SAANICH FOODIE: A winter soup that can kick a cold’s butt

‘Add ginger, garlic, chili and a little peanut butter and you have a warm hug in a bowl’

Waking up to the darker, colder days of winter can be an adjustment, but the good news is we have shifted into Crockpot season and warm comfort foods.

If your household is as busy as ours, it is such a bonus to come home to dinner that is hot, nutritious and ready to go. Whether your house is vegetarian, vegan or omnivore there are so many simple recipes you can Google to pull together a fabulous meal. Crockpot cooking is also pretty easy on the pocketbook as you are using whole ingredients. So bring on the chili, veggie curry, pulled pork and pot roast.

It’s also soup season.

With such an abundance of local vegetables available you can’t go wrong. Local vegetables available to us all through the winter include beet, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrot, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, endive, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leek, onion, pea, radish, spinach, snow peas, Swiss chard and turnip. There are so many choices.

If you were organized and planted these winter veggies in late summer you will be happily eating your way through your winter garden (check out for 12 vegetables to grow in winter).

If not, don’t despair. Many local markets are open year-round while local, winter produce is showing up at local grocers. One of my favourite easy recipes for root vegetables like onions, carrots, beets and winter squash is to roast them in the oven and then blend them into soups.

Any combination works. Just add ginger, garlic, some chile and a little peanut butter and you have a warm hug in a bowl. I swear by a heavy hand on the ginger and garlic with this soup to kick a cold’s butt.

Another lovely warmer upper is a good cup of tea. Something to plan for next year is to make your own tea blends by drying mint, lemon balm, raspberry leaf, stinging nettle and chamomile.

Interested in learning more? Come and meet your local farmers and a whole community of folks who are working towards Good Food in the region at the Good Food Summit, being held at the Songhees Wellness Center on Nov. 16 and 17. There will be speakers, workshops, demos and of course delicious food.

For more info visit

Linda Geggie is the executive director with the Capital Region Food and Agriculture Initiatives Roundtable.

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