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Growing Vegetables for Delicious Soups: Winter Vegetable Gardening in South Africa

Try these top 5 VEGETABLES to grow for Delicious winter soups

In this article we put the spotlight on some fantastic winter vegetables that will thrive during the South African winter and take your soup game to a whole new level. So, gather around, my friends, and let’s dive into the wonderful world of winter vegetable gardening!

As any South African will tell you there’s nothing quite like a delicious warm bowl of homemade soup next an open fire in the middle of a freezing cold winter. Here are our top five vegetables to be growing for delicious homemade soups in the comfort of your own home. Enjoy our short winter vegetable soup recipes for a delicious wholesome and flavourful warm meal to share with your friends or family.


Let’s kick things off with a vibrant and nutritious choice — beetroot! 

Beetroot is a top choice for homegrown winter vegetable soup: This colourful vegetable is not only packed with essential vitamins and minerals but also brings a unique earthy sweetness to your soups.
How to grow beetroot in the winter vegetable garden:
To get started, plant beetroot seeds in well-draining soil and provide them with plenty of sunlight. You can grow these delicious red beauties directly from seed sign in open soil or look for some healthy seedlings at your nearest garden centre. After planting beetroot Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged as they prefer wall drain soil. As your beetroot babies grow, you’ll see their vibrant leaves, indicating the development of delicious beets beneath the soil. Remember you can harvest and use beetroot leaves as garnish or delicious side salad, they’re absolutely edible and equally delicious. When your beets are fully mature, harvest and rinse them and you are ready to incorporate them into a hearty beetroot soup that will warm your heart and nourish your body. 
A hearty Beetroot soup Recipe Suggestion: Roasted Beetroot Soup 
Roast your fresh homegrown harvested beets until tender. In a pot, sauté onions and garlic until fragrant. Add the roasted beets, vegetable broth, and a touch of cream. Season with salt, pepper, and a hint of lemon juice. Blend until smooth and enjoy a comforting bowl of roasted beetroot soup.


Popeye was right about spinach these dark green, leafy vegetables are widely known as some of the healthiest food on the planet!
How to grow Spinach in the winter vegetable garden:
Growing your own spinach for soups is not only rewarding but also a great way to add a burst of vibrant green goodness to your meals. Start by sowing spinach seeds directly into well-prepared soil, giving them ample sunlight. Remember to keep the soil consistently moist as your spinach plants thrive.  
One of the most beneficial and delicious benefits of growing spinach is that you can harvest even the baby leaves which means a shorter time to harvest. Once your spinach is ready for harvest, you can incorporate the leaves and stems into classic spinach and tomato soup or create a creamy spinach and mushroom delight. 
Recipe Suggestion: Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Soup 
Start by Sautéing your mushrooms and onions in a pot until they turn a flavourful golden brown. Add vegetable stock along with your chopped spinach leaves, and a splash of cream to the pot. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg to taste. Let it simmer until flavours meld together and drive the neighbours to hunger. Now dish up and enjoy a velvety bowl of creamy homegrown spinach and mushroom soup.


Another winter vegetable favourite is carrots.

For the most part growing carrots can be easy, fun and a delicious garden snack or addition to a winter soup. So, let’s get you ready to experience the joy of harvesting your own crunchy and nutritious carrots right from the backyard. These popular and vibrant root vegetables are not only a delight to grow but also a fantastic addition to your soups.  
How to grow carrots in the winter vegetable garden:
To grow carrots in your winter garden plant the seeds directly into loose, well-drained soil and make sure they receive regular watering. As your carrots grow, thin out the seedlings to provide enough space for their roots to develop and avoid overcrowding and competition for sunlight. Tug on a carrot every now and then to check its size and determine if they are ready for harvest. Remember when it comes to carrots size really doesn’t matter… Carrots can be harvested and eaten at any size so don’t worry if impatience gets the better of you. When you feel the time is right harvest those vibrant orange wonders and let them shine in comforting carrot ginger soup or tantalize your tastebuds with a roasted carrot soup. 
Recipe Suggestion: Roasted Carrot Soup 
After rinsing and removing the leafy tops, roast the fresh harvested carrots until caramelized. In a pot, sauté some onions, ginger, and garlic until fragrant. Add your roasted carrots along with some vegetable broth, and a spoon or few of honey. Season with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of cumin to taste. Blend until smooth and indulge in a flavourful bowl of roasted carrot soup.


Leeks add some depth and flavour to your soups.

If you want to add some depth and flavour to our soups do so with tasty and aromatic leeks. These tall and elegant vegetables are a wonderful addition to any winter garden.

How to grow Leeks in the winter vegetable garden:

Start your leek soup by sowing leek seeds in a cozy seed tray, and once they’re strong enough, transplant them into well-prepared soil. Remember to keep them hydrated as they grow. Once your leeks have developed their characteristic white stems and matured to a sturdy base, harvest them and incorporate them into a comforting potato leek soup or a creamy leek and cauliflower soup.

Recipe Suggestion: Potato Leek Soup

Chopped leeks and onions and Sauté until softened. To the sautéed onions add diced potatoes, vegetable broth, and a sprinkle of thyme from the garden. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, then blend until smooth and creamy. Season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Now sit back and enjoy a bowl of comforting potato leek soup right from your garden.


Last but not least on our list of veg for winter soups is cabbage.

let’s not forget about the versatile and hardy cabbage. This cruciferous vegetable thrives in cool weather and brings a delightful crunch to your soups making it one of the most perfect vegetables to be growing for winter.

How to grow cabbage in the winter vegetable garden:

Start by planting cabbage seedlings in nutrient-rich soil and make sure you treat them with adequate sunlight to avoid pests and diseases. Ensure consistent watering as your cabbage heads develop for a healthy harvest. Once they’re ready for harvest, incorporate them into a warming cabbage and sausage soup or a comforting vegetable minestrone.

Recipe Suggestion: Cabbage and Sausage Soup

In a pot Sauté sliced sausage and onions until browned. Add freshly harvested and shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes into a vegetable broth, and drop a pinch of Italian seasoning to the mix. Simmer until the cabbage is tender, and enjoy a bowl of hearty cabbage and sausage soup under a cosy blanky on a comfortable couch.

Congratulations my friend!

You now have a fantastic selection of winter vegetables to grow in South Africa for your homemade soups.

Whether you choose the earthy beetroot, the vibrant spinach, the crunchy carrots, the aromatic leeks, or the versatile cabbage, each vegetable will add its unique flavours and textures to your winter soups. So, roll up your sleeves, prepare your garden beds, and get ready to embark on a delightful journey of growing and savoring your own healthy winter vegetable soups. Enjoy the warmth, nourishment, and satisfaction that comes with each spoonful and make sure to share with your nearest and dearest.

Happy gardening and happy soup-making!

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