Lots of people talk about ‘sweater weather’ but I prefer to focus on ‘soup season.’ If you follow me on Instagram @loveandplants you've seen me cooking up many batches of soup in the past couple months. I love the versatility of soup and how warm it can make you feel. A few of my favorite soups include:
Chili is a thick soup usually with a bit of spice that is often bean-based, but you can have fun with it and try other bases as well. For red chili’s (tomato-based chili’s) I like to mix it up from the bean base to make a lentil chili with bulgar wheat. I use chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cumin as spices. For white chili’s I often use great northern beans and use white and black pepper to add spice. For green chili, I prefer using hatch green chilies as the base, which also provides most of the spice.
Chowders are traditionally thought of as dairy-based soup, but you can make dairy-free ones easily. You can use alternative milks and play around by adding things like cashew cream to help thicken the soup. You can also use blended veggies like potato or cauliflower with water or non-dairy milk to give the creamy soup base expected out of chowder.
Stews are thick and full of tender ingredients. Usually this happens by cooking stews for a long time. If you are an instant pot or slow cooker user then stews are probably right up your alley!
Creamed soups can be similar to chowders, but are often pureed to a smooth consistency without the same chunkiness chowders offer. Think cream of mushroom, cream of broccoli, etc. for these soups as opposed to just using non-dairy milk as you would for a chowder, try adding nutritional yeast to your soup base to give it a more "cheesey" flavor.
The soup pictured here was from this month’s meal plan! Mediterranean Lentil Soup with Greek Greens. This is a hearty soup with lentils as the base but also has a light flavor with fresh lemon juice.
Next time you’re thinking about dinner on a cold night, think soup!