Top vegetarian recipes that will keep you warm in winter

Top vegetarian recipes that will keep you warm in winter

Top vegetarian recipes that will keep you warm in winter

With the dark evenings, and the change in weather, what do we all need? A warm fire – possibly a good book or television programme? One thing that will definitely keep you warm is a nice hot meal full of good nutrients. Being a vegetarian I have to think around the traditional English winter meals and come up with something for me and the family that is not only warming in the winter, but also nutritionally sound.

Spicy lentil soup (serves 4)

Preparation time 5-10 minutes. Cooking time 40 minutes.



– Olive or coconut oil for cooking
– tsp ground cumin
– tsp ground coriander or a bunch of fresh, chopped
– tsp thyme
– 1 clove of garlic, crushed then chopped
– 1 large onion, chopped
– 2 large carrots, chopped
– 1 stick of celery, chopped
– curry powder to taste
– 2 large tomatoes, chopped (or 50mls of passata)
– 1 litre of vegetable stock
– tomato puree to taste
– 100g red lentils, washed
– 3 large potatoes, grated
– black pepper


1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the cumin, coriander and thyme and mix.

2. Add the onion, carrots and celery and fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.

3. Add the garlic and curry powder. Mix in and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Pour in the stock, lentils, grated potatoes and tomato puree.

5. Bring the soup to the boil and then simmer for 30-40 minutes.

6. Add some black pepper, to taste, towards the end of the cooking.

The good thing about this recipe is that you can alter it to suit what you have in the fridge. Adding some seasonal kale or other leafy green will increase the calcium and iron content of the meal (two nutrients that may be low in a vegetarian diet). It will also boost the vitamin C and help towards the body’s immune-boosting abilities.

Top vegetarian recipes that will keep you warm in winter

The recipe can be made as a soup, or with chunkier vegetables and served with a chapatti, quinoa or rice to boost the protein content. A swirl of yoghurt (either natural or soya) can also be added to the top for presentation and to increase protein and fat – both which help to slow down the release of energy from food.

This meal keeps well, and in fact is better if eaten the day after it has been made as the spices mellow and bring on a sweeter flavour.

Vegetable mexican chilli in tortillas (serves 4)

Preparation 15 minutes. Cooking time 40 minutes.


– Olive or coconut oil for cooking
– 1 tsp ground cumin
– dash of cayenne pepper or some chopped chillies
– Bunch of fresh coriander, chopped (keep some aside for end)
– 2 onions, chopped
– 2 cloves of garlic, squash then chopped
– 1 aubergine, cubed
– 2 peppers, chopped
– 400g tomatoes, chopped
– 450g butternut squash, cubed
– can of kidney beans
– 10g yeast extract
– Tortilla shells or baskets
– Guacamole, salsa and tzatziki for side dishes.


1. Heat some oil in a pan and sauté the aubergine for 5 minutes, turning regularly. Set aside.

2. In the oil, add the cumin, coriander and onion – cook for 2 minutes and keep stirring.

3. Add the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes.

4. Mix in the peppers, cayenne or chillies, tomatoes, squash, kidney beans and mix together. Cook for 20 minutes on a low heat with the lid on.

5. Add the aubergine and yeast extract and cook for a further 10 minutes, making sure that all the ingredients are mixed and reducing the fluid.

6. Serve in tortilla shells or baskets with guacamole, salsa and tzatziki. Don’t forget to add the extra coriander on the top for decoration.

This dish can be served with rice if you don’t want it in the tortilla shells instead. Again, you can alter this recipe to your liking. Soya mince or lentils can be added to increase protein and zinc content.

While a sprinkling of walnuts or flax seed on top will increase alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), which can help balance blood sugars and is an antioxidant. Chopped mushrooms will add vitamins B2 and B12, which are often low in vegetarian diets.

Possibly the top vegetarian recipe for keeping warm in winter would be a vegetarian shepherd’s pie.

Vegetarian shepherd’s pie (serves 4)

Preparation 15 minutes. Cooking time 45 minutes.


– Olive or coconut oil for cooking
– 1 clove of garlic – crushed then chopped
– tsp thyme
– 1 small chilli
– pinch of fresh basil
– smoked paprika to taste
– black pepper to taste
– tbsp of yeast extract
– 1 large onion
– 8-10 mushrooms
– 2 large carrots
– 2 large tomatoes – chopped
– can of kidney (or other) beans
– 3 large potatoes – cut into slices.


1. Use a pan that can be transferred into the oven and fry the onion with the thyme, chilli and basil. Cook for 2 minutes then add the garlic and mix in.

2. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes.

3. Add the carrots and cook further for 5 minutes.

4. Add the chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and yeast extract.

5. Mix all ingredients together and then place the sliced potatoes on top, overlapping slightly. Dust with smoked paprika and black pepper.

6. Put a lid on the pan and move it to the oven for 30 minutes.

The lid can be removed for the last ten minutes to brown off the potatoes.