There's nothing quite like a hot bowl of chunky vegetable soup to really warm the belly after those nippy winter rides. Packed full of all the good stuff, soup has to be one of the easiest meals to cook, store and to reheat.
Getting through those winter training sessions can be tough. With the nippy weather biting at your fingers, sometimes you need that little boost of motivation to get you through the ride. For some of us it's the hot shower or soak in the bath, and for others it's the warming cuppa tea and hot meal.
Soup is brilliantly versatile because you can add whatever ingredients you fancy, or whichever are in season. Hearty winter vegetable soup contains seasonal favourites, which are the earthy root varieties: carrots, parsnips, potatoes and turnips. Although, you can also add onions, cauliflower, leeks and whatever else you want to experiment with.
Healthy and nutritious, soup is ideal for the post-ride winter workouts. Whip up a bowl of the belly warming good stuff, and don't forget the crusty bread roll either. Here's a classic winter vegetable soup recipe to get you started.
Total Time: 50 mins - 60 mins
- 2 turnips
- 1 parsnip
- 1 potato
- 1 carrot
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5ml spoon vegetable oil
- a pinch of fresh oregano, rosemary or thyme leaves
- 1 litre of boiling water
- 1 reduced-salt vegetable stock cube
- 400g mixed beans (a can is fine)
Preparing and cooking the ingredients for soup is super easy. A majority of the required time is spent leaving it to simmer away in the pot. Before we get ahead of ourselves, here's how to you make a bowl full of yum.
- Wash all the vegetables, then peel and chop the parsnip, potato and carrot into small cubes. Approximately 2-3cm, but you can make it as chunky as you like.
- Peel and chop the onion into small pieces. Then peel and crush the garlic cloves.
- Finely chop the leaves of the fresh herbs
- Heat the vegetable oil in the saucepan over a high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the crushed garlic and onions until slightly cooked through, and they give off that yummy aroma.
- Add all the chopped vegetables to the hot pan, and cook for 5 minutes while stirring regularly.
- Measure out 1 litre of boiling water. Stir in the stock cube until it's totally dissolved. Then pour the stock into the saucepan.
- Once you've drained off the mixed beans, throw them into the saucepan as well.
- Stir in the herbs, and add salt/ black pepper to taste.
- Turn the hob down to a low heat and cover with a lid so the ingredients can simmer for 30–40 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
Serve up with a bread roll, et voila!
If you're not keen on chunky soup, you can always blend the ingredients and find the right consistency for you. Feeling a little adventurous? Add some chicken into the mix for a little protein boost, or even some peppers and chilli for a little kick.
Experiment in the kitchen this winter, and create your own belly warming soup recipes to keep you fuelled up and pedalling.
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