Melbourne in Winter is not the wonderland that Tourism Victoria would have you believe. The season moves triumphantly into this city like a hated relative at Christmas time and won’t leave.
There’s nothing for it but to make soup.
This Broccoli, Spinach, Potato and Basil soup in particular. This soup is magic soup and here’s why:
1. Cheap: If you double the veggies and stock then you have dinners for a week at a very low price. The soup “accessories” of sour cream, pesto and bread can be skipped if your budget won’t stretch, and you’ll still eat very well.
2. Easy: If you are a novice cook, it’s as simple as heat, stir, boil, wizz up, serve.
3. Healthy: It’s a very healthy and hearty recipe, and vegetarian too. Vegan if you substitute or skip the pesto and sour cream.
4. Delicious: So delicious.
5. Green: This soup is green. I now add in a few handfuls of green beans at the same time as the broccoli – which takes it to another level of greenness, because the greener it is the gooder it is.
It is a hearty, healthy, cheap, easily made bowl full of evergreen lighting up the deep dark winter months. MAKE IT IMMEDIATELY AND STAND WITH ME AGAINST THE DARKNESS.
But it is not the only soup.
Do you love Mexican food but wish it came in soup form? Enter Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Red Quinoa soup to answer your prayers. This soup is a bowl full of summertime.
Now this soup is not cheap, and it is not as easy as the first soup, but it is amazing for these reasons:
1. Nachos/Salad/Soup: It’s kind of all of these things, and all of these things are the best.
2. Healthy: The beans/sweet potato/quinoa combo are a steady foundation of iron, vitamins, protein and fibre, and that’s not even counting your fresh salad toppings.
3. Corn Chip Croutons: Because why have I not being doing this my whole life?
4. Golden Brown: The cumin/chilli/sweet potato base of this soup is spicy, yellow and warming – like sunshine in my veins.
5. Impressive: People will think you are some kind of genius, and if you make this soup? You ARE.
So if you feel like a bowl full of delicious spicy sunshine which will impress your friends, and intimidate your enemies, then this is the soup for you.
There is one last soup I’d like to discuss here. This soup is a beet and black lentil borscht. Now, this soup is not cheap, and it is not easy to make, and it is not to everyone’s taste. I’ve messed it up as many times as I’ve perfected it.
But when it works?
When it works it really works. I think of it as a blood tonic, not just because that’s very much what it looks like, but because it genuinely feels restorative. The rich colour and flavour of the broth do wonderful things to the body and mind. Although, unlike the other two recipes, I’m unable to eat this soup continually for days. It’s just too rich and distinctive.
So there you have it, a traffic light of soups to keep the winter blues at bay.