Outdoor activities with a healthy dose of curiosity, brought to you by Laure Latham
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During the winter months, kid energy levels can take a big dip, right along with mood. Chances are, they are not getting enough Vitamin A. Kids also might be less active in the cold, winter months, making it extra important to focus on exercising and maintaining an adequate nutrition this time of year. Last but not least, playing outside in winter benefits kids in four crucial ways, which is why I’m including camping and backpacking recipes despite the cold season. Enter winter soup recipes.
The following 30 winter soup recipes are packed with seasonal produce as well as foods rich in iron, vitamin A, antioxydants, protein or calcium, to name a few, to make sure that your kids stay happy and healthy while enjoying the season outside.
These meals can either be cooked at home while you have fun or outdoors under glorious winter skies. I’ve included camping and backpacking sections for those of you who enjoy snow camping or winter adventures with a gourmet twist. Who says you need to be miserable when you’ve pitched the tent and breathed fresh air all day? Lucky for you, some camping chefs have created wonderful soup recipes that can be prepared on the trail. More reason to plan a winter camping trip, maybe?
Let’s start by the beginning, winter soup recipes worthy of snow days.
Inspired by snow days in the mountains or in the plains, these hearty soups could be served at the terrace of mountain restaurants facing snow-topped summits or in the city after an ice skating afternoon.
I discovered the beauty of slow-cookers only two years ago and it’s changed the way we enjoy the outdoors in colder seasons. When you get back from a day outside, the last thing you want to do is start cooking dinner. Isn’t it better when dinner is ready to be served?
Previously, we prepared a stew or a soup the day before, stored it in the fridge and heated it up again once we got home. Now, we only need to mix all the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, turn the machine on and walk away. When we return at the end of a nice day in the hills, dinner is ready to eat and the kitchen smells wonderful. Such a great way to relax on Sundays!
Note. If you don’t have a slow cooker, these recipes can also be cooked on the stovetop using the same proportions. Cooking time will be a lot shorter; the rest stays as is.
If you have access to a cooler and a full-on gas stove at the campsite, the sky’s the limit. Add a Dutch oven and you’re in campfire cuisine paradise. You will become the star of your tribe because as everybody knows, everything tastes better on a campfire. Light a fire. Wait for flames and embers. Cook!
Backpacking soups need to fill a very tall order. They need to be very nutritious (because you’ve been carrying this heavy backpack), quick to prepare (because you’re tired) and light to carry (because you like your spine). In a world where light-packing is the main mantra, it’s a real planning exercise but since gourmet eating in the wild is a rising trend, there are plenty of good resources out there. As you will see, it’s possible to cook a tasty soup under the stars miles from civilization–and forego freeze-dried food packets.
I’ve divided these soup recipes into cooking from scratch and cooking with a dehydrator (we have a round one that we love) or with freeze-dried foods, as some foods are not commonly available dried in supermarkets.