Food and Nutrition · Guest Blog

Five Healthy Soups and Stews for Winter

I am so excited to have one of my dearest friends guest blogging today. I met Tafadzwa or Taffy (as she is fondly known) when we were both terrified little 13 year old girls starting Secondary School. We immediately clicked and so grew a remarkable friendship that has spanned decades and has seen us get married and have kids. Our first kids were born 5 days apart… I think even our husbands doubt us when we say “It was not planned!” But being pregnant with my best friend was an awesome experience. Although running has never really interested Taffy, she has been an immense support on my running journey and she recently registered for her first 10k Race! One of her biggest passions is cooking and she is an extraordinary chef. Today she is sharing some amazing recipes to help keep us warm (and running) this winter! Enjoy 🙂

From the Archives: 2009

I’m reliably informed that after a long run on a cold winter’s night nothing warms the body better than a big bowl of soup. The last thing on anyone’s mind while freezing to the bone is cooking a full-on meal. Warmth and convenience aren’t the only reasons why soups are great for runners – soups are also an easy, one-dish recovery meal that features the right mix of carbohydrates, protein, and healing vitamins and minerals. Eating soups after a run refuels your tank with healthy food and the extra liquid helps restore hydration.

I’m sharing five soup recipes that are in constant rotation at my house during winter. They are all easy to make and taste just as good, if not better, as leftovers at work the next day.

1 – Oxtail Soup with Pearl Barley

1kg oxtail, rinsed
1 onion, peeled and chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 dried red chilli
1 litre good-quality beef stock
500ml (2 cups) water
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g mixed soup vegetables (carrot, cabbage, celery etc), grated or finely diced
125ml (½ cup) pearl barley, well rinsed

Place the oxtail, onion, garlic and chilli in a deep soup pot. Cover with the stock and water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer covered for 1 hour 30 minutes, frequently skimming off any foam that rises to the surface in order to keep the stock clear.

Remove from the heat and use a slotted spoon to remove the oxtail from the liquid. Shred the meat from the bones and discard the bones and any fat. Set the meat aside. Strain the liquid and set aside to cool for at least an hour so that the fat rises to the surface. Skim off the fat and discard.

Return the liquid to a clean soup pot with the ginger, garlic, vegetables and barley and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft and the barley is cooked, about 20 – 30 minutes. Add the shredded meat and cook until heated through, about a further 5 – 10 minutes.

Serve in heated bowls with crusty bread for mopping up.

2 – Hot & Sour Medley of Mushroom Soup

2 eggs
Egg noodles
100 grams enoki mushrooms
60 grams bamboo strips
50 grams fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

Whisk the eggs in a small bowl until the yolk and white are fully combined. Cut the enoki mushrooms into thirds, discarding the bottom 1/3 and using the top 2/3rds. Trim the stems off the shiitake mushrooms and discard. Then cut the caps into thin slices. Drain and rinse the bamboo with cold water.

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add the noodles, mushrooms, and bamboo and set a timer for 3 minutes. While the noodles cook, in a small bowl combine the black vinegar, potato starch, toasted sesame oil and white pepper, and stir to combine. Add desired seasoning and bring to a boil.

Pour the egg into the pot from high above in a thin steady stream, while moving the stream of egg around the pot to distribute evenly. The noodles are done when the egg has cooked through. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve immediately.

3 – Biltong & Butter Bean Soup

30ml (2 tbsp) butter
30ml (2 tbsp) olive/ avocado oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 X 410g tin cannellini beans, drained
1 X 410g tin butter beans, drained
1 X 410g tin white beans, drained
1 litre good-quality vegetable stock
200g biltong-flavoured cream cheese
biltong, sliced, to serve

Heat the butter and oil in a large pot and sauté the onion for 5 – 8 minutes. Add all the beans and the stock and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly before blending in a food processor until smooth.

Return to the pot over low heat and stir in the cream cheese. Do not boil or the cheese will curdle. Heat gently and serve warm, topped with the biltong and with crusty bread on the side.

4 – Quinoa Chilli

2 cups cooked quinoa (from 2/3 cup dry)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can Italian tomato and herb sauce
1 can vegetable broth
2 1/2 Tbsp chili powder (or less if this is too much)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, more or less to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped coriander

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot add onion and saute until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, cooked quinoa, vegetable broth, chilli powder, cumin, cocoa, paprika, sugar, coriander, cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture just to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.

Add in all kidney beans, black beans, corn, coriander and lime and cook until heated through. Serve warm with optional toppings and sides (cheddar, sour cream, diced avocados and tortilla chips).

5 – Creamy Gnocchi & Mushroom Soup

2 tbsp. olive oil
8 cups mixed mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 tbsp. each fresh chopped rosemary and thyme
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
230g fresh gnocchi
1 cup cream
2 tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in saucepan set over medium-high heat, cook mushrooms for about 5 minutes or until moisture has evaporated and mushrooms are browned. Transfer to bowl.

Heat remaining oil over medium-high heat sauté garlic, onion, celery, rosemary and thyme for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in vegetable broth, 4 cups water, salt and pepper. Return mushrooms to pan, reserving 1 cup for garnish.

Bring to boil reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Using immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. Add gnocchi, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender and heated through. Stir in cream and heat through for 1 minute. Stir in reserved mushrooms, chives and lemon juice.

And that is it – some simple, quick and (hopefully) easy recipes for you to get your soup on! Please comment on how your soups turned out. I’m off to find my running shoes so that I can be just like the famous Gaborone Runner…

Thank you so much Taffy for sharing these amazing recipes! I tend to stock my pantry with tinned soup from Woollies so it will be really nice to have something “real” and FAR tastier to try out! 🙂 For more food inspiration, visit Taffy’s Facebook Page – Tastefully Mama T!

I am linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0!

22 thoughts on “Five Healthy Soups and Stews for Winter

  1. Oh, these all sound so yummy (and they look great from the pics)! It’s our hot season right now (in Iowa), so I probably won’t be even thinking of soup for several months…but when winter returns (UGH), I’m all over the soup and bread 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Delish😋I don’t run ( except after my kids when I need to catch them 😉) but I sure do love soup. Thank you so much for featuring Taffy! These soups might inspire me to run more😂all the best with your continued training. Good luck to Taffy on her 10k.

    Liked by 1 person

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