Corn-Potato Soup

In the winter, as the cold settles in, I’m often reminded to nourish myself with things that make me warm, from soup and lattes to yoga and long hikes. But it’s not just during the cold months that we need to bring warmth and nourishment into our lives.

Tangible things that make the body warm like hot foods and activities that increase your heart rate are what people initially think of when they want to heat their body, but warmth also means surrounding yourself with people you love. Catching up with a friend, snuggling up with your cat or enjoying the company of a loved one makes you feel loved and wanted.

Lately I’ve been focusing on bringing more warm and nourishing elements into my life, because life is too short to live feeling cold. Simply thinking about all of the people, close by and thousands of miles away, that support me and care about me gives me a warm feeling inside. So before the next cold burst comes, I challenge you to reflect on what makes you feel warm and nourished and bring more of that into your life.

Soup is one of the tangible things that is nourishing and warm, so I’ve been experimenting with different recipes. This one is inspired by a corn chowder that a good friend made. While it’s hard to beat delicious soup and good company, this recipe is a healthy vegan alternative to classic corn-potato soup.

corn-potato-soup

Corn-Potato Soup

Ingredients

> 2 tablespoons olive oil
> 1/2 large white onion, chopped
> 4 cloves garlic, minced
> 2 russet potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
> 2 cups frozen corn, or 4 ears fresh corn
> 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
> 1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
> salt and pepper
> 2 green onions, chopped for garnish

Instructions

Sauté olive oil, onion and garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add potatoes and season with salt and paper. Cover and steam for 5 minutes.

Add corn, broth and almond milk and stir. Cover and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.

To serve, top with chopped green onion, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (for a cheesy flavor) and paprika.

Makes 4 servings.

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of ____ [fill in the blank] soups are always buttery and high in fat because besides whatever vegetables is featured — asparagus, mushroom or broccoli — the other main ingredients are cream and butter. The richness of these soups is typically overpowering for me, which is why I rarely order a cream-based soup or make them at home.

Recently I had a cooking adventure with a dear friend of mine who is a health foodie and nutrition maven (check out her recipes at Naturally Wholesome Life). It was a chilly, raining night so we knew we wanted to make a soup, but beyond that, the world was our oyster. That’s how this broccoli soup came about. It’s a culmination of friendship, creativity and love, all packed in one.

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

Ingredients:

> 1 cup raw macadamia nuts
> 1 1/2 cups boiling water
> 4 teaspoons lemon juice
> 1 tablespoon olive oil
> 1 onion, chopped
> salt and pepper
> 3 cloves garlic, chopped
> 2 medium heads broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
> 4 cups vegetable broth
> 1 green chili, chopped
> 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley

Instructions:

Place macadamia nuts in a large bowl and submerge in boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Cook onions over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic and chili, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable both and broccoli and bring to a boil. Simmer for five minutes, or until broccoli is al dente.

Place macadamia nuts, water and 2 teaspoons lemon juice in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Remove half of the macadamia nut cream from the blender and set aside in a small bowl. Add the saucepan mixture, parsley and 2 teaspoons lemon juice to the blender, and blend on high until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve in bowls with a few spoonfuls of macadamia nut cream on top. Garnish with a few parsley leaves and macadamia nuts.

Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from My New Roots.