A warming winter soup can really brighten up a cold winter’s day. Soups can be the ultimate in comfort food. These hearty and filling soups are a great way to use up produce from your polytunnel and stave off those winter lurgies with a good range of vitamins and minerals – just what you need in the middle of the long, cold UK winter.
Kale & White Bean Winter Soup
Kale is a winter stalwart and if you have plenty around, there are lots of ways to use this versatile, healthy green in your kitchen, including as the star of the show in this kale and white bean soup. If you have some dried beans from your polytunnel, this could be a great way to use these up too. Bonus – the beans in this soup, especially when eaten with grains, such as those a hearty wholemeal loaf – are a great source of vegetarian protein.
Leek & Potato Soup
Leeks can stay in the ground in your polytunnel or elsewhere in your garden until you need them, and can be a useful vegetable come mid-winter. Bring some potatoes out of store and use these with your leeks to make a healthy, delicious, filling and naturally creamy soup, which can be seasoned with parsley, thyme, or other herbs you may have to hand.
Creamy Roasted Swede Soup
If you want to indulge a little and create a more calorific soup, how about adding generous helping of cream to a blended mix of roasted swede, along with carrots, celery and onion from your polytunnel to make this yummy swede soup that the whole family will be sure to enjoy. Vegans can use a cashew cream instead.
Squash, Ginger & Coconut Soup
Roasted squash or pumpkin can also be blended to make a delicious soup. Add coconut milk, ginger, lemongrass, a dash of lime and chilli to taste to your vegetable stock base to make a Thai inspired soup that is sure to brighten up your life and bring the sunshine even when it is dull and grey outside.
Roast Parsnip & Carrot Winter Soup
One final soup that really brings out the sweetness of frost-exposed parsnips is this one, which also includes the traditional Christmassy flavours of sage and onion. It could actually be a great way to use up the leftover trimmings from your Christmas dinner, though can also be easily made using root vegetables and herbs direct from your polytunnel.
Do you have a favourite winter soup recipe? Let us know about your favourites in the comments below.
Elizabeth Waddington is a writer and green living consultant living in Scotland. Permaculture and sustainability are at the heart of everything she does, from designing gardens and farms around the world, to inspiring and facilitating positive change for small companies and individuals.
She also works on her own property, where she grows fruit and vegetables, keeps chickens and is working on the eco-renovation of an old stone barn.