I hate the cold. Hate is a strong word, and I’m using it very purposefully here. I wish winter didn’t happen, and that fall (which I generally love) was sunny and a bit chillier, and then lead back to spring. I’ve noticed that people who have some attachment to winter tend to like it: people who enjoy hitting the slopes, or those who wait all year round for Christmas. They might not love winter, but it sure makes things easier. I personally stay away from winter sports; I can’t imagine intentionally spending time in the cold for fun. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m also not the most festive person, so although the holidays bring the family together and such, Christmas or New Year’s don’t compensate for months of shivers. Considering how long the winter season is, I need something though! I’ve decided it’s going to be warmth. Yes, I’m going to survive the winter by loving all that is warm and toasty in contrast, those things that just don’t have the same effect in the hot weathered months: comfy blankets, hot chocolate, steamy showers, long johns, and… soups!
In terms of soup, my favourites are creamy, hearty soups. I often buy cans of soup for convenience. One of my go-to soups is the Habitant vegetable soup that I heat up and serve in a bowl in which I’ve cut up little pieces of cheese and sprinkled a generous amount of cayenne pepper. Making soup though, is actually quite cheaper, and it fills the home with a yummy aroma, not to mention that it’s also much more delicious. I usually stay updated on the specials going on at the grocery stores close to me so that 1) I can eat more of what’s in season (it tastes better and can often be local); 2) I can diversify what I eat and try cooking with produce I don’t generally cook with. A couple of weeks ago, I got a nice bunch of leeks and decided on making a leek soup for the first time.
Leeks are quite easy to cook. They need to be washed thoroughly as dirt tends to accumulate on the inside of them. Once rinsed, you lay them on a big cutting board and cut off the long green part completely, and then slice the white part in half and chop it into thin slices. Once that’s done, you fry the slices in a big pot, and you can add onions, or green onions, or garlic in there too. When they started to brown slightly, I added in sliced cremini mushrooms because if mushrooms go with anything, I usually include them!
When the veggies are ready, it’s time to mix in the flour (a 1/4 cup should do) and the spices (I put in salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and dill). Immediately after, add in a can of coconut milk, and some water or soup stock (the stock makes it tastier but if you don’t have any, use water like I did). You can do this slowly, pouring in and stirring both, until you’ve got the consistency you prefer. You can also add in cream if you want the soup to be creamier.
The soup turned out to be delicious, although I found it to be even better the next couple of days as it gained more consistency. Also note that if you’re making it spicy, it gets MUCH spicier after being in the fridge for a while. Finally, it’s exponentially more delicious either shared, or eaten alone in comfy PJs or your favourite pair of long johns (warmth X 2)!
Location: Your kitchen, or mine
Damage: 5-10$ for 6-8 servings
Soundtrack: TIMOKE PRESENTS The History House Party Mix Series – The 60’s