Simple home-cooked winter soups are great for chasing away a chill, but being able to create these hearty soups from the vegetables you harvest in your own garden makes them even more wholesome. If you plant just 5 different types of vegetables in your garden now, there are several winter soup recipes you can create months from now.
Each of these vegetables is easy to grow, can be tended in a traditional bed, raised garden bed or in containers on your patio or balcony.
Tomatoes are at the heart of many winter soups, and summer ones too, so being able to grow your own tomato plants now for use later is a big advantage. Roma, or plum tomatoes, are the most popular soup variety because of the amount of flesh and thin skin the fruit has. Larger varieties make a great addition to soups because of their flavor and are easy to can or freeze for use later in the winter.
Hearty beef stew and chicken noodle soup both benefit from the addition of home grown vegetables, and are the best soups when cold and flu season hit. For use in the kitchen, you really want carrot varieties that are guaranteed to grow and have a strong flavor. Choose a shallow growing variety if you are using a raised bed or containers. These types of carrots do not require as long a growing season as other plants and need less space to grow. Always make sure that your soil is well worked where you are planting carrots because otherwise the plant will stop growing and you will be left with lots of green tops and short carrot nubs.
A zucchini plant is one of the easiest vegetables to grow because the only care it really needs is sun, space and water. There are no tricks or super skills needed to grow a zucchini plant that can give you several pounds worth of vegetables. When your zucchini is ready to harvest, set some aside for your winter soups to be diced and frozen for easy storage and measuring.
Garden beans make tasty soups that are packed with fiber and can be used to create hundreds of recipes with just a few different beans. Whichever beans you decide to grow, make sure you leave plenty of room in the garden and plant in rounds, so that there is always something growing and vegetables ready to pick. A great way to add fun and interest to your vegetable garden is to choose pole beans that you plant around a garden tepee. As your harvest comes in, shell the beans and freeze them to add to pot after pot of winter soup.
Cabbage is used in many popular winter soups, chopped, sauteed, stewed, boiled and even pureed. Grown in the spring or fall, cabbage is one of the few vegetables that you can add to your dishes straight out of the garden. If you live in a colder climate, plant cabbage in a container that you can leave out during the day and bring in overnight until it is ready to be used.
These are just 5 of the easiest and most common vegetables that you can grow now for use in your winter soups. If there is a specific soup that you just love with a vegetable that is not mentioned here, get growing and discover how much better your soups taste when you grow them for yourself.