5 Soups to Curl Up By The Fire With This Winter

*Written by Naomi Strauss*

When I think of winter, I think of three things: fires, movies, and soup. There is nothing more perfect to me than a cozy night in, curled up by a fire with a big bowl of warm soup. 

Soup has always held a very special place in my heart — and my stomach. Soup has a variety of benefits, such as the delicious taste, the boost they offer your immune system, and their heartiness that leaves you feeling full. 

I was inspired by the Instagram account @projectsunny by Courtney Seaver to start making soup, and have been hooked ever since

  1. Butternut Squash Soup:
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Credit: Simply Recipes

INGREDIENTS:
-2lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
-3 stalks celery, chopped
-1 onion, diced
-6 cloves of garlic
-small bunch herbs (I used cilantro and sage)
-1 teaspoon cumin
-small pinch salt and pepper
– olive oil
-1 can coconut milk (13.5 oz)
– veggie broth, optional*

DIRECTIONS:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2) In a large bowl, combine all of the veggies, herbs, and seasonings. Drizzle with olive oil and toss veggies until everything is evenly coated.
3) Spread the veggies onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
4) Roast for 1 hour, tossing the veggies halfway through.
5) Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes.
6) Add veggies and coconut milk to a blender and purée until smooth. If the soup is too thick, slowly add veggie broth until you get your desired consistency.
7) Transfer the soup from the blender to a pot and reheat on the stovetop just before serving. Garnish with cilantro.

  1. One-Pot Veggie Noodle Soup

INGREDIENTS:
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 3 celery stalks, diced
– 3 carrots, sliced
– 1 white onion, diced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 cans (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
– 1 teaspoon of each: dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme
– 8 cups veggie broth
– 2 cups uncooked fusilli pasta
– 1/4 cup chopped parsley
– salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
1) In a large pot combine the olive oil, celery, carrots, onion, and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until veggies are soft and very fragrant.
2) Add in the chickpeas, spices, and broth. Stir to combine and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3) Stir in the pasta, cover the pot, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the noodles are soft.
4) Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

  1. Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup

INGREDIENTS:
• 1 – 28oz can whole tomatoes
• 1 cup yellow onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• small pinch salt and pepper
• 1 tablespoon tomato paste
• 1 – 13.5 oz can coconut milk
• 1/2 cup vegetable broth

DIRECTIONS:
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) Add the tomatoes (tomatoes only, no juice), onion, and garlic to the baking sheet. Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat the veggies and then spread them into a single layer on the baking sheet.
3) Roast the veggies for 1 hour, tossing halfway through. (Start monitoring the veggies around 45 minutes, if they start to overcook take them out). Remove from the oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
4) Carefully transfer the veggies to a blender. Add tomato paste, coconut milk, and vegetable broth. Blend until very smooth.
5) Transfer to a pot and heat on the stovetop until it reaches your desired temperature, add more salt and pepper as necessary, and enjoy!

NOTES:
• This recipe serves two people. The recipe can be doubled or tripled as needed.
• Add a pinch of chili flakes when blending the soup to add spice.
• Add fresh basil when blending for a tomato basil soup.
• Top with fresh basil, chili flakes, or avocado and serve with toasted bread!

  1. Kale and White Bean Soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup wild rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 can white beans, drained (such as kidney beans)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • to taste salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and onions. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and very fragrant. About 2-3 minutes. Add in thyme and rosemary. Stir until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Stir in vegetable stock, 1 cup water, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil.
  4. Stir in wild rice, reduce heat and simmer until the rice is tender, about 13-15 minutes.
  5. Stir in kale and white beans. Continue to stir until the kale has wilted, 2-3 minutes. 
  6. Stir in cilantro and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

5. Hearty Vegetable Chili

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely diced
  • 1 – 13 oz. package frozen vegan beef crumbles (I used Gardein brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 – 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add olive oil to a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and fragrant. 
  3. Add the peppers and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the vegan beef crumbles and seasonings (paprika, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper) and cook, stirring until the crumbles have thawed about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add all remaining ingredients and turn the heat to high. Bring the chili to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes or until the chili has reached your desired thickness.
  6. Top with sour cream, cilantro, green onions, or avocado.

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