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Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter…

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“Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor.”  Margaret Kennedy

Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter... Tom Yum Soup...

Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter... Vary Your Soup Spices and Flavors...

What are your favorite ways to stay warm in winter? During the winter time, we turn not only to warm clothing, well stocked fireplaces and heated homes, but also to comfort foods that nourish our insides and keep us warm and well fed. I love winter clothing; coats, boots, knit hats and gloves but better yet, I love hot soups. I enjoy eating a wide range of soups during the cold season and the best part is that we can also toss whatever left over vegetables and grain we have in our fridge in a pot, buy fresh vegetables and tofu which I do often, add some vegetable or chicken stock, and make a delicious quick soup. For this post, I’d love to share some of my favorite soups and, if possible, provide you with recipes to make them. Above is Tom Yum Soup.

Tom Yum Soup via
Prep Time:10 Min, Cook Time:40 Min, Ready In:1 Hr 10 Min, Serves: 4 -6 servings
Ingredients: 1/2 pound medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
12 mushrooms, halved
1 (4.5 ounce) can mushrooms, drained
4 cups water
2 lemon grass
4 kaffir lime leaves
4 slices galangal
4 chile padi (bird’s eye chiles)
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon hot chile paste
1 tablespoon tom yum soup paste (optional)
Directions: Trim lemongrass and cut into matchstick size pieces.
To make stock: Add the shrimp heads and shells to water, then cook for 20 minutes. Turn the fire off. Soak the heads and shells for further 20 minutes before discarding. Trim lemongrass and cut into matchstick size pieces. Add stock, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, chili padi, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and chili paste to a pot and bring to a boil. After boiling for 5 minutes, add shrimps and both mushrooms. Cook for further 10 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

“It is impossible to think of any good meal, no matter how plain or elegant, without soup or bread in it.” M. F. K. Fisher

Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter... Chicken Noodle Soup...

Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter... Toss Your favorite Vegetables in a Soup...

Chicken soups come in all forms and people create their own recipes for them too. I love Matzo Ball Soup with vegetables and chicken stock with some chicken in it. Soups are great when we are not feeling well. I find that when I have a cold or begin to feel under the weather, a spicy soup like Tom Yum, a Mixed Vegetable,  Chicken Noodle, or Chicken with Matzo ball soup does the trick in helping my immune system recuperate. Even though the pictures above are of a Chicken Noodle Soup, and a hearty  Vegetable Soup, I have shared a Spicy Chicken soup recipe below. You can modify it by using fewer spices and skipping the sour cream…. What I love about soups is that we don’t have to be rigid with recipes, we can adapt and adjust them accordingly. Also, I use fresh not canned vegetables and we can swap items on the recipe lists. Do you have a favorite soup recipe? Don’t forget to check out one of my top favorite soups: The Carrot with Cashews & Ginger Soup… More Below. 😉

Spicy Chicken soup via All
Prep Time: 15 Min Cook Time:30 Min Ready In:45 Min, Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients: 2 quarts water
8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon onion powder
5 cubes chicken bouillon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (16 ounce) jar chunky salsa
2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (16 ounce) cans chili beans, undrained
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
Directions: In a large pot over medium heat, combine water, chicken, salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, onion powder and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, or until chicken juices run clear. Remove chicken, reserve broth. Shred chicken.
In a large pot over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until slightly browned. Stir in salsa, diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, tomato soup, chili powder, corn, chili beans, sour cream, shredded chicken and 5 cups broth. Simmer 30 minutes.

“You can do almost anything with soup stock, it’s like a strong foundation. When you have the right foundation, everything tastes good.” Martin Yan

Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter... Carrot Cashew Soup...

Reflections: Staying Warm During Winter... Make Carrot Cashew Soup...

One of my top favorite soups is a carrot with cashew nut and ginger creamy soup that is simply divine. Not only is it delicious, but it is healthy and quite satisfying. When I have it, I usually accompany the soup with a mixed greens salad and I am quite content. You may try this recipe or if you are too busy to cook, Pacific Natural Foods has a pretty good version of this Carrot Cashew Ginger soup. Because I love spicy dishes, I add a dash of hot sauce and I’m ready for the world… Warms your heart and your stomach.

Carrot, Cashew, and Ginger Soup via
Prep Time: 15 Min Cook Time:35 Min Ready In:50 Min, Serves: 10-12 servings
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup cashews
1 medium onion , chopped
2 garlic cloves , minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger , grated
1/2 cup fennel bulb , chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
8 large carrots , peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 medium turnips , peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
6 -8 cups water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Directions: 1. Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add cashews and stir constantly until golden brown and toasted. Use caution nuts burn very easily. Remove nuts and set aside. 2. Add onion and cook over medium heat until translucent. Add ginger, garlic, salt, and spices. Lower the heat and continue to saute for another 8-10 minutes, until the onions are soft. 3. Add carrots, turnips, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a rolling boil and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add cashews. Cook for 5-10 more minutes. 4. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice. You may use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Add water as necessary to reach desired consistency.

I think I have a very good idea what Beethoven meant with his quote: “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.” Ludwig van Beethoven. It takes a deep love for soups, a certain creativity to place contrasting flavors together to make a tasty dish, and a desire to appease many palates, to ensure that a good meal is enjoyed by all. Soups are easy and satisfying. Try some soon.  Enjoy! Boun Appetito! Bon Appétit!  What are your thoughts? How do you stay warm in winter?  Do you love soups? What is your favorite soup? Do you have a recipe to share? Do share! Thank you. 😉

This post was inspired by a prompt from Plinky: What are your favorite ways to stay warm in winter?
Positive Motivation Tip: Soups are like warm clothing in the winter time; they keep us warm on the inside… enjoy!

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Whole Chicken soup, SpicesCarrot Cashew Soup, Carrots of all colors, Tom Yum Soup, Vegetable Soup, via Wikipedia or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

66 Comments leave one →
  1. 08/01/2012 9:08 pm

    What awesome soup recipes, Eliz. I love soup any time of year…but agree that it’s especially lovely when frost decorates the window panes. Get out the hot chocolate, bowl of popcorn and classic movies and snuggle up in a fleecy blanket…that’s my idea of a winter-bound heaven. 🙂

    • 09/01/2012 10:16 pm

      TY Viv! I love soups year round but especially in the winter time… I love hot chocolate too. 🙂

  2. 08/01/2012 9:22 pm

    we often enjoy to eat shrimps – in soups, on bread, with noodles …

    • 09/01/2012 10:17 pm

      Yes, same here… It does taste particularly delicious in Tom Yum soup. TY! 🙂

  3. 08/01/2012 9:23 pm

    Winter? What’s that? 😉
    I live in the sub-tropics of Queensland, Australia, and the coldest our winters get during the day is about 19C, lowering to about 7C at night.
    However, I honestly do feel the cold of our winters, and that’s the time when I enjoy a bowl of home-made chicken soup to warm me up. My own recipe of course, which means any vegetables I have in at the time get thrown in to my own chicken stock, along with the chicken. Accompanied by a hunk of crusty fresh bread, it can’t get much better than that!

    • 09/01/2012 10:19 pm

      Oh yes the sub-tropics. 🙂 I love the crusty bread too… Makes for a hearty meal. TY! 🙂

  4. 08/01/2012 9:42 pm

    Oh, those soup recipes sound so delicious… I’ll add those ingredients to my shopping list this week and start cooking some soup…mmmmm….thanks!

    • 09/01/2012 10:20 pm

      Enjoy and do share which you liked best… I could eat soup every day. TY! 🙂

  5. 08/01/2012 10:20 pm

    Yummy post…I love Chili, Butternut Squash Soup and the Rosemary and White Bean Soup from Barefoot Contessa…pretty much soup all around is a good place to start!

    • 09/01/2012 10:21 pm

      I love all the soups you mentioned and have made them so time or the other… I make a really good vegetarian chilli. Yum! 🙂 TY!

  6. 08/01/2012 11:15 pm

    Wow. So yummy. As you say, we need hot food for standing sever winter.
    Have a great day.

    • 09/01/2012 10:22 pm

      TY Cocomino! I love lots of hot soup in the cold weather… it helps! 🙂

  7. Savira permalink
    09/01/2012 12:40 am

    I got stuck on the cashew carrot soup… Something about warm soup and family= comfort and love…nourishing for the body and heart!

    • 09/01/2012 10:42 pm

      TY Savira! I love your squash soup and yes that cashew carrot soup is delicious = nourishing. 🙂

  8. 09/01/2012 4:09 am

    Thanks for the unique recipes! One of my fav staying warm tricks–flannel sheets!

    • 09/01/2012 10:43 pm

      I love flannel sheets and pjs too. I sleep in flannels all winter… They stay remarkably warm regardless of the immediate temps. Love them! 🙂

  9. 09/01/2012 5:59 am

    Soup and warm beverages are a great way to show gratitude for the colder weather instead of complaining about it. 🙂
    Peace & grace,

    • 09/01/2012 10:43 pm

      Well said! A bowl of soup, a hot chocolate and I’m a happy camper. 🙂

  10. Bree permalink
    09/01/2012 7:57 am

    These look so delicious! I must try the carrot cashew ginger soup. I believe you saying it is divine. Pacific Naturals here I come! 😉

    • 09/01/2012 10:44 pm

      😆 Yes, Pacific Natural Foods makes a delicious cashew carrot. Enjoy it!

  11. 09/01/2012 7:58 am

    I love soup! And tea, that how I keep warm in winter. Thanks for sharing these recipies, I might try one or two in my new kitchen 🙂

    • 09/01/2012 10:46 pm

      I drink tea everyday too… I added the recipes so others can adapt them to their taste… I make a variation of the recipes above and use/add things I like… Go ahead and try them. Enjoy! 🙂

  12. 09/01/2012 8:58 am

    Thanks for the lovely pictures and the recipes; truly a feast for the eyes; and soon to be a feast set on the table. Our winter is currently mild but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying a soul satisfying soup. I love soup for so many reasons including the efficiency in its preparation. A one pot dish; and a one pot meal is always number one in my book.

    • 09/01/2012 10:48 pm

      Yes, we are enjoying a mild winter and I won’t complain at all. I’m grateful that I can still take my long walks… something that won’t be feasible once the bitter cold arrives. A one pot meal works for me too. 🙂

  13. 09/01/2012 10:17 am

    I love soup but rarely follow a recipe . . . instead, I mix and match veggies with starch (rice, potatoes, pasta, or barley). A general recipe that I tweak:for Harvest soup
    I also love making soups with beans and legumes ~ split pea, lentil, black bean, minestrone.
    YUMMY in the TUMMY!

    • 09/01/2012 8:03 pm

      Thanks for post this today . . . you inspired me to make some black bean soup for dinner! 😀

      • 09/01/2012 10:51 pm

        TY too for your two recipes… I also had soup tonight! 😆

    • 09/01/2012 10:49 pm

      Delicious Nancy and I’ve added your links to the post. Two excellent recipes there. Will make some too. TY! 🙂

  14. 09/01/2012 10:41 am

    That carrot soup sounds wonderful! We eat a lot of soups for dinner in the winter, too. I find they fill you up fast which is also good for our waistlines! My daughter-in-law is from Bangkok so get the “real deal” when it comes to Tom Yum Soup! I can’t take the “heat” that she puts into it, but I’m getting used to it.

    • 09/01/2012 10:53 pm

      Yes, I have to admit that carrot soup is to die/live for!!! Oh, I’d love to try your d-in-law’s soup. I bet it’s super hot… I love it. 🙂

  15. 09/01/2012 10:55 am

    I will have to try one or more of your recipes. I also love soup 😀

    • 09/01/2012 10:54 pm

      TY Miriam… Give it a go and don’t forget to adapt it to your taste… that is the beauty of soups… Personalize it. 🙂

  16. 09/01/2012 11:09 am

    Hmm I love soup. In winter my friends and I especially like to go to a cafe shop and buy a big cup of hot chocolate… 😛

    • 09/01/2012 10:55 pm

      I love hot chocolate too and I’m drinking one as I type… Sometimes, I mix it with a bit of coffee. 🙂

  17. 09/01/2012 11:44 am

    I love your photos! tomyum soup sounds divine, I make lots of soup but never have a recipe.

    • 09/01/2012 10:56 pm

      Give the Tom Yum a try. You’ll love it… Of course the carrot soup is divine too. TY! 🙂

  18. 09/01/2012 1:17 pm

    I love this post! Of course, now I have to rethink what we’re having for dinner. I have a pound of chicken thawing….

    • 09/01/2012 10:57 pm

      Perfect for a big pot of soup, and an easy to make dinner that won’t require too much head-banging work… I hope you did make some. Enjoy! 🙂

  19. 09/01/2012 2:49 pm

    My great-grandparents were farmers and much of the food I consumed growing up came from their farm. Some of my favorite soup memories are of those where the leftovers were emptied into a stock pot along with some broth, and then we rummaged through the freezer and cans for veggies to add. Mmmmmmm…. I still make soup like that. I just don’t have the luxury of having a farm in the family.

    • 09/01/2012 10:59 pm

      I spent time on a farm too and I can relate to your story… The food tasted so good and yes, we also enjoyed the add-everything-you-find-to-the-soup-pot!
      Great memories. 😉

  20. 09/01/2012 3:55 pm

    This is a different take on winter yet again! 🙂 I love sop on a cold winter’s day

    • 09/01/2012 11:00 pm

      Winter must be heavy on my mind then… I loved your recipe too and added it to my post above. It is the season for soups. TY! 🙂

  21. 09/01/2012 4:22 pm

    How can you go wrong with soup? 🙂

    I love black bean soup and anything creamy but particularly, Broccoli and Cheddar. And, of course, fresh French baguette! You are making me hungry! 🙂

    • 09/01/2012 11:01 pm

      You just made me hungry for a baguette with french Onion soup. Yummy! TY! 🙂

  22. 09/01/2012 4:30 pm

    Love all the soup recipes. Thanks for sharing!

    • 09/01/2012 11:02 pm

      TY Leanne! Try some when you have a moment. 🙂

  23. 09/01/2012 5:19 pm

    A cup of hot green tea and homemade miso soup!

    • 09/01/2012 11:03 pm

      I love Miso soup too. I usually add extra tofu and hot sauce to my Miso soup… TY! 🙂

  24. 09/01/2012 9:04 pm

    Great post, Elizabeth!
    In my childhood home, we always had soup on Saturdays. Most times, it would be beef as we would have gotten fresh beef the previous day from the butcher. When beef wasn’t available, it’d be chicken or bean.
    For me, soup is comfort food. When I was in NYC, whenever it snowed or rained, no matter what time I’d get home, I’d make soup. For that reason, I always kept a pressure cooker around as it cuts down on cooking time, especially when beans were involved.
    Just this past Saturday, my cousin made a huge pot of soup and invited about ten of us over. A few minutes ago, I checked the freezer for something for tomorrow’s dinner and pulled out soup meat. I didn’t put it back so guess what, it’ll be soup tomorrow!
    I’ll be adding some of these recipes to my folder. Thanks for sharing.

    • 09/01/2012 11:07 pm

      TY too for sharing your memories of soup Marcia! 😉
      I smiled when I read that you pulled out soup meat. It brings back memories of home too… We had some type of soup almost every day… The traditional soups were so complicated to prepare that it took all day and then some… 😆

  25. 09/01/2012 11:37 pm

    I loved the opening quotation! Sums my family up perfectly, I think! 🙂 Thank you!

    • 09/01/2012 11:53 pm

      It sure does sum up yours and every family that gathers to enjoy each other’s company. 😉 Hope you enjoyed the soups. TY!

  26. 10/01/2012 9:21 am

    There is nothing better to keep you warm in the winter than a hot steaming bowl of homemade soup that is savory and full of flavor. Thank you for sharing your recipes and warm thoughts. Have a blessed New Year!

  27. 10/01/2012 11:33 am

    Soup. So comforting. I love tomato soup with grilled cheese. Or chicken soup when I’m sick. Or butternut squash soup. Or a hearty minestrone. Mmm – I’m getting hungry!

  28. 10/01/2012 9:43 pm

    Thank you for the carrot cashew soup recipe! Does that look good! I make my own version of a split pea and barley soup without a specific recipe. I fell in love with the same at California Pizza Kitchen…and you can’t go too far afield with split peas and barley! It’s so good, and a bit heavy, so warm! I haven’t made it for a while but your post has me thinking and I will now be obsessed with the taste…I’d better get cooking! Debra

  29. 12/01/2012 2:23 am

    The ginger, carrot and cashew soup sounds delish.
    Our winters are pretty mild down here in the Antipodes, but hot, spicy curries and peri-peri anything are the go in our household (and a good glass of Shiraz :-))

  30. 13/01/2012 4:26 am

    Everything looks so delicious!!!!!

  31. 22/01/2012 4:29 pm

    Nothing beats a hot bowl of homemade soup during a cold winter night! I love the crock pot for soups. . . you just inspired me! Gotta go get the soup on!

  32. 14/12/2012 4:13 am

    I love making soup, at least once a week, and maybe twice in winter. I keep a crock of simmering stock going most days so it is easy to create soup -on-the-fly with leftovers. I enjoy the challenge of using every edible bit of food, soups and stews are great for marrying those bits together. The carrot cashew soup is going on my must-try list. Thanks!

    • 14/12/2012 4:37 am

      TY for your feedback… I’m glad you like the carrot cashew soup as it is one of my favorites. 🙂

  33. 02/02/2014 12:19 pm

    Tom Yum Soup looks so delicious. I love shrimp, so I bet I would really like it!

  34. David Fultner permalink
    04/01/2015 8:30 pm

    Thanks for the info.


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