Winter has arrived! Feeling the chill to your bones yet? Although I think we can all agree that there are few greater pleasures in life than sipping a margarita (or three) on a tropical beach in the summer, winter has some great benefits too; scarves and boots, sitting by the woodfire, letting your legs go unshaven for a few extra days (amiright?). But one thing I absolutely LOVE about winter, is that it’s soup season.
Yeah, I know *technically* you can have soup any time of the year, but it’s SO MUCH MORE SATISFYING in the winter when it’s chilly and you just need something to soothe your soul.
Soup … no stuff ups!
It’s funny; for the longest time I was convinced that I couldn’t make soup. I loved eating soup, but everytime I tried to prepare it at home it failed miserably – so eventually I just decided that whilst I had many culinary talents (my boozy cheesecake has been enjoyed time and time again), the humble soup was beyond me. It didn’t help that everyone I talked to about my soup-making-ineptitude responded with, “but soup’s so easy! You almost can’t stuff it up!”. Thanks, Janice. But actually, I can. I can stuff it up massively.
After a year or so, though, I thought to myself “screw it”, I needed to get this soup business nailed – so I went on a bit of a soup bender, made enough soups to feed a small village, and eventually I was able to triumphantly say that I “got” soup. Thank the heavens!
So here are a couple of my favourite recipes – whether you’re a soup master, or a bit late to the soup game like I was, these should be *ahem* pretty difficult to stuff up.
Corn and Bacon Chowder – When you need something quick and satisfying
The trick to this one is loads of butter. But then again, that’s kind of my trick to all cooking … Serve with best ever 30 minute dinner rolls (recipe below – start these before starting the soup).
Corn and Bacon Chowder
- 50 g (ish) butter
- 1 small onion
- 2-4 teaspoons crushed garlic (depending on whether you're a garlic fiend like me or a regular person)
- 4 rashers bacon chopped
- 2x420g tins creamed corn
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1.5 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/4 cup milk or cream (optional)
- Melt butter in a saucepan. Cook onion, garlic and ½ tsp thyme until the onion is softened. Add bacon and cook until well coloured. Remove a small amount of bacon to sprinkle on top at the end.
- Add creamed corn and chicken stock, and stir while bringing to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins while stirring semi-regularly to avoid burning at the bottom.
- Stir in milk or cream at the end (if using) and sprinkle bacon on top when serving.
Best Ever 30 Minute Dinner Rolls – Because carbs are life
Adapted from www.realmomkitchen.com/30-minute-rolls/
Best Ever 30 Minute Dinner Rolls
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- Third cup oil
- 2 tablespoons yeast
- 28 grams sugar (an eighth of a cup)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Half teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 3.5 cups flour
- Preheat oven to 200C
- Combine water, yeast, oil, sugar and honey. Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Add in flour, salt and egg, and fold together with a wooden spoon. Once it starts coming together, turn out onto a floured surface and lightly knead.
- Separate into 12 equally sized balls, place on a lined baking tray and let rest for 10 minutes. (This is when I start cooking the soup)
- Pop into oven for 10 minutes or until tops are golden.
Easy Wonton Noodle Soup – When you want something nourishing (or if you’re getting sick!)
This one is loaded with garlic and ginger, so great for fighting off nasty bugs – plus, when you drink the broth you may or may not feel like your soul is being blessed from the inside out.
Easy Wonton Noodle Soup
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 5 teaspoons crushed garlic
- 1.5 tablespoons crushed/grated ginger
- 6 cups chicken stock or homemade bone broth if you're fancy
- 1.5 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 chicken breast sliced
- 100g pork belly (I cheat and get mine from the deli)
- 100g sliced roast beef (deli again)
- Half cup shrimp
- 8-12 wontons or dumplings
- Half pack flat rice noodles
- Quarter cup chopped coriander (optional)
- Heat sesame oil on a low heat, add onion, garlic and ginger until onion is soft and the mixture is fragrant.
- Add chicken breast and brown, then add pork belly, roast beef, shrimp, chicken stock, brown sugar and soy sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes, add wontons and noodles, and cook until chicken is cooked through and wontons are hot in the middle.
- Add fish sauce and rice wine vinegar, then taste. If it’s too sweet, add some soy sauce or fish sauce to salty it up. If it’s too tangy, add a bit more sugar.
- Serve with coriander.
Curried Lamb Shank Soup – For when you want something rich and indulgent
This one’s a bit of a cross between a curry and a soup but it’s satisfying all the same! This is a slow cook, so allow a good 3-4 hours to prepare.
Serves 4 unless you’re sharing with my husband, in which case it serves 2.
Curried Lamb Shank Soup
- 2 lamb shanks
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 4 teaspoons crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 3 tablespoons mild curry powder
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 4 cups chicken or lamb stock
- 2 medium potatoes, diced
- 1x420g tin coconut cream
- coriander, to serve (optional)
- Preheat oven to 160C. Heat oil in a pan, brown sides of lamb shanks. Place in a ceramic oven pot or dish.
- Add a bit more oil if needed, and cook onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add curry powder, sugar and soy sauce, cook for two minutes, then add chicken stock and mix in together. Add to oven pot along with potatoes.
- Cook, covered for 2 hours, then cook uncovered for another 30 minutes or until lamb shanks are cooked and falling off the bone.
- Stir in coconut cream once out of the oven and serve with coriander sprinkled on top.
Written by Bunny T
A mama of two who advocates for mental health awareness (yes girl!), Bunny is a badass babe blogging about womanhood, motherhood and the adventures that happen in between. You’ll usually find her exercising (running after kids), partying (drinking coffee) and rocking out (sleeping).