two warming soups to end the winter – roasted root vegetable soup & beef chili soup

We made it to the last few weeks of winter! Spring is within sight! WOO HOO PARTY TIME OH YEAAAAH! The winter here in Portland this year has been pretty mild. There has been barely any snowfall – like a couple hours on a couple different days that didn’t even stick long enough to justify not going into work.
But the dark, cold, rainy mornings and nights still started to wear on me real quick. I am ready for the sunlight, warmth and new life that spring promises as baby animals are born, pink cherry blossoms cover the town with little confetti petals and an unimaginable array of colors sprout out of the greenery everywhere you look.
But we aren’t QUITE there yet, to enjoy these last weeks of winter, I made two different warming & comforting soups. One is a vegan Roasted Root Vegetable Soup and the other is a hearty Beef Chili Soup. Both are very tasty, very easy to make and very cozy on a cold, rainy, dreary, gloomy, nasty day… Can you tell I’m ready for spring (aka sunlight)?

before roasting
after – caramelized yumminess

The cookbook, Vegetarian, where I found this soup is so neat because on most recipes it includes a cook’s tip and health benefits about the ingredients used in the recipe. DID YOU KNOW that a single carrot will supply enough vitamin A for an entire day? And butternut squash has high levels of beta carotene and potassium, which are essential for the function of our cells, nerves and muscles!
Roasting the vegetables caramelizes them, so this soup is sweet with the natural sugars of the vegetables AND it’s packed with vitamins! This soup is probably going to be one of my staples for the winter months, when I’m craving something sweet but I’m also trying to be healthy in order to counter all the sweets that somehow managed to be eaten between October & January lol.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
from Vegetarian, consultant editor Nicola Graimes
Serves 6

what

– 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
– 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
– 2 carrots, cut into thick rounds
– 1 parsnip, cubed
– 1 yellow turnip, peeled and cubed
– 2 leeks, thickly sliced
– 1 onion, quartered
– 3 bay leaves
– 4 thyme sprigs, plus more to garnish
– 3 rosemary sprigs
– 5 cups vegetable stock
– salt & fresh ground black pepper
– sour cream to serve (optional, can you dairy-free version)

how

– Preheat oven to 400 F.
– Put the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the olive oil.
– Spread out the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet. Add the bay leaves, thyme and rosemary sprigs on top.
– Roast for ~ 50 minutes, until tender.
– Remove from the oven, discard the herbs and transfer the vegetables to a large saucepan or pot.
– Pour the stock over the vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for ~ 10 minutes.
– Use and immersion blender to blend until thick and smooth. You can also you a regular blender, but make sure the soup cools first. Otherwise, the pressure from the heat will make the soup probably explode from the blender and you’ll be wiping it offer your ceiling.
– Serve warm with a swirl of sour cream and a fresh thyme sprig.

There have been a few clear, sunny days and gorgeous sunrises in the morning this winter. But even with doubling-up on vitamin D in the winter, it can still be rough for a lot of people, with the seemingly endless supply of grey skies and rainfall. This beef chili soup hits to spot to add a little kick on your tongue to put some pep in your step! This soup is also really easy to meal prep for lunches at work or dinners on-the-go. Or ladle the chili soup into mugs and take it on a walk outside to stretch your legs and fill those lungs with some fresh winter air 🙂

Beef Chili Soup
from The Soup Bible, contributing editor Debra Mayhew
Serves 4

what

– 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 onion, diced
– 6 oz ground beef (I accidentally used a whole pound of beef, so like between 2 and 3 times the amount… but it turned out ok!)
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 fresh red chili, sliced (remove the seeds if you want it less spicy)
– 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I used Bob’s Redmill gluten free 1-to-1)
– 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
– 2 1/2 cups beef stock (I make my own bone broth, so I used that)
– 1 1/3 cups canned kidney beans, drained & rinsed (I used a mix of black, kidney and pinto beans)
– 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
– salt & fresh ground black pepper, in amounts to your preference of taste

how

– Heat the oil in a large sauce pan.
– Add the onion and ground beef and fry until brown and sealed.
– Add the garlic, chili and flour and cook for 1 minute.
– Add the tomatoes and the stock. Bring to a boil.
– Stir in the beans, salt and pepper. Simmer for ~ 20 minutes.
– Add the parsley (reserve a little for garnish).
– To serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with reserved parsley. This tastes good with crusty bread or rice.

Enjoy 🙂

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