As the wintry weather hits and the days grow shorter, working up the motivation and energy to eat well and stay active can be difficult. Skipping the gym and grabbing takeout after work can seem like a great idea when the sun has already set by the time you leave and you’re forced to layer on the cold weather gear. It doesn’t take much for winter doldrums to send us into pajamas, TV and hibernation mode, but we’ve got the perfect cure: a nice, hot bowl of soup! Rich, nutritious and comforting, soups and stews are the perfect food for chilly winter nights and are easy to make--even with zero cooking skills.
Roasted vegetables make comforting soups a snap. All you need to do is chop, roast, blend and season for a true bowl of winter comfort. While an immersion (stick) blender makes blended soups quick and easy, you can manage with a blender or food processor. Just blend the hot ingredients in small batches to avoid spills and burns.
Impress guests or simply your own tastebuds with a perfect-for-the-season butternut squash soup. Try it with a bit of the extra seasonal zing of apples and ginger in this easy recipe or go traditional with this Butternut Squash Bisque, which is just as easy. Carrots, sweet potatoes, squash and turnips also make for an unbeatable winter blend in this delicious Roasted Vegetable Soup.
It’s not just squashes and root vegetables that make for great roasted vegetable soups, either. Try chopping and roasting the last tomatoes of the season for a Roasted Tomato Soup that requires minimal prep and even fewer cooking skills. Roasting cauliflower also makes for an incredibly creamy soup-- with or without the added dairy.
Family-pleasing soups and stews are just as easy. Aim for simple to prepare, comforting meals pulled together with minimal prep. Simmer up a pot of ultimate comfort with this recipe for Chicken and Dumplings, which features a base of brothy chicken stew, topped with quick-to-make homemade dumplings. For more hearty winter fare to warm you up, give this Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale a try.
When you have multiple schedules and activities to juggle as the holidays ramp up, let your slow cooker do the work for you. Recipes like this Slow Cooker Vegetable Beef Soup come together quickly and spend the day simmering, letting you come home to a warm, healthy meal. Minestrone, another family favorite, comes together just as quickly and easily.
For a stick-to-the-ribs supper, beef stew can’t be beat--and once you’ve set it to simmering, your work is done. While there’s nothing like a traditional beef stew on a chilly night, we encourage you to branch out. You can pull out your slow cooker for this easy Tuscan Chicken Stew or, if you’re up for a bit more time in the kitchen, warm up with the fragrant spices in this Indian Spiced Stew with Chicken and Potatoes. And, if you feel like getting more creative in the kitchen and taking your cooking skills to the next level, why not learn how to make the perfect stew?
Chasing the winter blues away is easy with these seasonal soups and stews in your rotation.
Sara Vallejo is a self-confessed happiness, health and self-development junkie from Chicago. She writes professionally in a business development and marketing capacity, and as a volunteer for a digital nonprofit. Miss Vallejo is a passionate mental and holistic health advocate who believes that good health is an ongoing journey best undertaken with supportive peers. Sara’s areas of expertise include nutrition, weight loss, women’s health, mental health and disability issues. She is returning to weight loss and fitness following orthopedic surgery and is excited to encourage and inspire fellow Azumio community members and readers to achieve the best health they can.
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