July 2024 Food Champions Challenge: Meals to keep us warm on a cold day

Brrr, it’s freezing cold this winter in the southern states. Cutting down on high energy bills means less heating around the house. Time to keep warm with some comforting, bone-warming meals. Something like hot porridge for breakfast, hot soup and a melting cheesy something for lunch, and a hearty meat and veggies dish for dinner.

What are the meals that keep you warm on a cold day?

Thank you to all participants of the June challenge.
Congrats to @Gwen @anpc7767 @tim3 @redeye
for the food champions award.


Our home made Pea and Ham soup.

We use both hocks and bacon bones about 1 to 2 kg depending on the amount of meat on the bones (we like more meat than less) wrapped in a muslin cloth (this saves getting bones in the soup mix), a packet of dried green split peas (rinsed and soaked overnight then rinsed again), 1 litre of chicken stock, water to cover all ingredients, 1 or 2 chicken stock cubes according to your desire for more or less salt, 2 largish carrots (chopped or halved as preferred), 2 bay leaves (can be 3 or may be avoided entirely if you don’t like them)…they don’t need to be removed after the cooking but can be if desired, often 2 potatoes peeled and cubed but not always added, 2 onions (fairly well chopped but can be rough as they break down), and roughly chopped celery (2 to 4 sticks).

Bring to the boil then a medium to rapid simmer for about 2 hours. Stir often enough to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot, if it gets too thick it will stick and burn (avoid this by adding more liquid and ensuring it is well stirred) Clean the scum off as needed while it is cooking. If the level of the liquid gets too little and thick during the cooking add more water. When the peas have broken down, remove the muslin bag with the meat and blitz the liquid and add pepper to taste and if needed a little more salt (shouldn’t be needed as the bones will have added a fair amount of saltiness). If you like you can take the meat off the bones, break it up a bit, and add it to the soup after the blitz or serve them on a plate for those who like to eat the meat off the bones.

If any of the soup remains, freeze it in a container/containers that suit your requirements as to amount. When reheated the soup goes great with crunchy croutons or served with toasty garlic bread.

If you like a more smokey soup, you can add a little bit of liquid smoke to the mix such as “colgin liquid smoke” (it isn’t the only one that can be bought e.g. https://www.barbequesgalore.com.au/p/stubbs-liquid-smoke---hickory/STLIQSMOKE.html) but be sure to not add too much.


Our butcher has chicken frames for $1. It is a bit fiddly removing the meat after cooking and my first attempt was a Jamie Oliver recipe which included the vegetables with the carcass. Picking tiny rib & neck bones out of that was tedious. Now I simmer the carcasses on their own (with a little minced garlic), strain and let cool. Skim the fat off the liquid (there’s not much as there is no skin on the chook) and pick the meat off the bones.

You could stop there and have a light chicken soup and 250g of meat (from 2 frames) or chop up vegetables - pumpkin, potato, cauli, onion; and simmer with the liquid. You can puree in a blender, but I just let it fall apart, then add the meat. Hot & satisfying.

Cost is low as most veg I grow myself, meat $2, potato $1.50 kg; plus low gas for 2 hours. Had it for lunch and there are 3 more double serves in the fridge/freezer.


Porridge has been my go to brekky for many yrs, l add sultanas & cinnamon.
Made a big pot of chicken soup last weekend, had a bowl last night with home baked bread, toasted - yum
Am also a big fan of slow cooked food - lamb shank stew, beef bourguignon and curries etc…l love winter


Cooked up some slow cooked braised steak and onions and mushrooms yesterday. Just the thing with some roast vegies.


I make up some Bubble “n” Squeak to warm me up at dinner . Campbells Irish Stew soup and a good stir fry for tea . Supper, a couple of Pattie’s Party pasties . I wish I could find my mother’s recipe for Minestrone .On a cold day warmed the cockles of my heart .


Vindaloo :slight_smile:
… makes me warm on the inside and outside … sometimes makes me shiver on the inside and outside … either way it is a trip of a lifetime!


Even as I type, a silverside is cooking in my slow cooker. It won’t last long, it was a really small one, befitting the size of the cooker. Last week I made 6 L of soup in the same cooker. Yummy. Next week it will be something like beef stew and dumplings.


Second that but I don’t add bay leaves or spuds, however do add a few mint leaves and a small (1/4 tsp) amount of sugar.


My lunch time meals over winter are home made soups such as leek and corn chowder, beef and vegetable soup, chicken and vegetable soup and lamb shanks and vegetable soup. Sunday is usually soup making day and I make enough for the week. They are much more satisfying than a sandwich on a cold day.


I do something very similar except that because I don’t like the smell of the raw chicken bones when it is boiling, I bake the frames in the oven until they are golden brown (smells amazing) and then add cooked frames to the soup pot including the pan juices. If I have enough time I will bake the whole chicken,


Couldn’t agree more. Nothing is better than making hearty soup of any variety from scratch. So easy and what a payoff! Potato and Leek with some small diced bacon precooked in the air fryer. Nothing better for me.


Great idea to use the oven too


Soup yum!
Not to forget the sandwich press for a toasted ham and cheese. Or the electric jaffle maker. Two at a time baked beans and cheddar cheese. All equally satisfying on a not so winter day if it is damp and raining outside.


A cheese toastie with chutney in my sandwich press is my alternate choice.


Any kind of nice hearty soup has my vote!

Earlier in the week we finished a batch of ham and pea soup (with red lentils, barley, and an assortment of veges), and I then made a huge pot of spicy soup based on the remains of a weekend roast, just about every type of vegetable on hand, chick peas, and two types of lentils…

My family calls these (everything but the) “kitchen sink” soups.

A big bowl of one of these soups makes a great winter breakfast, too, in my opinion. Tastier and more nourishing than porridge. :yum:


Nutmeg is my go instead of cinnamon. I love that spice and also add it to yoghurt. Soup is winter, so is pulled pork, ‘pie meat’ - the easy stewed minced beef, onion and stock, salt and pepper. When cooked thicken with a mix of Gravox and corn flour. Great with a buttery mash of carrot, potato and parsnip and greens. Or serve on buttered toast.


Cheese and vegemite toastie in the sandwich press if I am in a bit of a hurry, otherwise I do the toastie in a frypan with butter on the outside of the bread and a mix of colby and tasty cheese inside. Cook both sides. YUM.


Have you tried making dry stock?