in chunks
2 Tbs oil
32 oz vegetable stock or water
1 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry the squash over high heat stirring frequently until the squash is slightly browned and very aromatic. Add salt to taste and fry a minute longer.

Add vegetable broth and simmer for 20-30 minutes until squash is soft.

Let cool and puree in blender until very smooth. Add frozen peas and allow to simmer another 20 minutes, add water if necessary.

Adjust seasoning garnish with toasted slivered almonds and serve hot. For an even better flavor, refrigerate for a day or two.

Preparation 20 minutes

Serves 4

Navy Bean Soup

Any bean such as lima beans, black-eye beans, black beans, mung beans used to make this soup will be delicious; I chose navy beans for it renders this soup very light and tasty.

½ lb navy beans soaked overnight and sprouted
1 medium onion diced
2 large carrots sliced in rounds
2 stalks celery cut in slices
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 bay leaves
2 Tbs. light Tamari sauce/soy sauce
6 cups of water or vegetable stock
Sea salt to taste 

After soaking the beans overnight and sprouting for another twelve hours, cook in 6 cups of your preferred liquid/water until almost tender

In a large frying pan saut? the onions garlic, and Tamari/soy sauce in 3 Tbs water until translucent.

Allow vegetables to sweat for twenty minutes in very little water.

Combine saut?ed vegetables, bean mix, and simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add spices to taste stir and serve.

Absolutely delicious!

Preparation: 30 minutes

Serves 8

Comforting Split Pea Soup

This is a real favorite with young and old!

1 cup of green split peas (soaked overnight)
1 onion, diced
2 stalk celery, diced
4 carrots sliced in rounds
1 small sweet potato grated
1 cup sweet peas (organic raw or frozen are good choices)
2 tsp sea salt
2 cloves of crushed garlic
2 bay leaves (optional)
12 cups water

Wash and drain the soaked split peas and cook in water for one hour. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. Serve with homemade garlic croutons.

Preparation: 20 minutes

Serves 8

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