I think we can safely say that Winter has hit hard in SA. Even the Durbanites are complaining about the cold! You know what that means…it’s COMFORT FOOD SEASON!!!
“Summer bodies are made in Winter”…not in my house!
The people who say ‘Summer bodies are made in Winter’ are an enigma to me. For me, Winter is all about soups, stews and hearty family meals. The feeling of coming in from the cold and having that tantalising smell of a slow cooked beef stew hovering in the air is priceless. Soups and stews are a great way to create warming, healthy meals with very few ingredients. Food Lovers Market has the most amazing weekly specials on their veg that you could easily feed a family of 4 with leftovers for under R100, This can also be a healthy alternative to carb heavy meals. I’m going to share two Winter Warmers for you to try out that include citrus which is both abundant at the moment and also immune boosting.
Butternut, Orange and Ginger Soup
I looked online for some veg soup inspiration and I stumbled across a Butternut, Cumin and Orange soup by Bit’s of Carey which inspired the soup below.
*Leave out the bacon and honey and use vegetable stock to make this a vegan/vegetarian friendly soup.
- 1 onion, peeled
- 3cm chunk of ginger, peeled
- A handful of coriander
- 1 kg of butternut, chopped
- 1 medium potato or 4 baby potatoes, cubed
- 1 pack of back bacon, cut into small squares
- 1L of chicken stock
- 1 orange
- Pumpkin seeds
- Add the onion, ginger and coriander to a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth paste.
- Lightly saute the paste in olive oil then add in the butternut and potato cubes and allow them to brown a little in the pot.
- Once there’s a nice colour on the cubes, add in the stock and make sure that all the vegetables are covered. Less stock = a thicker soup as pictured above. I recommend more stock.
- Leave to simmer on medium heat with the lid closed for 30-45 minutes or until the butternut and potato is soft. Top up with stock if needed.
- While the veg is busy cooking, fry the bacon in olive oil with a dash of honey to help crisp it up then set aside on a paper towel to drain.
- Once the veg is soft, remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender. If you prefer a chunkier soup then remove a portion of the soup, blitz and then add it back into the pot when you’re done.
- Zest the orange and keep the zest aside then squeeze in the juice of the orange and give the soup a good mix.
- Serve into a bowl and top with the fried bacon, pumpkin seeds and orange zest.
This meal goes well with garlic bread (haha! Everything goes well with garlic bread!!), or tacos for a fun, crunchy element.
And now for a hearty, meaty dish that will have you wondering how meat can possibly be that tender.
Sweet and Sticky Oxtail Casserole
*If you own a pressure cooker, now is the time to dust it off because this meal will take you all of 45 minutes compared to 5 hours in the oven.
- 1 pack of Oxtail, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 2 stalks of Celery, chopped
- 5 spring onions, chopped – seperate the white and green
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
- A small knob of ginger, chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 2 red chillies
- ½ cup of sherry
- ½ cup of brown sugar
- ½ cup of dark soy
- ½ cup of beef stock
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 6 sweetcorn mini cobs
- 2 limes, juiced
- Set the oven to 160 degrees
- Heat up a dry, oven safe pot and brown both sides of the meat. It is easiest to do this in two batches so that the meat doesn’t broil in its own juices. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Add the celery, garlic, white spring onion, ginger, chillies, cinnamon stick and star anise to the pot with a splash of olive oil. Allow the aromas to be released before putting the meat back in.
- Next pour in the sherry, soy, stock, lime juice and sugar then mix through.
- Lastly add the carrots and corn, making sure that you push them in tight between the oxtail pieces before covering the pot and placing it in the oven for 3 hours.
- After three hours, remove the pot and stir through then put it back into the oven for another 45 minutes to an hour uncovered.
- The meat should be tender and falling off the bone.
- Top with the chopped green onion and sliced red chilli and serve with rice or naan to soak up the sauce.
Don’t miss out!
Food Lovers Market have been having THE BEST sales recently. First it was the R50 special which was only exceeded by the R10 Tuesday sale. Yes, R10! Click here to sign up to the newsletter so that you don’t hear about these specials AFTER it’s over.
Keep warm this winter and use this time to experiment with ingredients, flavours and recipes. Don’t forget to stock up on citrus while you’re out shopping so that you can boost your Vitamin C intake as well.
This post is sponsored by Food Lovers Market. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. #FoodLoversCo