Keep Troubles at Bay Winter Soup (OS Archive 2011)

Here is my favorite winter soup, a thick, rich and hearty Vegetarian Stew.  

 This is a great comfort meal when the weather is bad, or when the news is sad.

When stress is high. When colds and viruses abound.


Nerves can be soothed with the right meal.

Taste buds delighted. Restful sleep at night.


 The ingredients for this soup can be somewhat interchangeable, depending on what you have on hand....


~Serves six~


In a large pot combine:

8 cups water


4 cups or so washed, scrubbed, but not peeled, cubed, potatoes.

I like Yukon Gold for their buttery taste, but Russet, or any type you like, is fine.


Potatoes and other root vegetables are excellent for grounding one's nerves when stressed or nervous -- they are rich in potassium, high in fiber.

They also help thicken the stew. 

4-6 cups cooked beans of your choosing.

Below are anasazi beans, they have a mild, smooth taste. The spots disappear with cooking. Beans have many nutritional benefits, and are a strong non-meat protein source.


To cook these dried beans separately, I soak 2-3 cups dried beans (makes 4-6 cups cooked) overnight in a bowl, 3:1 water to beans, then bring to boil in a pot with the same water, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes or soft to taste.

For this soup, just soak the dried beans overnight or start soak on the way out in the morning (8 hours at least). Drain and add to soup -- these anasazi beans, and other mild beans, such as a white/cannellini bean, will cook in the 40 minute soup cooking time.

Note:  Some types of dried beans may require a longer cook time and should be cooked separately only, or use canned (such as kidney beans).

Canned beans are fine to use, and easy. I recommend most types for this recipe, although black beans will overpower the other tastes. 


Next is uncooked brown rice, a healthier choice than the pasta below    -- 1 cup-- added with other ingredients



1 cup uncooked pasta  ( penne or bowtie ), added after the first 20 minutes of cooking. The pasta choices look great, have a nice texture complement.


Then, add 4-8 cups (varies by preference) chopped chard 

(this is red chard) 


Kale or spinach works well also. Leafy green vegetables are high in B vitamins, and kale is a good protein source


Add 2 cups tomato product of some kind.

I use what I have, from canned instant tomato soup to salsa, tomato sauce...I don't recommend ketchup though. Yuk.


Tomatoes are a huge protective-against-disease nutritional source for our bodies, and one of the few foods that has a higher nutritional potency cooked.

For fresh tomato (although these are hard to find in winter with any taste to them) chop/cube 3-4 cups and add tomato paste if possible. 

   Finally, the spices:

cayenne, to taste   

(these are from my first cayenne harvest this year) 


Cayenne supports the respiratory system and is high in Vitamin C, especially helpful in winter. 

garlic, fresh or powdered  


I love garlic and will chop 8-12+ cloves for a soup this size, or use a tablespoon or more powdered.

Garlic is an excellent blood cleanser and immune system supporter, just to begin garlic's many nutritional and health benefits. 

Onion is also welcome, if you like. It has some similar health benefits to garlic, and I have friends who refuse to cook without it.

For garlic or onion, saute in light amount of olive oil over medium heat (below smoking point -- this ruins any health benefits the oil has) for a few minutes to bring out the best flavor. 

 Next -- or after cooking, alternatively,

add Bragg's Liquid Aminos, about 1 tablespoon.


If this doesn't ring a bell...

soy sauce or tamari sauce, same amount as Bragg's, or even good old...I mean, wicked... salt will work -- use 1 1/2 teaspoons for salt.  Or to taste.  


~This soup also tastes delicious with curry spices instead, if you prefer. Or lentils instead of beans. That is the beauty of this recipe, it's very adaptable~


To cook:

Bring soup ingredients to a boil (remember if using pasta to add after 20 min.), reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes (and beans, if cooking them in stew) are soft, usually 40 minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes after soup is done, while the garlic bread or pita triangles...or cheese toast! ... heats. This lets the flavors settle and coalesce.

Optional toppings -- preferably not all together : )  

sour cream



parmesan cheese 


Light candles on the table,

call the family in, friends in, share with a neighbor...


(a representative image, not specifically of this yummy soup) 






~ Nutritional comments are in no way comprehensive ~






Photo credits, courtesy of:  

1. ( I had to add this bed  : )) 


4. is my photo


6.  my photo 


8.  mine also


10. mine 



RATE: 23

JANUARY 10, 2011 3:12AM

I love how you presented this, not only listing ingredients and steps, but also giving their health benefits and other raisons d'etre. This gave the recipe such a soothing feel, just like how eating this delicious soup must be! R!
Nicely done. Now I'm inspired to make soup. :)
You made this sound so delish from the pics and descriptions dear.
Sounds like a great idea looking outside here. Anything warm sounds good. Sigh.....
This was wonderful.. I would have to sub the pasta but I shall make this tonight..
Someone in my house needs a brain cleaning and it is not me hahaha
rated with hugs
Thanks, Alysa, I was suddenly inspired....
bike: It's perfect for a cold, wintry day...or a stressed out one : )
Mission: Shall I send you some? That was a big sigh...
Linda: You can use rice pasta...but I'd use the rice choice instead. It's also yummy, and then you don't have to remember to add an ingredient later --
You call it stew, my wife calls it homemade soup. She uses a lot of the same things, except she does put a pound of cooked hamburger with it to flavor it better. No Vegan, I know!
Now scanner, "flavor it better" is relative : ) 
Maybe you could get a wild hair, and try it once without the hamburger first, using plenty of cayenne and garlic, with yukon potatoes, and get back to me...
I love the way you presented this. Almost reminds me of minestrone. -R-
I love the look of this soup! The cayennes are especially pretty!
Yes, that was a big sigh here. Send it right on out at the drive thru wondow here. I need a big bowl to warm up.
I did not know I was moving from the tropical paradise to the Arctic. Gawd help me. It has been snowing here on and off since Thanksgiving. Bigger sigh.....
Thanks Christine, it is similar! This could also be called Whatever You Have Soup : ) 
Lucy: I'm quite proud of those cayennes I grew, and they did photograph well, thanks for that.
Sheila: It is! Thanks for coming by....
mission: I too didn't know my sweet town I moved to would be this bloody cold in the winter...and spring... either. Tough on the muscles, all tight with cold all the time, isn't it? 
Open that window, I'll drop some off on the way out : ) or just come over, I'll start a fire for you...
I'm off for awhile...I appreciate your spending time with a soup recipe on a Monday morning... : )
exactly what Alysa said, makes one want to be healthier right away
I LOVE Bragg's!! You can put it on anything, and it becomes instantly better. Yours is a lovely lovely stew. I have a bean and cabbage soup simmering in my crock pot right now, and this reminded me to go pour in some Bragg's.
I feel healthier just reading this. I've been looking for a good vegetarian winter soup recipe. Thanks for this, JT.
Sounds yummy AND healthy. I'm trapped inside by a snow and ice storm, so I would really enjoy a steaming bowl of this. Thanks!

Present(ation) Perfect ! It is almost poetic. The nutritive background information of ingredients particularly appeal to this former educator.
vanessa: And it's delicious : ) Nice to have you come by, I think of you still celebrating Christmas...
greenheron: You know Bragg's! Isn't it just the best? I don't like anything else anymore...
Hi Sarah! You're welcome : )
Lezlie: Stay warm : ) and I wish it were so easy to just send some over for you...
Ah, I am eating ze soup now in my mind. . . Yumyumyum. It iz, how you say? Very bon! Ze soup, she is like a lovely flower...Ahhhh. Merci. Merci. 
How you describe making this American minestrone is inspiring. I could watch for hours, especially if invited to partake
Great presentation! And a fine recipe as well. Giving the health benefits along with the ingredients and those nice edible pics makes it more than just another recipe.
Fusun: Thank you so much! I love food : )
Pierre: Nice to see you, and thank you for your kind words...I could only respond properly in your language with "The chat sur la table." or some other elementary and ignorant sentence, considering the years of French I've taken...ze conversation haz been lacking, no?
Leon: It is similar to minestrone, but without basil or parsley or green beans -- and my recipe is much thicker, with more hot spice....ahem. 
Thanks Ira, glad you came by : )
This sounds hearty and comforting for these cold evenings we've been having.. It will be on my list this week! Thanks for this healthy and wholesome meal idea!
Fun to read recipe post. I always cook and this looks like something I could eat all week. I am on it.
Good soup in front of the fireplace always makes me feel good. I will certainly try this recipe. Thanks.
Mmm,mmm, good, mmm,mmm, good-that's what Campbell's soups are-mmm,mmm, good. Remember that jingle? Or I just aged myself on a public forum. LOL However, it's not really true--homemade soup is one of my favorite things to make and consume. This sounds delish.
Nice to see you, bigvoice, it is bloody cold, isn't it??? Perfect weather for soup : )
Dr: This soup gets better the next day...freezes well, if needed. Glad to see you here : )
Fay: Yes! Fires --with soup! -- are the way to pass winter by, our house is the first with a fireplace we've had in's so nice.
Schmoopie: Yes, you are pegged. This soup was made to the sounds of Jimmy Page last night, by the way... : )
I like this recipe even more now that I know you made it with Jimmy playing!
Sounds good.
$$$$ but wait!!
We'll include two gallons, yes, TWO GALLONS if you buy now.
Have your credit card handy when you call.
!-800-YUM YUMM

Actually, it really does sound good.
I like yukons, spinach and a lot of the other things in there.
Also, no matter how I cook potato(e)s, I never ever peel them.
Very nice presentation. Love your cayenne harvest.
XJS: Hey, I had a blast making this slick pile of photos : ) ....and the soup actually is quite tasty, glad you came by...
Sheba: Thanks! I love that I actually pulled off a cayenne harvest here in the S. OR. mountains...and they photographed well, don't you think?
Nice to see you here...
Great looking vegetarian soup. I like to make a big pot of soup every week in the winter. I alternate between a vegetable soup and a gypsy soup (sweet potatoes, peppers, spicy), but I like the look of your soup. Vegetables and spicy! Thanks.
This sounds delicious. I have never heard of Braggs Amino Acid, perhaps a good addition to any diet vegetarian or otherwise? I will have to try this recipe as well as the BAA. Thanks! Nice presentation with photos. Rated :)
Wow, I got carried away with the photos!! I'm going to have to re-do this one with *all* my own shots soon...
(commenting here to whoever : ))
Wow - haven't looked at this post in ages, my first one with photos...and I went a little crazy, I see. Love the bed.
The soup is perfect for a day like today : )

The cayenne harvest was so hot, I could handle a third to half of one cayenne pepper in a pot of of soup like that...

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