Cold weather, post-holiday hustle, sweet treats, and added stress—sounds like winter! And with all those things it’s easy to put on a few (or more) pounds. In cold weather, your body uses energy to keep the body warm, which takes energy away from digestion and metabolism. Your metabolism naturally slows down so it’s easier to gain weight during winter.
In Ayurveda, there are cooling foods and warming foods. During winter, also known as Vata season, you want to focus on warming foods to help assist your body in maintaining its internal temperature and keeping your metabolism running smoothly. These three soup recipes contain ingredients known to be warming foods like chilis, ginger, turmeric, garlic, and sweet potatoes. No winter weight gain here!
Not only do these ingredients have a warming effect on the body, but these soups are also rich in fiber, which has been shown to be helpful for avoiding weight gain.
Roasted Red Pepper + Tomato Soup
This soup is a big bowl of warmth. There is nothing like a bowl of warm tomato soup in winter! The chili powder and red pepper flakes give this soup a kick of heat to get your blood flowing and keep your body warm.
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1 yellow onion, quartered
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 2” pieces
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 1 15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons Himalayan pink salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion granules
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, add the cherry tomatoes, onion quarters, red bell peppers, carrots, and garlic. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Mix everything with your hands so all the veggies are coated. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes—until the veggies are lightly browned.
Once the veggies are done, add them to a large pot, and add all the remaining ingredients. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Remove the thyme sprigs from your soup and then puree the soup using either an immersion blender or a standing blender. If you are using a standing blender, carefully ladle the soup into the blender. Do it in batches, if needed.
Once pureed, return the soup to the pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Taste the soup and add more salt or pepper as needed.
Warming Vegetable Soup
A big bowl of this soup will warm you right to your bones. Nourishing, hearty, and flavorful, it’s the perfect winter meal.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 parsnips, chopped into 1" pieces
- 4 carrots, chopped into 1" pieces
- 1 sweet potato, chopped into 1" pieces
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, de-stemmed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, de-stemmed and chopped
- 8 cups chicken bone broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, de-stemmed and chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon (or 2 tablespoons)
Start with coconut oil in a large pot on medium heat.
Add the chopped onions and salt and cook for about 10 minutes—until onions are translucent.
Next add in the garlic, parsnips, carrots, sweet potato, thyme, and rosemary and cook until vegetables begin to brown on the sides.
Add in the broth, apple cider vinegar, bay leaves, and parsley flakes. Bring soup to boil, then reduce heat, and simmer for approximately 25–30 minutes.
At the end of cooking, add in the Swiss chard and lemon juice.
Leave pot on stove with the lid on for about 10 minutes to let the Swiss chard wilt down and the flavors marry.
Roasted Garlic + Cauliflower Soup
This soup is a hug in a bowl. It’s warm, toasty, and smooth. The roasted garlic brings a ton of flavor while also warming up the body.
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bulb garlic
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Hot sauce (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash cauliflower and chop into florets. Lay cauliflower on parchment paper on a baking sheet and drizzle cauliflower with 1 tablesppon olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Cut off top of garlic bulb so cloves are exposed. Drizzle garlic bulb with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Wrap in foil and put on baking sheet with cauliflower. Roast in oven for about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, sauté chopped onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil until caramelized.
Put all ingredients into blender and blend until creamy. Season soup to taste.
Top soup with a dash of hot sauce and fresh ground pepper. Serve hot!
*Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only; does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Chopra Center's Mind-Body Medical Group; and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before
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