Soup is a perfect pick for cold, rainy days. It’s warm to the tummy, deeply flavourful, hearty, healthy and delicious. These three creative recipes more than deliver.
"Creamy celery root & leek soup with pumpkin seed-raisin relish."
CREAMY CELERY ROOT & LEEK WITH PUMPKIN SEED–RAISIN RELISH
START TO FINISH: 35 MINUTES
> ½ cup golden raisins
> 2 tbsp cider vinegar
> 4 tbsp olive oil
> 1 large leek (230g), white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
> 1 celery root (450g), peeled and cut into 1cm dice
> Kosher salt
> 2 tsp ground coriander
> 3 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable stock
> ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted
> ¼ cup packed cilantro, ﬁnely chopped
1. Put the raisins in a small bowl and pour the vinegar over them. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the leek and celery root and season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until the leek is tender, about 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the coriander to evenly coat the vegetables, then add the stock and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the celery root is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Using a blender, puree the soup until very smooth. Season to taste with salt.
5. Fold the pepitas, cilantro, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil into the soaked raisins. Season lightly with salt.
6. Divide the soup among bowls and top with the relish.
The sweet-and sour crunchy relish adds complexity and texture to this creamy soup.
If you can’t ﬁnd kabocha, just substitute 7 cups peeled butternut squash.
CURRIED WINTER SQUASH & RED LENTIL
START TO FINISH: 35 MINUTES
> 2 tbsp olive oil
> 1 medium onion, minced
> 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
> 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger > Kosher salt
> 2 tbsp yellow or red curry powder (mild or hot), plus extra for garnish
> 1 cup (230g) red lentils, picked over for stones, rinsed, and drained
> 1 small kabocha squash, seeded and cut into 3cm chunks (7 cups)
> Juice of 1 lemon
1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, season with salt, and cook, stirring often, until the onion just becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and lentils and stir until evenly coated.
2. Add enough water to cover the solids by 3cm, about 5 cups. Generously salt the water, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Add the squash and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to simmer until the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. The lentils will have broken up completely to create a thick soup base.
4. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt. Divide soup among 4 bowls and sprinkle with red curry powder.
This also works well with 230g of dried soba noodles instead of ramen.
JAPANESE MUSHROOM & SHRIMP RAMEN
START TO FINISH: 25 MINUTES
> 450g peeled and deveined shrimp
> Kosher salt
> 2 tbsp sesame oil, plus more for serving
> 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, some greens reserved for garnish
> 4 garlic cloves, minced
> 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
> ¼ cup soya sauce
> 1 tbsp raw sugar
> 340g plain fresh ramen noodles
> 280g Japanese mushrooms, such as enoki, beech and oyster
> 1 small bunch watercress, chopped
1. Put the shrimp in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Let stand until ready to cook.
2. Put the oil, scallions, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt in a stockpot and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the soya sauce, sugar, and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring a stockpot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Divide among 4 soup bowls.
5. Rinse the shrimp with cold water and add to the soup, along with the mushrooms. Cook just until the shrimp turn opaque and the mushrooms soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Divide the shrimp, mushrooms, and soup among the bowls, along with the watercress. Drizzle with oil and serve.
TEXT GENEVIEVE KO PHOTOS GREG DUPREE FOOD STYLING CHELSEA ZIMMER PROP STYLING CHRISTINE KEELY