Hearty soups for a Central Otago Winter

I can feel it slowly creeping in. Snaking around my toes and into my bones. Winter is coming for us Central Otago people and so I thought I’d write a post for all you lot out there getting prepared.

I love a good soup and I also love my slow cooker. The thought of coming home to a hearty soup at the end of the day that is all ready and waiting for me to slurp is marvellous. We’re all also watching the pennies as we have other things to buy in Winter like firewood, gloves, ski passes and all that hot chocolate (and maybe some new boots because I can).

Winter in Queenstown is pretty beautiful but also quite hard on the wallet so I thought I’d bring you some marvellous soup recipes from some of my favourite people!

Hearty soups for a Central Otago Winter

Michelle from Queenstown Nutrition is a top-banana chick who loves to create food that tastes good and is good for you. Sounds simple but often food that is good for you makes you want to run and stuff your face full of chocolate. We chatted on one of my podcasts, you can listen to it here.

Stay healthy, warm and hydrated this winter with these amazing soups. Soups are really useful if you’re trying to avoid gaining weight over winter – in fact, there’s evidence that soup may actually be more filling than solid meals containing the exact same ingredients. Well-designed soups are so filling because they have the magical combo of lots of water (= lots of volume), high in protein (with beans, lentils, tofu, chicken, etc), and high in fibre (with veges galore, beans, and more lentils). So ladle these soups into your bowl and feel satisfied for hours. 

Creamy, protein-y carrot ginger soup

This is the easiest and creamiest carrot soup. Packed with plant protein, sometimes I pour this over tortellini and pretend it’s a sauce. This is a winter staple and is versatile in terms of veges – try it with pumpkin. Only downfall is that you need a blender or food processor

Inspired by https://www.vitamix.com/Recipes/Carrot-Ginger-Tofu-Soup/C-Series/Variable-Speed/Classic-64-Ounce

4 (244 g) medium carrots, chopped
small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root
1 block tofu
2 cups (500 ml) vegetable or chicken broth

Place carrots, onion and garlic into the blender or food processor

Blend/pulse for 10 seconds or until chopped.

Heat oil in a small pan and sauté chopped ingredients until onion is clear and carrots are tender. Add a little broth, if needed.

Place remaining ingredients into the blender/food processor, add sautéed ingredients and secure lid.

Turn machine on and slowly increase speed.

Blend for 3-4 minutes or until very smooth.

Hearty soups for a Central Otago Winter

A delicious Annabel Langbein Moroccan Lentil Soup from Ruth Wilkinson. Ruth is an amazing personal trainer with her business Prime Fitness here in Queenstown and can be regularly seen smashing goals all over town.

Morocan Lentil Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp chilli flakes
pinch of saffron (optional)
2 carrots, peeled and grated
2 stalks celery, finely diced
250g pumpkin, grated
400g can tomatoes in juice
2 cups puy lentils, washed
9-10 cups water
1 tsp salt
ground black pepper
½ cup chopped fresh coriander or parsley

Heat oil in a medium-large saucepan and gently fry onion, garlic, ginger, tomato paste and spices until aromatic and onion has softened without browning. Add vegetables, lentils and water and simmer on lowest heat for 1 hour. Season to taste.

When ready to serve, mix in coriander or parsley. Delicious served with crusty bread topped with hummus. Soup reheats well.

Hearty soups for a Central Otago Winter

Jodie Lynes is one of my amazing collaborators. Living in her gorgeous Climate House she knocks up a mean soup whilst running her Hide and Seek Interior business. She’s also never off Pinterest where she got this lovely recipe Tumeric and Tomato detox soup from Detox DIY. She’s been making it for me most days while I’ve been off sick.

Turmeric Tomato Healing Soup
Serves two

200g cherry tomatoes, rinsed and halved
1 can chopped tomatoes and sauce
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 small onion diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp of fresh turmeric grated or powder
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
Ground black pepper
Seeds and nuts, fresh herbs to garnish
1. Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan and fry onion and garlic until soft
2. Add cherry tomatoes and turmeric and cook until the tomatoes are soft and juicy
3. Add the chopped tomatoes, vege stock, apple cider vinegar and basil, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for five minutes.
4. Put in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy.
5. Garnish with salt, pepper, nuts seeds and fresh herbs.
Hearty soups for a Central Otago WinterThe last one on the list is from the amazing people at Graze. Graze is a gorgeous restaurant, bar and shop that you can read about here. The lovely Jana, Hamish (owners) and Andrea (chef) have combined seasonal delicious food with an amazing community setting that is Lake Hayes Estate.

Pumpkin Soup with coconut , chilli and coriander

1/2 crown pumpkin
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
1 tsp ground coriander
pinch chilli flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon

For the stock
1L water
1 onion
1 carrot
1 celery stick
2 bay leaves
8 peppercorns

Method :

1/4 the pumpkin and scrape the seeds and discard. Keep the mushy flesh and place into a pot with the roughly chopped stock ingredients. Simmer this stock for 1 hour.

Meanwhile skin the pumpkin and chop into pieces.

In a separate pot heat olive oil and saute pumpkin pieces until lightly coloured. Add pumpkin stock , coriander, and chilli cook till pumpkin is soft.

Now add the coconut milk and bring back to boil..

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Season with salt, lemon juice and chilli to taste.

Hearty soups for a Central Otago Winter

So there you have it. Gorgeous soup from some of my favourite people. Fill your boots lovely readers and if you’re in doubt bring it round to mine and we can show each other the boots we bought and now can’t afford any other food other than soup.

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