Our 5 Favorite Winter Vegetarian Soups

At our home winter means lots and lots of soups and stews. One of the best perks of braving cold and rainy winter days is you can look forward to coming back to warm home and dig in through a bowl of your favorite hot comforting soup right in your PJs! 

We make lots of soups and stews at our home, particularly in winter and mostly all vegetarian. And when we make soups, they are not starters or sides.. they get the place of the main dish! You can pair a hearty bowl of soup with nice crusty french bread broiled with olive oil and it can be a meal to remember. You can also pair with a protein or a salad if you wish, but I think bowl of hearty soup and bread can be a fine meal in it's own right.

Here are our top 5 favorite winter vegetarian soups which often make appearance on our table. They all use seasonal vegetables and almost all of them are quite forgiving and adaptable so feel free to experiment and suite to your taste.

One of the healthiest and most filling is this hearty lentil soup using green lentils, onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and herbs (basil, thyme). The beauty of this soup is that as long a you have lentils in the pantry, you can make this -- rest of the ingredients are very swappable. Use what you have at hand! 

I usually pair it with home made garlic bread. It does take about 30-40 minutes of low heat simmer but it's largely unattended cooking time you can wheel away sipping hot tea while you wait for dinner to be ready :) 

In the category of roasted soups, this roasted red pepper and tomato soup is like your everyday tomato soup but has a slightly complex flavor with red pepper in it which I love a lot more than pure tomato soup. It's a kids favorite and goes amazingly well with a side of grilled cheese. I don't like to put cream in my soup (just wired weirdly that way I guess :) ) but if you like creamy soups, by all means add a dash of cream at the end. An immersion blender makes this soup a breeze to make. 

Another very beloved fall roasted soup is this roasted butternut squash soup at our home. A small butternut squash makes a large pot of soup! It's super easy to roast the squash yourself. I have also made a non-roasted version with apple, where you cube the squash and cook it down with chopped apple and crushed ginger on stove and then immersion blend everything -- either method works well and takes about the same time. As for the seasoning, I add cinnamon, nutmeg and clove with the apple version and curry powder with the non-apple roasted version. Experiment away, it will taste amazing either way!

In terms of easiest soups of the lot and the one which truly needs nothing more than three very basic ingredients, look no further than this potato and leek soup. If you have never tasted this soup, I highly encourage you to try -- it's amazing how 5 simple ingredients butter, leek, potatoes, salt & pepper and 20 minutes can pull something so delicious! A go to winter soup for sure!

And finally the new year's day favorite
black eyed peas with kale soup which often makes appearance on the first day of the year at our home. Eating black eyed peas and greens on the first day is a tradition supposed to bring you good luck in the new year. But to be honest I would eat this soup just any regular day because it's just so much tasty! You can eat it as-is or with bread or top it with a dollop of yogurt, lemon juice and chopped onion - simply delicious!

Soups are the under-rated stars of the meals on cold days. And yes even vegetarian soups can be quite hearty and can make a meal on their own paired with a nice crusty bread. 

I hope for sunny warm spring days soon but until then I wish you and us lots of yummy soup filled warm meals! Enjoy!