Updated: Jun 20, 2022
As the evenings are drawing in and winter is in the air, I wanted to do a newsletter all about nutritious soups. I’ve shared my top tips below to help you make delicious soups quickly and easily, using minimal equipment and with very little hassle.
Soup is perfect for this time of year as everyone loves a warming bowl on a cold night. At the bottom of the newsletter, you’ll also find links to soup recipes. The combinations are endless but I've shared a selection of my favourites.
Easy to make
People think that lots of chopping is required to make soup but if you roast your vegetables and use flavoursome stock there is no need to peel, chop and fry onions for flavour.
Just add the roasted vegetables and stock to a pan and blitz!
Soups can be perfect for transforming cooked leftovers into something new and exciting.
Fry whatever you have in butter and then add water or stock (plus optional cream) to cover it. Bring to the simmer, turn off the heat and blitz for an instant soup!
Another fast way to make soups creamy but not too liquidy is to add cream cheese.
The most important base for a soup – to ensure maximum flavour and goodness - is a good homemade stock. For example, bone broth is rich in amino acids, great for gut health, joints, the immune system and more!
You can buy good quality bone broths these days but it’s also so cheap and easy to make your own. Click here to see how. You can also buy or make vegetable stock if you prefer.
If you don’t have any stock, you can add flavour by using miso paste, Marmite, Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce or anchovies. If you prefer, cooking onions and garlic gently for about 30 mins until caramelised also makes very tasty soups.
My favourite thing about soups is how little equipment is required. Forget making a mess pouring hot soup into a blender, all you need is one large pot and a hand-held stick blender - that’s it!
I use a cheap stick blender I’ve had for years and it’s fantastic.
Soups can also be made (and blended) very easily in a slow cooker and then kept warm for hours. This is perfect if you want to come home to warm soup!
It makes such a difference in appearance and flavour to add interesting toppings to soups. The list is endless in term of nutritious decorations but try to have a bit of crunch and colour contrast for a striking look.
Some ideas include:
Seeds (e.g. pumpkin or sunflower, toasted), red pepper flakes, black sesame seeds, pomegranate seeds, chilli oil, lemon zest, crispy onion (bought or homemade), seaweed flakes, hemp hearts, salted nuts, nutritional yeast, olives, a swirl of sour cream or yoghurt, lemon zest, herbs such as chives, dill, basil, rosemary or thyme, bacon, finely grated cheese and spring onions….
Make it fun for kids! Children love drinking soup with straws; either from the bowl or out of a small glass bottle.
Just use a funnel to fill it up without making a mess (make sure you do this when the soup has cooled a little).
Another idea is adding in tiny alphabet pasta.
Stay in season
To support local producers and limit harm to the environment it’s best to eat what’s in season.
Use this calendar to see the vegetables that are in season over the next few months.
Frozen veg like spinach is also great when there isn’t much in season.
I often get asked what I serve with soup, but as the soups I make are full of nutritious, filling stock or good fats (like coconut milk) and topped with plenty of healthy, hearty ingredients (see above for ideas) we don't normally eat much with it.
If we do, my kids love my 3-minute microwave 'toast' or have a few snacks on the side like this easy rainbow board.
Finally, I’ve shared links below to some of my favourite homemade soup recipes:
3) Parsnip, lime & coconut soup
5) Cod & chorizo soup (served with chicken fritters)