Here Comes the Chill

I kid you not, only a few weeks ago we were crying for the summer sun, languishing in the depths of winter, and boom, we have completed a full rotation to right where we were.

I mean, I don’t care much for peak summer, nor peak winter.

We’ve had extreme heat, torrential downpours, and so on, and as the weather is changing, it should be interesting to see how I approach this one.

Perhaps I should journey to warmer climates in East Africa (after the flooding of course)?

But, as the days grow shorter and the air crispier, we prepare to welcome the embrace of winter.

While our country’s winter may not be as harsh as in other parts of the world, there’s still something undeniably cold about it.

There is still that ‘ka thing’ that makes you grab the sweater, throw and fireplace.

I mean, technically, we don’t have an ‘autumn’ – or we have autumn in reverse, after winter, I guess. Seasons in our part of the world are usually split into three: hot and dry, wet, and cold and dry.

So, what to stock up for winter? Let’s explore how to get your pantry winter-ready and share a soup recipe perfect for the switch between seasons.

StockInG Your Winter Pantry

  1. Root vegetables: Root vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes and turnips, are winter pantry essentials. Not only do they have a long shelf life but they also add depth and sweetness to soups and stews.
  2. Grains and legumes: Stock up on hearty grains like rice, barley and quinoa, as well as an assortment of beans and lentils. These pantry staples serve as a base for nutritious and filling soups that will keep you warm on chilly nights.
  3. Canned goods: Keep your pantry stocked with canned tomatoes, coconut milk and beans for quick and convenient meal solutions. They’re perfect for adding richness and flavour to soups without the need for lengthy cooking times. They’re also super affordable.
  4. Herbs and spices: Don’t forget your supply of dried herbs and spices. From warming spices like cinnamon, cayenne and nutmeg, to fragrant herbs like thyme and rosemary, these pantry essentials will elevate your winter dishes with flavour and aroma.
  5. Broth and stock: I suggest homemade, with it being the best. So, stock up on stocks and broths to add more flavour when preparing meat dishes, especially. Vegetable, chicken and beef – this is the stock trinity. Autumn Harvest Soup


n 2 tablespoons oil

n 1 onion, diced

n 2 cloves of garlic, minced

n 2 carrots, diced

n 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

n 1 apple, peeled and diced

n 4 cups vegetable broth

n 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

n 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

n Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add carrots, sweet potatoes and apple to the pot. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  4. Let the soup simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Using an immersion blender or countertop blender, purée the soup until smooth.
  6. Serve hot. Garnished with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.

Spicy Lentil Soup


n 2 tablespoons oil

n 1 onion, diced

n 2 carrots, diced

n 2 cloves of garlic, minced

n 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed and drained

n 4 cups vegetable broth (or 2 stock cubes dissolved in 4 cups of water)

n 1 can of diced tomatoes

n 1 teaspoon ground cumin

n 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

n 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

n Salt and pepper, to taste

n Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are softened.
  2. Add lentils, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to the pot. Stir to combine.
  3. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  4. Serve hot.

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