Salads can be a good way to increase the amount of vegetables in your diet but its not always an attractive option during the winter months. A better alternative can be soups. It is also a good way to incorporate bone broths for a little extra support for gut healing.
If you are using bone broth in your soups its a good idea to ensure that its the best quality possible. If you are making it yourself then try and use bones from free range or organic sources. The flavour profiles are usually better when animals are raised ethically. With a move to lean protein sources these items are often discarded or available at a lower cost. It is also preferable to spend a few extra dollars on an organic chicken and then reuse the bones to make broth. Frankly my best ever effort is usually from the free range turkey we have at Christmas, it usually produces 3-4 Litres of really good quality broth.
Another good tip if you are interested in making your own stock or broths is to keep and freeze the tops of carrots, onions and celery, when you are using them in recipes. You quickly have a small bag that can be added to your pot for another batch of bone broth.
Even though these are five of my workhorse soup recipes listed below I do recommend experimenting by googling any ingredients and soup recipe as it often results in some new favourites.
- Cauliflower Soup
- French Onion Soup
- Pumpkin and Ginger Soup
- Chicken and Corn Soup
- Asian Style Chicken Noodle
Many years ago my favourite version of this soup included 250ml of cream and a cup of grated cheese. This version is a lot lighter and still flavourful. You can easily substitute the chicken stock with vegetable stock if you prefer a vegetarian version.
- 1 small cauliflower cut into florets
- 1 leek
- 1L of chicken stock
- 1 tsp Salt
- Olive Oil
Steam the cauliflower for 8-10 minutes until soft, strain and remove from heat. Meanwhile saute diced leek in olive oil on low heat for five minutes in a larg pot. Add steamed cauliflower, stock and salt to the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Puree soup in a blender when cooled.
French Onion Soup
Many of us only remember the dried french onion soup that we used in a dip recipe however this version of french onion soup is a tasty option and really quite simple. For those of you who can eat dairy and gluten consider adding some slices of breadstick with melted cheese as a delicious extra.
- 500g white onions sliced
- 500ml dry white wine
- 1 Tblespoon unsalted butter
- 1.5 Litres of chicken stock
Simmer wine, onion and butter (use olive oil for a dairy free version) in a heavy bottomed pan uncovered for forty minutes. Its important to slowly simmer it to effectively caramelise the onions and really develop the flavours. Add chicken stock and heat for 5-10 minutes and then serve.
A couple of my favourite cafes usually offer soup during the winter months but I am always disappointed if they just put a boring pumpkin soup on the menu. Much prefer a hearty vegetable soup or something a little more complex. Asian soups such as Tom Yum, Laska or Pho are also a great option for something with a range of flavours that make a delicious Winter warmer.
Christine Pope is a naturopath and nutritionist based at Elemental Health at St Ives. She is available for consultations on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and can also offer online consultations via Zoom.