Stock up on soup to survive winter

shutterstock_73530385With the summer and its bounty of fresh fruits and veggies a thing of the past, it can be tough for vegansto avoid falling into the trap of eating the same meals over again.

While you’ve committed yourself to a plant-based dietfilled with foods sourced locally and organically, whenever possible, in most parts of Canada, where winters can be cruel, this doesn’t leave you with many options.

To enjoy a healthy and balanced diet that keeps meat on your bones, without eating meat, you really need variety. That’s where soup serves as a main ingredient in your winter survival kit.

Not only are soups nutritious, but they also highlight the season’s best ingredients while inspiring creative cooking. The bonus is that most soups can be frozen, so you can stockpile a variety in you freezer and thaw them at your conveniencefor fast, easy and nutrient-rich meals.

Below are some tips to making satisfying vegan soups to keep you warm over the winter:

The blender is your best friend

When it comes to preparing vegan soups, consistency can be a challenge. To avoid a thin, watery soup, turn to your blender for the solution. Blending soup works well if its ingredients feature seasonal starches, such as potato, pumpkin, squash, or other root vegetables. The starch creates a smooth and “creamy” texture for a richer mouth feel.

Consider the cooking of diverse cultures

Soup is a staple in many different countries. To broaden the spectrum ofsoups you serve, consider recipes that represent a map of the world. Thai soup, for example, is based in a coconut broth, while Indian dhal is loaded with nutrient-rich lentils.

Japanese misosoup, which is made from immune-boosting fermented soy, can ward of seasonal illnesses. Or add some heat to your winter with a spicy Mexican black bean soup, and don’t forget to add a generous dollop of Tofutti Sour Supreme.

Give your recipe an instant flavour boost

Vegan bouillon cubes are quick, convenient and packed full of flavour, and can enhance the taste of virtually any soup recipe. Moreover, garnishing your recipes with fresh herbs adds a good dose of liveliness to a slow-cooked soup.

What are your favourite vegan soup recipes?