How to Bring Warmth to the Cold Winter Months

 

Winter. When I think of winter, sensations of sharp air and visions of bare trees and wrinkled fruits come to mind… withered with their sweetness preserved in the wrinkles of seasons passed. The first snow storms of the season have come and gone. As the melt off continues to stream through the gutters of the streets in our neighborhood, our steam radiator kicks on and heat emanates out and fills our tiny home. Winter allows us time to hibernate and nourish. We draw inward and breathe new life into the quieter parts of ourselves.

Nourishment from the meals we prepare with and for our families helps guide us through the rhythms of the day. My daughter and I like to create simple soups and teas that calm us and help us feel nourished and whole during the coldest months of the year.

While stirring the pot, my daughter recites:

We thank the rain, the sun, the earth 
and fields where scarlet poppies run
We thank the farmer at his hand 
who grows the wheat 
thats in the bread 
that I do eat
So when I sit for every meal
and say a grace I always feel 
that I am eating rain, sun, 
and fields where scarlet poppies run

We make simple teas and infusions with only one or two loose-leaf herbs. I enjoy sage and red raspberry leaf, while her favorites are chamomile, ginger root and red clover blossom. After finishing her tea, she likes to eat the clover blossoms right out from the bottom of the mug. She’s done this since she was a tiny toddler.

On nights when our bellies are full of soup and tea, our smiles are wider, our hearts are calmer, our minds are at ease. Stirring a bubbling pot of soup is one of the more satisfying things we can incorporate into our winter routines. It is a rhythm and ritual that brings gentleness into our homes and softens us for the transition from busy days into restful nights. It is a form of self-love that brings a long day full circle – so bring out the kettles, the chopping boards and soup pots…

Favorite Soup Recipes

A few of our favorite soup recipes can be found in The Waldorf School Book of Soups, collected by Marsha Post, arranged and introduced by Andrea Huff.

For vegans, the first recipe is vegan-friendly, the second and third will need a few alternatives in place of animal products.

Rosemary Red Soup

  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 beets
  • 1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 T. fresh rosemary (or 2 tsp. dried)
  • 1 T. fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water or stock
  • 2-3 T. light miso

Scrub and chop carrots and beets. Heat oil in a soup pot. Add onion and saute until soft. Add carrots and beets. Saute a few minutes more. Finely chop rosemary and oregano leaves, if using fresh herbs. Wash and drain lentils. Add herbs, lentils, bay leaves, and water or stock to onion mix. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 40 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Puree soup in blender or processor. Dissolve miso in 1/2 cup water and add to soup. Gently reheat before serving.

Serves 6-8

Thanks to Susan Townsley, ParentPleasant Ridge Waldorf SchoolViroqua, WI

 

Celery Root and Wild Rice Soup

  • 2 celery roots, about 2 lbs.
  • 4 large leeks
  • 4 T. unsalted butter
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 2 cups red potato, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. thyme
  • Celtic sea salt
  • 2 tsp. pepper
  • 4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken) or water
  • 4 cups half & half or milk/heavy cream
  • 1 cup wild rice

Cook the wild rice. Cut away the celery root skins, then quarter and chop the root into bite-size pieces. Wash and chop the leeks. Melt the butter in the soup pot. Add the vegetables, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, and 3 tsp. salt. Cook over medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the half & half and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Puree the soup well. If it is too thick, it can be thinned with the rice water later.

Cooking the rice:

  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 5 cups water
  • pinch sea salt

Bring water to boil. Add salt. Add rice and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender.

When ready to serve, heat soup gently until hot (do not boil). Ladle soup into bowls, place wild rice in each bowl. Sprinkle with parsley.

Thanks to Jane Siemon, Alumni Parent, Pleasant Ridge Waldorf School, Viroqua, WI  

Fire Roasted Tomato Soup

  • 2 28-ounce cans of fire roasted tomatoes (original recipe called for Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted)
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 large red bell pepper, membrane removed, finely chopped
  • 1 T. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 1 T. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2-4 oz. aged manchego cheese, very thinly sliced

In a blender, add the tomatoes and 1/4 cup cucumber and puree until smooth. Set aside. In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the garlic, and cook for 2 minutes.

Slowly add pureed tomato mixture, orange juice, bell pepper, salt, pepper and stir to combine. Continue to cook for 35 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the hot sauce, parsley, and cream. Serve hot, garnished with cheese and remaining diced cucumber.

Serves 8

Thanks to Penny Guy, Parent, Shepherd Valley Waldorf School, Niwot, Colorado

 


Written by Jasmine Krapf. Jasmine is the mother of Aiyana Autumn, born on the harvest moon 2007. Jasmine is a massage therapist, writer, activist, student anthropologist, and student midwife.

 

Posted in: Blog