As winter begins, we enjoy some warmth-inducing foods. There is nothing better during chilly evenings than to curl under a blanket with an interesting book or show and scoop up some hot yummy soup.
There are many vegetable soups that can induce instant warmth in your body. Additionally, most of them are healthy and strengthen your immunity system. And if you feel under the weather, fighting a cold or the flu, having a wholesome steaming hot bowl of homemade soup can give some much-needed relief.
Let us look at a few delicious vegetable soups that can make your cold evenings a lot warmer and much more comfortable. Our list has a few classics as well as exotic recipes.
A classic Indian favourite and an effective and strong remedy for common cold and cough, the pepper and tomato rasam is ideal for cold winter evenings. Rasam is consumed as a digestive after-food mix in many South Indian states as it has condiments and spices that help with digestion. Its exact balance of tangy, sweet, spicy, and hot flavours ensures that it gives relief and comfort from cold and made you warm from the inside.
Soak the tamarind in a little warm water to bring out its juice. Remove the pulp and put it aside. Grind cumin seeds, pepper, and garlic in a mixer. Take the tamarind juice, add chopped tomatoes, turmeric, crushed pepper, cumin, garlic, salt, and curry leaves, and bring it to a boil. Simmer it on a lower flame for some time. Take a kadhai and add oil to it. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and red chilies. When they splutter, pour the tadka over the hot rasam.
If you are looking for some excellent healthy vegetable soup for this winter, nothing can beat the goodness of a carrot and beetroot soup. Beetroot is loaded with potassium, folic acid, iron, fiber, calcium, and antioxidants which help strengthen the immune system. Beetroot is also great at detoxifying the body by clearing out the kidneys and gall bladder. Carrot, on the other hand, is a rich source of vitamin A which is great for vision. The deep orange colour of carrot is due to the presence of beta-carotene, which is excellent for muscle strength and general well-being.
Sauté bay leaf, cumin, and ginger in oil. Cook carrots, green chilies, and beetroots in it for 5 minutes, and then add water. Boil it, strain it and then make a puree. Balance the seasoning and strain the puree. You can also garnish with grated carrots and beetroots.
3) Romaine lettuce or lettuce and basil soup
An extremely healthy and tasty soup, the lettuce and basil soup is a more exotic soup to enjoy during cold winter evenings. Thick, creamy with a distinct flavour of basil and lemon juice, this yummy soup gives all the health benefits of lettuce and basil put together. The abundance of vitamin K in lettuce is great for bones and muscle strength, while basil is highly recommended for people with blood pressure issues.
Add butter to a pan and let it melt over medium heat. Sauté onions in it till it softens. Add garlic and cook for a bit. Add the lettuce and stir it till it wilts. Add flour and stock. Then season with salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil and then remove it from heat. Add a handful of basil and then puree it. Add lemon juice to the mix, and pour a bit of whipped pouring cream just before serving.
4) Kale soup
A superfood soup that is healthy, easy, and quick to make is the best combination there is. If you are looking to curl up with a good book on a cold winter evening, kale soup is your best bet to go with it. This ultimate green soup is full of healthy nutrients and has an exotically yummy taste. As this is a gluten-free and vegan recipe that can be made easily at home, it is easy on the stomach. And kale is anyway one of the healthiest green leafy there is.
Heat oil in a pan and sauté garlic, onions, and potato, till they turn soft. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for some time. Add the milk and kale and cook until the kale wilts completely. Season with salt and pepper and blend the mixture to a puree. Serve hot. Additionally, you can also add a dash of cream to the top before serving.
5) Pak choi and lemongrass soup
Lemongrass can open up a congested chest and nose, which is why this soup that essentially tastes like this exotic herb with the goodness of pak choi is such a great choice for cold winters. A clear and lightweight variety, the pak choi, and lemongrass soup is quite ideal for winters. It is easy to make, good on the stomach, filling and warms you from the inside. Pak choi is also a rich source of vitamin C which helps your body fight the free radicals. It is also great for skin and cell repair by protecting your internal organs. And bonus! You can add your favourite noodles to this soup and make delicious pak choi lemongrass noodle soup.
Cook the vegetable cubes, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and onions in water and let them mix well. Let the fragrance and flavour of lemongrass completely cover the other vegetables. Add the carrots and noodles to the mix. Let it cook for a while and then add the pak choi. Turn off the heat, add the soy sauce as per your taste, and season with chili flakes. Enjoy the soup hot and steaming.
So what are you waiting for? Set your recliner, grab your book and your blanket. Warm your choice of soup up and get ready to comfort your soul and body.