7 Hearty Recipes for Cold Weather

Chow on 10.12.12
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Photo: Chaloner Woods/Getty Images

I don't know about your neck of the woods, but it's getting pretty cold here in Toronto. I love brisk autumn weather which gets me back into the kitchen to make warming soups and stews. It is especially welcome after the extremely hot summer we had, when I could barely move myself to make meals.

The wonderful thing about this kind of cooking is that you can make a big batch of something on the weekend when you are around the house and then eat it during the week. Stews, braises and chili all get better after sitting for a day or two allowing the flavours to blend.

1. Lentil Soup with Tomatoes

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

I have hundreds of hearty soup recipes to choose from (baked potato soup being a favourite), but this is the lentil soup with tomatoes is what I made this week. I made it entirely from ingredients in my pantry and it was pretty tasty.

2. Mushroom Bourguignon

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

I think this mushroom bourguignon is easily as delicious as it's famous beef cousin. You really don't miss the meat and it's a fantastic dish to serve to vegetarian guests. I also have a nice version with lentils as well, and another one with chestnuts, which is what this photo is of.

3. Kale and Ricotta Pasta Bake

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

You can always use a hearty pasta sauce, but there is something so very homey about a baked pasta. This kale and ricotta baked pasta is easy to make. Layer cooked pasta, tomato sauce, kale and ricotta cheese and top with some grated mozzarella. Bake at 375 for half an hour or so, or until the cheese has melted and is bubbly.

4. Irish Stew

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

If your family enjoys lamb, then this Irish stew is a nice change from beef stew. I made this using my crock pot, which is great, because you can get it started and then walk away and do something else.

5. Fish Stew

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

My husband absolutely adored this fish stew. I don't eat much fish, but even I enjoyed this. You can serve it over rice, or with little baby potatoes.

6. Soy Glazed Chicken Hot Pot

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

I am well aware that this soy glazed chicken hot pot is not going to win any awards for beauty and presentation, but your kids will love it. It's another crock pot recipe, so take the kids apple picking while it cooks.

7. Pumpkin Risotto

I love pumpkin, and you can do so many things beyond pie. This pumpkin risotto was a real treat and a nice change from classic risotto. I added the mushrooms as garnish, but you could also serve it with some spinach or swiss chard.

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