Ahhhhh soups – the time saving, belly-filling meal of the food world. I cook up batches of broth, chow down on them for lunch, pair them with spelt bread for dinner (recipe here) and then freeze the leftovers for a more time-spent day. The best bit? Depending on what you throw in they can form a healthy, veg-pumped option and even better? You can toss whatever leftovers you’ve got hanging around into the blender and label it soup. Brilliant. Here are my top three favourites to warm your cockles; all serve up four portions and are slight adaptions from recipes I’ve found from BBC Good Food (a website I mostly pursue when I’m hungry):
ROASTED RED PEPPER AND TOMATO SOUP: Who doesn’t love a good ol’ tomato soup? It’s ridiculous easy to make and doesn’t require half a tonne of toms like previously recipes I’ve attempted. You could always add a hit of hot stuff to it if you fancy a bit of a kick, but I let the smokey roasted flavours come out on their own and enjoy it best with a buttered piece of French stick. Oh yes.
You will need: 2 Red Peppers, 450g of Cherry or Vine-Ripened Tomatoes, 5 Cloves of Garlic, 125ml of Water, 150ml Plain Yogurt, 600ml Tomato Juice, Salt and Pepper to Season.
Half the peppers, deseed them and lay skin-side up on a baking tray with the tomatoes and peeled cloves of garlic. Roast for 30 mins at 200°C. Remove and leave them to cool, then place the veg in a blender and blend until smooth. Add the water, yogurt, tomato juice, salt and pepper and blend again. Pour into a pan, heat through and serve.
THE GREEN AND LEAN SOUP: This could also be named the ‘throw in all your leftover veg, meat and whatever else you’ve got that’s becoming worrying close to past its best’ soup. Personally I like to lob in a load of veg and sometimes add a bit of pasta in when I’m heating it up to beef it out if my stomach is feeling particularly cavernous.
You will need: 1 Red Onion, 2 Cloves of Garlic, 2 Carrots, 2 Sticks of Celery, 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, 1½ Litres of Vegetable Stock, 1 Tin of Butter Beans, ½ White Cabbage.
Dice the red onion, slice the garlic, carrots and celery and fry with the olive oil for 10 minutes until slightly soft. Add the vegetable stock, butter beans and sliced white cabbage and heat through. Done.
CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP: My favourite. When I’ve got a batch of this in the freezer I tend to have a butternut binge and lap it up for lunch and dinner. Wild, I know. Finish it off with a dollop of crème fraîche or even better….a sprinkling of crunchy bacon bits.
You will need: 1 Butternut Squash (around 1kg), 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil, a knob of Butter, 2 Red Onions, 3 Cloves of Garlic, 850ml Vegetable Stock, Salt and Pepper to Season.
Peel and chop the butternut squash into large cubes, add half the oil and roast in the oven at 200°C for 30 minutes until soft. While that cooks warm the butter and remaining oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. When softened add to a blender with the squash and stock. Blend and return to the pan to warm though.
Bake, blend and enjoy because my bowl is too soupalicious for you babe.