Two Soups for Winter
As Earth’s axial tilt draws the Southern Hemisphere away from summer toward winter, it’s once again the season for hearty, warming fare. Traditionally, soups were a way to stretch the food budget, feeding more people on less, or the most convenient way to make use of leftovers in the centuries before refrigeration. However, today, they are a fabulous way to experience the flavours of different cultures as well as heartening and delicious main courses. Try these two easy soup recipes to add warmth and variation to your weekly menus.
Quick Tuscan White Bean
- 1 large leek, trimed, halved, and chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 (425g) cans cannelloni beans, rinsed
- 1 large Sebago potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 4 slices pancetta
- 3 tsp lemon juice
Garnish with lemon wedges
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-low heat in a saucepan. Sautee the leeks and garlic for five minutes, or until the leek is soft. Add the potato and beans, cooking for one minute while stirring. Add the stock and turn up the heat to high. Cover, bringing the mixture to a boil for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes.
Then, blend half the soup until smooth. Pour back into the rest of the soup. Add the thyme and lemon juice. Returning it to the burner, simmer for about five minutes, or until the soup is heated through.
Heat the rest of your oil in a frying pan on high heat. Cook the pancetta for two minutes per side, until crispy. Drain on paper towels, then break the pancetta into large crumbles. Top your soup with it, season each bowl with pepper to taste, and serve with lemon wedges.
Moroccan Sweet Potato Soup
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 large brown onion, chopped
- 2 tsp cumin, ground
- 1 tsp coriander, ground
- ¼ tsp chilli powder
- 600g sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 500g carrots, sliced
- 300g chickpeas, rinsed
- 6 cups chicken stock
- Juice of ½ a lemon
Over medium-high heat, combine oil, onion and garlic, stirring often, for three minutes. Add spices, and cook for one minute, stirring. Then, add the sweet potato and carrot, cooking for five minutes, stirring constantly. Add your stock, cover and bring to a boil. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chickpeas and simmer for 10 minutes, until they are tender. Then, blend your soup in batches, until smooth. Finally, season it with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, simmering until hot. Serve topped with rustic ciabatta or Turkish croutons.
Both of these soups are delicious, for either lunch or dinner, as the weather continues to grow colder. They offer a hearty and healthy mealtime option that will add flavour and colour to your seasonal foods and routines. Full of protein, vitamins A, E, C, and D, and deliciously thick without extra fat, they’ll help you to keep a trim profile for the winter season, or just save room for desert.