Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.

From 2015 onward, new posts will appear only here: http://www.sierraclub.org/greenlife


The Green Life: 3 Hot Recipes for National Soup Month

« 6 Ways to Stay Warm and Save Money | Main | 7 Gluten-Free Bread Bowl Alternatives »

January 06, 2014

3 Hot Recipes for National Soup Month

Recipes for January's National Soup MonthThis month, soup lovers will rejoice in the one time of year when their passion is finally regarded nationwide. January is National Soup Month, and we plan to celebrate to the fullest. Not only is soup relatively easy to make, it is also extremely versatile, making it a great way to break out of a winter food rut. We’ve searched the web to find three tantalizing soup recipes that will bring your taste buds out of hibernation.



Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

Recipe courtesy of Kiwi and Peach; reprinted with permission.

Sweet potato quinoa chili
Image by Lauren Beltz


olive oil
1/2 onion
2 cloves of garlic
3 oz can of tomato paste
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
pinch of salt and pepper
2 cups of broth (veggie, chicken, whatever you have)
1 1/2 cups black beans (canned or soaked and cooked)
1/2 of a sweet potato
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed



Start heating a large pot on medium heat.

Adding your ingredients to the pot goes pretty quickly, so I find its best to have everything prepped beforehand. Dice the onions, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 inch-ish cubes, and go ahead and rinse the quinoa.

Once the pot is hot add just enough olive oil to cook the onions and toss in the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes or until they are soft and translucent then add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add the tomato paste, herbs, and spices and mix well. Let it cook for a couple of minutes and then add the broth. Give it all a stir and deglaze the bottom of the pan, then add the beans and sweet potatoes. Cook all of this for about 5 minutes.

Stir in the quinoa and let the whole thing stew away for 20 minutes.


Butternut squash soup
Image by Jonathan Stiers

Butternut Squash Soup 

Recipe courtesy of The Stiers Aesthetic; reprinted with permission.


3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
1 teaspoon of fresh chopped sage (about 3 leaves)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 2-1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
1/4 cup cooking sherry
4 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
dash of cayenne pepper
4 slices of bacon, chopped and cooked till crisp
1/3 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper


Heat a large non-stick soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil and heat until butter is melted. Add the chopped onions, cooking until soft–about 5 minutes or until transparent. Add the garlic and saute for one minute, followed by the chopped squash cubes. Saute for 5 minutes, then pour in the chicken broth and sherry. Add a couple of shakes of cayenne pepper. Bring pot to a boil then cover and simmer on low for 25 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, chop the bacon in to small pieces, cook and drain to remove excess grease.

Puree the soup by transferring it into a food processor or an immersion blender, directly in the pot.  Pour and stir in the cream after pureeing, and season with a dash of sea salt and black pepper.

Serve with toasted crostini.


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut a French Baguette in to slices and brush with olive oil. Lightly salt each piece and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and rub each piece with fresh garlic and serve.


Detox green soup with broccoli, spinach and ginger
Image by Gluten-Free Goddess

Detox Green Soup with Broccoli, Spinach, and Ginger

Recipe courtesy of Gluten-Free Goddess; reprinted with permission.


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons diced onion
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cups fresh broccoli, cut up
1/2 pound of fresh spinach leaves
3 parsnips, peeled, cored, chopped
2 ribs of celery, trimmed, chopped
A handful of fresh parsley, roughly chopped 
Fresh water, as needed
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
Lemon or lime juice


Using a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and stir in the garlic, onion, and ginger to season the oil. Add the broccoli, spinach, parsnips, celery and parsley, and stir a bit until the spinach wilts and collapses. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables. Remember the spinach will cook down quite a bit, so don't add too much water at first. You can always thin the soup later, if you need to.

Bring to a high simmer, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a medium simmer. Cook for fifteen minutes or so until the veggies are softened.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup.

Taste test. Does it need brightening? Add a squeeze of citrus.


To make this a creamy (and still non-dairy) soup add a good dash of light coconut milk.

And if you're not averse to grains, serve with a spoonful of hot cooked rice in the center of the bowl-- so fabulous.

Serves 4.


--top image by iStockphoto/Panaroid

Jessica Zischke is an editorial intern at Sierra. She is currently studying environmental studies at Dartmouth College, where she also works as a staff writer for The Dartmouth newspaper.


5 Healthy Takes on Classic Comfort Foods

Fall Delicacies for the Locavore

Recipe: Vegan Matzah Ball Soup

User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top