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The Warm Comfort of Soup

A bit pot of hearty soup is the ideal winter meal. It’s something you can turn whenever you have very little time or energy to make a healthy dinner.

Flexible: Soups can be put together with whatever you happen to have in your fridge or cupboard.

Nourishing: Warm broths are comforting on a cold winter’s day.

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Simple: They usually only involve one pot and a bit of chopping.

Connecting: Having your kids help with chopping up soup veggies not only makes it go quicker, it’s also a great way to connect at the end of a busy day.

Plentiful: It’s easy to make a double-batch and freeze the leftovers for an instant meal.

Here are three simple soups, that are ready in less than 45 minutes. While I’ve suggested particular vegetables, feel free to use whatever you have in your fridge. They are quick, easy and delicious. What more could you want?

Taco Minestrone

This dish combines the heartiness of minestrone with taco spices. The result is a soup that your family is sure to love. Corn pasta is a delicious and affordable gluten-free pasta. You can find it at many grocery stores, including Save On and Superstore. The toppings are optional, but I recommend having all of them!

Soup Base:

1 onion

4 cloves of garlic

2 Tbsp oil

1 Tbsp chili powder (or smoked paprika for a less spicy option)

1⁄2 tsp ground cumin

4 cups of broth

1 can 540 ml diced tomatoes

1 Tbsp oregano

1 can 540 ml of black beans

200g of corn pasta

1⁄2 tsp salt, to taste

Toppings:

1 red pepper, finely diced

2 tomatoes, chopped

3 spring onions, chopped

1⁄4 cup of cilantro

Chop the onion and finely dice the garlic.

Saute the vegetables in the oil until the onions are sweating, about 2 minutes.

Add in the spices and toss to coat the vegetables.

Pour in the broth, tomatoes and the oregano.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Add in the black beans and pasta.

Simmer until the pasta is cooked, about 6 minutes.

Add the salt, taste, and add more salt if needed. The exact amount will depend on the saltiness of the broth.

Serve with your choice of toppings.

Hearty Miso Soup

A hearty miso soup is warm and comforting. I particularly enjoy it when I have a cold, as it packs a lot of nutrients into a bowl. Garlic, ginger and miso have immune-boosting properties. Fresh red peppers are packed with vitamin C.

Broth:

4 garlic cloves

2-inch piece of ginger

11 cups of water

1⁄4 cup of soy sauce

1 tsp salt, to taste

1⁄2 cup of miso paste, stirred into 1 cup of water

Soup:

1 lb. rice noodles

3 carrots

1 bunch of kale

1 block of tofu

Garnish:

2 spring onions, sliced

1 red pepper, finely diced

Mince the garlic. Peel and grate the ginger.

Combine all the stock ingredients except for the miso in a large pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.

While the broth comes to a boil, thinly slice the carrots. Wash and rip the kale into bite-sized pieces. Slice the tofu into small cubes.

Once the broth is simmering, add the carrots. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the kale, tofu and noodles to the broth. Turn off the soup and let it sit until the noodles are tender (about 6 minutes for flat rice noodles.)

Once the noodles are soft, stir in the miso.

Serve with the garnishes.

Spiced Red Lentil Soup

Red lentils cook really fast, perfect for a hearty soup that doesn’t take a lot of time. Since this soup is pureed at the end, you don’t have to be fussy when you chopped the vegetables.

Serve this soup over rice or with a piece of bread, for a complete meal that is warm and filling.

Soup:

2 Tbsp oil

1 medium onion

2 medium carrots

2 celery stalks

3 cloves of garlic

1⁄2 tsp ground cumin

1⁄2 tsp ground coriander

1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper

8 cups of broth

2 cups of red lentils

1 tsp salt, to taste

Toppings:

1⁄4 cup of cilantro

2 tomatoes, diced

Coarsely chop the onion, carrots and celery. Peel the garlic.

Heat the oil and saute the vegetables until the onion starts to sweat, about 3 minutes.

Add the spices to the pot, and toss to coat the vegetables.

Pour in the broth and add in the lentils.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the lentils are cooked.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to a smooth consistency. Add the salt, taste and adjust as needed. The exact amount will depend on the saltiness of the broth.

Serve with cilantro and chopped tomato.

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Emillie Parrishhttp://emillieparrish.com/
Emillie Parrish loves having adventures with her two busy children. She lives in Victoria and is the author of the fermentation-based blog fermentingforfoodies.com.
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