Winter has arrived and with the cold the desire for warmth and delicious pampering. It’s time to enjoy a few hours of relaxation by preparing soups, soups, and regenerating soups with seasonal vegetables, to restore the spirit and load up on vitamins and minerals. All are naturally seasoned with extra virgin olive oil to enhance flavors and aromas and strengthen their health value.
Creating tasty soups, velvets, and hot soups is easy and the healthy contribution, in the face of a low caloric value, is assured. We then associate the precious winter vegetables with cereals, preferably whole grains, which are a good source of slow-absorbing complex carbohydrates and minerals, and can be extremely useful to positively regulate our mood and help us counteract fatigue and loss of energy. And legumes, are rich in proteins, B vitamins (“the vitamin of mood and energy”) and vitamin E (antioxidant), trace elements, and mineral salts such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium, which constitute a formidable source of nutrients.
Forgetting to season the soups with extra virgin olive oil, rich in polyphenols and vitamins, for a complete, tasty, and 100% healthy meal. For those who do not know, the polyphenols of extra virgin olive oil are powerful natural antioxidants with incredible beneficial virtues for our bodies. We talked about it in an article, explaining what polyphenols are and what their properties are.
What are winter vegetables?
Nature in winter brings to the table vegetables for all tastes, vegetables with incredible benefits for the body. It starts from the end of autumn with pumpkin, which keeps perfectly for months, and then passes in the middle of winter to the entire cruciferous family (cabbage, black cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli), and spinach, radicchio, fennel, artichokes, root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, turnips, and radishes to name a few.
The best winter soups: simple recipes to warm up the coldest days
It’s easy to love summer, with its days of eternal lightheartedness, blue skies, and all our worries that seem temporarily less pressing and cumbersome.
Winter, on the other hand, makes work a little more difficult, and most of us feel the change of season, as the days get colder, shorter, and often gray, our mood tends to darken.
Fortunately, however, at least at the table even winter is able to offer us precious gifts that, at least a little, can lift our mood and, above all, make us appreciate a little more this difficult and apparently grumpy season.
Among these gifts, there is one particularly warm, welcoming, and reassuring, which countless times has given us a little joy even on the hottest evenings: soup. Onion, potatoes, lentils, mushrooms, asparagus, black cabbage: in short, whatever your favorite vegetable can become the protagonist of a soft, tasty, and irresistible soup.
It reminds us of the kitchen of our grandmothers and mothers, a kitchen made of simple things, often poor, but always delicious. A kitchen is able to transform the most trivial ingredients into real masterpieces in a very short time and with usually very simple procedures. In short, a little magic materialized in our children’s kitchens during the winter, and today we would like to learn to propose again.
If you too cannot resist the warm and reassuring charm of soups when you were a child, or if you are simply looking for a dish that can lift a cold winter day, dive into our article. You will not be disappointed.
Soup with celeriac
Prepare a sauté with shallot and leeks, add the celeriac cut into small pieces, and wet it with hot broth. Cook for 30 minutes and when everything is soft, remove a tablespoon of soup and blend the rest. Separately, fry a clove of garlic, add the champignon mushrooms, and a glass of wine and let it evaporate. When the mushrooms are ready, add them to the celeriac soup, also add the spoon you had previously removed and garnish with sage leaves passed in hot oil. Complete with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve.
Soup with herbs
This recipe is quick and easy to prepare. First fry the garlic, chili, and herbs in a pot with a drizzle of oil. When they are soft, transfer them to a baking tray where you will alternate them with sheets of carasau bread. Sprinkle with grated pecorino cheese and drizzle with hot vegetable broth. Pass everything on the grill to gratin and serve.
A dish from French tradition that always surprises: to prepare it you have to slice as many onions as there are diners, and put them to boil in a pot with salt and clove. Meanwhile, cut Emmental cheese into strips, slice wholemeal bread, and alternate in each bowl the bread previously toasted in the oven, cheese, and onion broth. Finish with slices of Fontina, put to gratin for ten minutes, and serve hot.
Soup with lentils
To prepare this soup get a pot of earthenware, the taste will be completely different. Soak the lentils for 12 hours, then drain and add them to a sauté of onion, garlic, celery, and carrot. After a few minutes add a few tablespoons of tomato puree, and broth and cook for about an hour. When the lentils are soft and the broth has shrunk, turn off, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkling of black pepper, and grated ginger, and serve.
Black cabbage soup
This dish is a must in Tuscan cuisine and there are as many versions of it as there are cooks who prepare it. There is the drier version, the one with more broth, and the one with borlotti beans or cannellini beans. What is certain is that it is a poor dish, which is cooked with black cabbage until this plant blooms, because then it is said that it is no longer good. To prepare it, let the cannellini beans soak overnight and then sauté the shallots, and garlic and add the beans. Add some broth to these and cook until tender. Blend them in their own water with the hand blender. In another pan, sauté some garlic, add the tomato puree, the bean cream, and the black cabbage leaves deprived of the central part. Cook until the cabbage is soft, add some stale bread, and leave on the stove until the bread has softened. Turn it off, let it rest, and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper.
Pumpkin and mushroom soup
For this dish, I recommend you use the Mantuan pumpkin, it is tastier than the Neapolitan one and performs better in cooking. Peel it, cut it into small pieces and fry it in a pan with extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and a few needles of rosemary. Add some broth and cook until the pumpkin is soft. At this point, remove the garlic, blend the pumpkin and add the sliced mushrooms (porcini give more flavor if you can’t find them you can use pioppini) and cook for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve.
This soup is part of the Tuscan tradition, and, as with any regional dish, there are different versions. Ours provides that the tomato is cooked together with stale Tuscan bread. First, however, you will have to prepare a sauté of celery, carrot, onion, and garlic. At this point add the chopped tomatoes (if you prefer you can use peeled tomatoes), let the flavor, and then cover with vegetable broth. Bake for ten minutes and then add the bread into small pieces. When it has soaked well and the soup has reached the right consistency, turn it off, season with salt, and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, basil leaves, a splash of black pepper, and a tablespoon of buffalo stracciatella. Everyone will like it.
Jerusalem artichoke and potato soup
Jerusalem artichoke has a very particular and delicate flavor. In this soup, the sweet taste of potato and Jerusalem artichoke are combined with the stronger taste of a pesto made with parmesan and pecorino cheese. First, sauté with shallots, and add the potato and Jerusalem artichoke cut into small pieces. Add vegetable broth and cook until the consistency is homogeneous. Blend everything, season with salt, and serve the soup with a tablespoon of pesto, prepared by blending basil, pine nuts, oil, Parmesan cheese, and pecorino cheese.