Some people are winter people. Though I was born and raised in the cold hard north (Minnesota), over time I’ve become a softie. My beef with the season: navigating the snow, shivering even indoors, itchy dry skin, wearing socks, missing the sun, and being forced to drive everywhere instead of walk. Last year I almost cried with joy the first spring day where I could wear flip flops walking down my front sidewalk. Summer has a feeling of carefree that lifts my soul and try as I might, that feeling just is not there in winter.
But, I’m not ready to give up hope. One of my dear friends is a winter person: Melissa of The Faumartha. She loves snow, tea by the fire, and the slower pace. She sees the beauty in the quiet still moments. She knows how to cultivate cozy like the heartiest of Minnesotans, even though she’s originally from Texas. A while ago, we chatted with Melissa on our podcast about how to thrive in winter. There was a lot of talk about warm beverages, fuzzy blankets, cozy soup, and good books. Though it’s not natural for me, I’m trying to reframe my brain this year. Cultivate cozy. More soups. Hot tea. You can do this. (In fact, that reminds me that I have a cup of tea to pour myself.)
This is the heart behind this recipe, a cozy winter soup full of nourishing vegetables. Brussels sprouts are one of our favorite vegetables (and many of yours, as we’ve come to find out!), but we’d never tried a Brussels sprouts soup. Here, we’ve shredded them and added them to a soup pot along with the other star ingredient: farro. Farro is a whole grain that’s a bit like barley, but cooks in about 1/3 the time, which significantly speeds up the prep time. We cooked our farro outside of the soup, then added it at the end to make sure it doesn’t soak up too much of the broth. For the remaining flavoring: a bit of shallot, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, which adds a savory, unexpected flavor. And what’s a soup without a bit of greens thrown in at the end? We’ve taken to adding a handful for color and nutrients. Brussels sprouts soup might sound unexpected, but it’s exactly what we’ve been craving to boost immunity and get our cozy on.
What are you doing to cultivate cozy this year? Here are a few of our top tips for cultivating cozy:
- Drink tea. A lot of it! It’s healthy and warming. (My favorite blend is Bengal spice: I’m obsessed!)
- Eat soup. Soups are healthy, typically simple to make (and easy to double), and seriously cozy. This Brussels sprouts soup and our Moroccan cauliflower soup are a few favorites; we’ve listed a few others below.
- Light candles. It’s makes your house smell good, and of course brings twinkling ambiance.
- Use fuzzy blankets and pillows. We got a few more this year, and I must say: they definitely take the edge off.
- Put up twinkle lights. Adding some to our third floor attic space brightened it up in the sweetest of ways.
- Read good books. Alex and I are both in a book club, and we just read The Handmaid’s Tale. I found it to be an excellent book, genius and thought-provoking, and gave it a double thumbs up, the highest of honors in our book club ranking system. This month’s book is a novel called Sourdough. (What are you reading?)
What else? We’d love to know what you’re doing to thrive this winter season.
Looking for more soup recipes?
Looking for some soup recipes in addition to this farro and Brussels spouts soup? Here are a few cozy soup recipes to have you covered:
- Moroccan Spiced Cauliflower Soup
- Tomato Sage Chickpea Soup
- Za’atar-Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
- Hearty Sweet Potato and Kale Soup
- Creamy Coconut Curry Pantry Soup
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this cozy farro & Brussels sprouts soup, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and sugar-free.Print
- 1/2 cup dry farro
- 2 large shallots
- 4 medium garlic cloves
- 1 inch nub ginger (1 tablespoon minced)
- 2 carrots
- 8 ounces mushrooms
- 16 Brussels sprouts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 15-ounce can cannellini beans
- 8 cups (2 quarts) vegetable broth
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves or chopped spinach
- Kosher salt, to taste
- In a saucepan over high heat, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add the farro, stir once, and continue to boil uncovered for about 15 minutes, bubbling rapidly. Taste a grain of farro; if the grain is plump and tender, remove the pan from the heat and pour it into a strainer. If not, continue to cook and taste until tender. Brands of farro can vary, so adjust the cook time as necessary.
- Mince the shallots and garlic. Peel and mince the ginger. Peel and dice the carrots. Thinly slice the mushrooms.
- Shred the Brussels sprouts: Lay each sprout on its side, then thinly slice starting from the top and working towards the root. Then use your fingers to gently separate the shreds.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrot and saute for 5 minutes. Add the shallot, garlic, ginger, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often so the sprouts don’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan. Drain and rinse the beans.
- Add the farro, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce and stir. Add the beans and broth, then heat until warmed, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the greens and heat until wilted, about 30 seconds. Season with kosher salt to taste (add pinches until the flavor pops — since all broths have different levels of salt, the exact amount varies).