On a cold blustery night, there’s nothing like the comfort of a crackling fire and the anticipation of a steaming pot of soup to warm your soul. Winter is the ideal time to make nourishing soups.
Soup is perfect for entertaining, too. You can make soup the day before a party and simply re-heat it for guests. It is both casual enough to serve and enjoy as a main course, or it can be dressed up and served with a finer meal.
SPICY CARROT AND GARLIC SOUP Serves 4-6 | Roasted carrots add dimension to an otherwise classic carrot soup. Garlic, whole peppercorn and cayenne replace ginger, and warming spices give this carrot soup an extra kick.
– 2 medium carrots per serving, roughly chopped
– 2 whole cloves garlic, (1 clove per carrot), unpeeled
– Cooking oil* (sesame, safflower, or olive)
– Dash cayenne (be mindful of how much spice works for you)
– 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
– Sea salt, to taste
Roast chopped carrots and garlic together. Mix in some cooking oil to start, and then add a little water to the bottom of the pan as you go along. I use sesame or safflower oil because these oils withstand a higher heat. I never use canola oil.* The carrots will roast for 1 hour in the oven at 425 degrees, or slightly longer if you’re using olive oil at 350 degrees. Blend together the roasted carrots, garlic and the whole peppercorn in a blender on low speed. Add just enough water to blend. Then, add the cayenne and sea salt to taste and continue blending for 1 minute.
For a more complex spiciness and sweetness, add currants to the mixture while blending. Or, sprinkle currants into the soup just before serving.
For boiled carrots:
Using just enough water to cover the carrots, boil the carrots along with the whole clove of garlic for 15 to 20 minutes. After boiling, remove from the stove. Follow the method above with the blender. Add the water gradually.
SWEET POTATO AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP Serves 4-6 The vegetables in this soup make it naturally creamy, so less coconut can be used. The mustard seeds add complexity.
– 3 cups each sweet potato and butternut squash, chopped into 1-inch cubes
– 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
– 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
– 2 teaspoons black pepper
– Fresh cilantro
Boil together sweet potato and butternut squash in covered pot for about 20-25 minutes. Keep the water.
When both vegetables are soft, add to blender and puree for 1 minute. Add to blender unsweetened coconut milk. (Add more coconut, if you prefer a thicker richer soup.) Add remaining water. (Add additional water, if you prefer a lighter texture.) Add in the brown mustard seeds and black pepper and continue blending. Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and sea salt to taste.
CAULIFLOWER FENNEL CURRY SOUP Serves 4 | Cauliflower creates a creamy soup without using dairy. Cauliflower also picks up the flavors of the fennel and spices, making it a versatile and hearty soup.
– 1 whole head cauliflower
– 2 teaspoons green peppercorn, crushed
– 1 cup fennel, roasted and chopped
– 4 cloves garlic
– 2 teaspoons curry powder (or more to taste)
– Fresh mint leaves
Cut the cauliflower into florets, and add to pot with 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Add just enough water to cover the cauliflower florets.
Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes, or until soft. Keep the water. Cut the fennel into chunks and roast in a 425-degree oven for 25 minutes.
(For cooking oils that take a lower heat, roast for a little more time in a 350-degree oven.) Or, you can boil the fennel and cauliflower together, to save time. Roast the whole cloves of garlic in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes, using low heat.
Put everything together in blender, add curry and blend. Add the remaining water or vegetable stock to obtain desired consistency of soup. Add fresh mint leaves for garnish.
Jeanette Bronée founded Path for Life in 2004 in hopes of bringing awareness to the healing power of learning how our choices affect us. She established the nine-step online Path for Life Self-Nourishment Program based on her integrative, mind-body approach to nourishment, which she developed over the course of a decade by helping clients transform their relationships with food. In addition to her private coaching practice, Bronée is a writer, recipe developer and motivational speaker with a specialty in emotional eating.
PHOTOGRAPHY | TORKIL STAVDAL
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