I hate being cold. I hate being hot, too, but I find a happy medium in the winter is a cool room, a blanket and a warm drink or bowl of soup.
Twice this week I have stayed home due to snow, and it sounds like it might happen again in the next week or so. Winter doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere!
On Tuesday morning, I didn’t realize that there was more snow predicted until I heard it on the radio while driving to work. I’m not someone who feels the need to run out to the grocery store at the mention of snow, but I had already planned on stopping at Mrs. Greens for a salad for dinner that evening. I went in, and of course, many people were there stocking up before the storm. I’m not crazy about going when it’s that busy, but I stuck it out for the ski of my salad. I had no worries about my food supply if I’m snowed in!
There’s always pasta, grains, beans, nuts and frozen veggies in my kitchen. There’s usually veggies that keep longer as well- carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, and this time of year, I still have some winter squash on hand. Plenty of herbs and spices, too. Non dairy milk, and all manner of condiments can be found in my kitchen. I also always either have veggie broth, or vegetable scraps to make veggie broth, as well, and of course, this is not an exhaustive list.
In other words, I have a well stocked vegan kitchen, in case you were wondering what basics you should have on hand.
With all that, the possibilities are nearly endless for what you can make. But what is better on a cold winter’s day than a nice, hot soup?
Surveying what I have on hand right now, I have everything one needs to make a bunch of soups. I could easily spit pea, red lentil, chickpea noodle, or all kinds of other ones- and there’s not a thing I would need to pick up from the store. This is key for snow-bound cooking- you have to use what you have on hand.
For example, many would argue that you need celery as a part of the base for many soups. I don’t care for it. If I have it on hand for some other reason I use it, but otherwise, I leave it out- and can build a soup with the onion, carrots and garlic that I always have on hand. (If I am making something where I do want that flavor, I use a little bit of celery seed).
Once you know what you have on hand, then you want to look at the time you have, what you might do with leftovers (if you have them). I love split pea soup, but it either takes a very long time in the slow cooker, or requires a shorter cook time but more attention on the stove. That might work for a snow day, and it might not. I also like to be able to freeze a couple of portions of soup when I make it, so I tend to stay away from soups with potato (the texture changes when frozen).
Once you know what you have on hand, how much time you want to put into it, and what you’re going to do with it, you’re ready to start cooking! Well, you’re ready to gather and prep your ingredients, but you know what I mean.
And when I looked at those factors and my kitchen, Roasted Butternut Squash Soup sounded like the right thing for me! It’s low maintenance, very few ingredients and freezes well.
Now that’s a way to spend a snow day- with a nice, hot soup.
Stay safe and warm in this weather!
A simple soup for a winter’s day.