I love winter because I get to make loads of soups. I usually like to mix whatever I find appealing on the day I shop or what is left over in the fridge.
Even onion and carrots can turn into something delicious.
I always start my soup with onion lightly fried in seed oil - I don't know the exact term in English: basically, when the onion start turning transparent and soft, and no further. I also add salt at that point since I was told that this prevent onions from burning (? - heard this in a cooking class in Argentina, never heard about it before nor elsewhere, so take it with a pinch of salt... literally!).
Then I add diced vegetables, cover with cold water, let it cook for a while (until all veggies are soft) and then I either keep it this way or add spices/herbs if the blend is too mild.
There are some standard recipes I love to eat, besides those experiments quite random.
1 - Potage parmentier (leek soup)
A classic French soup with leeks, potatoes, cream, decorated with ciboulette / croutons / thyme (your choice!).
It is d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s and impossible to get wrong. It is also perfect served cold on summer.
2 - Caldo verde (Portuguese cabbage soup)
A classic recipe from the northern Portugal. Kale (or other cabbage), chouriço salami, potatoes, onions and generous garlic.
3 - Colcannon (Irish cabbage soup)
By now it is clear that there is no soup without potato in my home, and that I love cabbages (all varieties!). I must have been Irish in my past life...
The basic ingredients are always potatoes and cabbage, plus bacon. Actually, colcannon is not a soup but rather mashed potatoes with cabbage, however it usually turns out rather runny so I'll file it under 'soups' anyway.
4 - Cassöela (Italian cabbage & meat)
This is a second course, but can be done quite runny and it is one of my absolute favorite. Basically, it is cabbage and various cuts of pork cooked together, together with carrot, celery, tomatoes.
Recipe (in Italian) here.
5 - Zuppa alla pavese (Italian bread-and-eggs soup)
My mom used this recipe to fix us a quick but yummy dinner. The important part is to have a savory meat broth, very very HOT. Put each serving into a broth cup, add rough, big pieces of stale bread, break a raw egg on top - it will cook instantly in the hot broth. Wait a few minutes before serving, add a generous dose of butter, grate cheese (grana or parmigiano reggiano) on top to taste.