Winter soups: recipes and nutritional value

Along with the cold, the desire for hot food also increases. And winter soups are rich in nutrients and delicious real food. Great for a meal, here are some tips and tasty recipes.

Soups, broths, minestrone soups rule among comfort foods in winter, here are the differences:

SOUP: usually consists of a variety of vegetables to taste, quite dense and with little liquid part. If desired, it can be accompanied by toasted bread croutons. This does not include the presence of pasta or other cereals. There can be pieces of fish, meat or even pulses to complement the soup. The term soup is derived from the Gothic word “suppa”, which means the slice of bread on which the dish is served.

SOUP: in addition to vegetables, grains, pasta or rice are added and it is more liquid than soup.

MINESTRONE: A mixture of the former that arose after the discovery of America and the importation of foods such as potatoes. Classic Italian minestrone usually includes the presence of different colored vegetables to which we add pasta or other grains.

PASSED: is a hot dish based only on cooked and then mixed vegetables.

VELVET: unlike in the past it consists of only 2-3 cooked and mixed vegetables. In addition, milk, cream or even rice or corn flour is used to thicken it.

Because soups are good for you

Warming the body and calming the mind, the soup is ideal during the colder months, with the main ingredients being seasonal vegetables or legumes and grains that strengthen the body. The beauty of soups is that they never get tired, because they can be enriched with aromatic herbs and spices to have different tastes and aromas every time. They should be accompanied by slices of toast or croutons drizzled with olive oil, the contrast of textures really stimulates the palate.

Nutrition: bean or meat soups are a source of protein, a source of antioxidants and often vegetables and anti-cancer vegetables; therefore, they are ideal for filling with vitamins A and C, mineral salts and fiber.

Moisturizers: they are based on water-rich broths and vegetables, so they provide a large supply of fluids even during cold periods when we are less dehydrated and drink less water.

Economic: they are popular food and actually they are made with cheap ingredients but rich in taste and nutrition. In fact, it is ideal and anti-waste to use plant waste (dried leaves and overripe vegetables) in vegetable soups that are no longer appetizing and flavorful when raw.

Light: soups are light in every sense; for the line, because they are low in calories; for the intestine, because they are easily digested; and for our bodies, because they satiate us without weighing us down

Imaginary: There are thousands of recipes and as many variations of soups. Even if the ingredients are the same, the taste is unlikely to be the same. They are a dish where we can really give free rein to our imagination, always experimenting with new combinations to achieve the pleasure of our taste buds.

Onion soup

A dish taken from the French tradition and always surprising: to prepare it, you have to chop as many onions as there are diners and boil them in a pot with salt and cloves. In the meantime, cut some Emmental cheese into strips, slice some wholemeal bread and replace the bread, cheese and onion stock previously toasted in the oven in each bowl. Finish with slices of fontina, bake for ten minutes and serve piping hot.

Soup with lentils

Get yourself a casserole to make this soup, the taste will be completely different. Soak the lentils for 12 hours, then drain and add them to the fried onions, garlic, celery and carrots. After a few minutes, add a few spoons of tomato sauce, broth and cook for about an hour. When the lentils are soft and the broth has reduced, turn off the heat, add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of black pepper, grated ginger and serve.

Black cabbage soup

This dish is a must in Tuscan cuisine and has as many variations as the chefs who prepare it. There is a drier version, with more broth, with borlotti beans or cannellini beans. What is certain is that it is a poor food that is cooked with black cabbage until the plant blooms, because then they say it is no longer good. To prepare, soak the cannellini beans overnight and then sauté the onion, garlic and add the beans. Add a little stock to these and cook until done. Blend them in their water with a hand blender. In another bowl, saute the garlic, add the tomato puree, bean cream and the black cabbage leaves without the center part. Cook until the cabbage is soft, add some stale bread and keep in the oven until the bread is soft. Turn off, allow to rest and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of black pepper.

Woodcutter soup

Cold also fights on the table and between seasonal vegetables and legumes, soups are excellent. Food for both lunch and dinner is recommended in winter newspapers.

Ingredients for 4 people: 200 g borlotti beans, 150 g barley, 100 g pepper, 100 g porcini mushrooms (but mixed is also good), 3 potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 onion, vegetable juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt
Preparation – Soak the legumes at least 12 hours in advance. Fry chopped carrots and onions in two tablespoons of oil. Add the mushrooms and the brownies. Add the beans and cook for a few minutes. Cover with vegetable stock and cook the soup for an hour. Add the chopped and diced potatoes and cook for another 30 minutes

La Mesciua, a traditional Ligurian soup

Cannellini beans, peas, salt, oil and pepper: these are the few and simple ingredients of Mesciua, a traditional Ligurian soup. There is a poor food created to make the best use of the produce of the earth (but according to some versions Mesciua dates back to a period of famine when women went to the port and collected everything that fell from the grain sacks). Being a great classic of Ligurian cuisine.

Preparation – After soaking beans and peas in water, cook them. Cook the farro as well. Since these three ingredients have different cooking times, it’s best to use different pans. Finally, drain the chickpeas and spices and place them in the bean pot. Add salt and rosemary and cook for another half hour

Apulian style lentil and potato soup

Lentil and potato soup is a warm and pleasant dish and above all it is perfect for winter, it is refreshing and nutritious.
Ingredients for four people
Lentils 250 grams or pre-soaked or canned (preferably glass). 600 grams of potatoes, half an onion, a stick of celery, two carrots, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, a sprig of rosemary or other flavor of your choice, sage, chili
Procedure – Cut the potatoes into slices, according to your taste. Peel the carrot and cut it into slices, also peel the stalk of celery and onion and cut them into thin slices. Put everything in a nice pan, preferably ceramic. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and fry the potatoes and all the other vegetables. Then add the lentils, first rinse in fresh water, then add to a pot with plenty of boiling water, add some rosemary, cover with a lid and leave on medium/low heat for 40/45 minutes. Turn occasionally and check if they are too dry, possibly adding a cup of water. Garnish with a little olive oil and a little rosemary, season with salt and pepper and serve the soup in casserole dishes.


beans (326 kcal per 100 grams) – They have a high nutritional value, in fact they are used instead of both starchy and protein foods. It is rich in iron, calcium and phosphorus. Useful in diabetes, fatigue, growth and intellectual work.

CECI (343 kcal per 100 grams) – Among the most digestible legumes, peas are rich in saponins, which can bind to LDL cholesterol and be excreted in the feces, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases in hypercholesterolemia.

MAJCI (319 kcal per 100 grams) – They are the richest legumes in terms of starch (46.5 grams) and proteins, iron, calcium and phosphorus. It is also rich in B vitamins. It is suitable for breastfeeding women.

pea (64 kcal per 100 grams) – Their sweet taste is due to the composition rich in simple sugars; they lose these sugars as they ripen and dry.

SOY (446 kcal per 100 grams) – It is one of the protein-rich legumes, rich in mineral salts and vitamins and unsaturated fats, which have a preventive role for our body. It lowers cholesterol, is good for the nervous system and intestines.

Fava beans (331 kcal per 100 grams) – Fresh shelled beans are the only legumes that are completely fat-free. Dry ones, after soy, are only the most energetic legumes (337 kcal), rich in simple sugars, vitamins B2 and B3.

CIRCLES (315 kcal per 100 grams) – They are very energetic and rich in proteins (24.5 g), calcium (113 mg) and phosphorus (176 mg). Before cooking, they should be kept in salted water for at least 24/48 hours, which should be changed several times: then they are cooked in new water.

LUPINS (119 kcal) – Soaked and marinated lupins have a good amount of protein, iron, phosphorus, B vitamins and lots of energy.

They are a simple, unassuming dish, and perhaps for that reason lend themselves so little to expressing their great potential. Fortunately, today a light has been turned on these magnificent plants, and their beneficial properties for humans and the environment are now indisputable. Legumes not only have a high nutritional value due to their large supply of proteins and other essential nutrients, but are also essential for ensuring soil fertility due to their ability to fix nitrogen.

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