January’s cold and dreary winter days are upon us. For some, this weather makes you want to pile on the layers and sit down for a warm meal. We can all agree, there is nothing more satisfying than a homemade bowl of soup on a cold day.
Soup is not only a great comfort food and a way to stay warm, it can also provide an excellent source of protein, nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
We’ve rounded up some of our favourite soup recipes for you and your family to enjoy this winter season.
Butternut squash soup
This butternut squash soup will quickly become a go-to comfort food for you and your family in the winter days ahead. With no added dairy products, this creamy and nourishing soup is rich in vitamins, minerals and butternut squash – a vegetable containing disease-fighting antioxidants that can help keep seasonal sicknesses such as the cold and the flu at bay.
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 (3lbs.) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 3 to 4 cups vegetable broth
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh parsley
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- Crusty bread
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, salt and several grinds of fresh pepper and sauté until soft for 5 to 8 minutes. Add the squash and cook until it begins to soften, stirring occasionally for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, sage, rosemary and ginger. Stir and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant, then add 3 cups of the broth. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the squash is tender for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Let cool slightly and pour the soup into a blender, working in batches if necessary, and blend until smooth. If your soup is too thick, add up to 1 cup more broth and blend.
- Season to taste and serve with parsley, pumpkin seeds and crusty bread
Lemon chicken-orzo soup
Level up your classic chicken noodle soup, with this delicious chicken orzo soup that has a lemon twist! This healthy and flavourful soup is made with simple ingredients that will give your lunchtime soup the boost it needs. Pair with a crusty bun and enjoy.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 3 celery stalks, cut into small pieces
- 2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced into half-moons (white and light green parts only)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 4 wide strips lemon zest, plus 1⁄4 cup lemon juice
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (3 lbs.)
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup orzo
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a medium dutch oven over medium heat. Add the carrots, celery and leeks and sprinkle with the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks soften for about 5 minutes.
- Add the thyme, lemon zest, bay leaves and chicken to the pot. Pour in the broth and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and tender for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove the chicken to a cutting board and let cool slightly. Shred or cut the meat into bite-size pieces and discard the skin and bones.
- Return the soup to a simmer and add the orzo. Cook until the orzo is just tender for 8 to 10 minutes, returning the chicken to the pot in the last few minutes to heat through. Remove the soup from the heat and discard the lemon zest and bay leaves.
- Season with salt to taste
- Stir in the lemon juice and dill and serve
This lentil soup is the perfect vegetarian soup recipe. Packed with protein, with your choice of brown or green lentils and seasonal vegetables. Liven up your soup with some hearty vegetables such as celery, tomatoes and kale.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, lightly drained
- 1 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
- 1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice (1/2 to 1 medium lemon), to taste
- Warm the olive oil in a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. 1/4 cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
- Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent for about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
- Pour in the lentils, broth and water. Add 1 tsp salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
- Transfer two cups of the soup to a blender. Securely fasten the lid, protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid, and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot.
- Add the chopped greens and cook for five more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. For spicier soup, add another pinch or two of red pepper flakes.
- Serve and enjoy!
Tip: Leftovers will keep well for about four days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months.
Which soup recipes was your favourite? Take a picture of your meal and tag us on social media @UHNfoundation.