As it’s getting colder and the nights are drawing in, one of the perks is snuggling up in your PJs with a hot bowl of soup. It’s even better when you’re watching a trashy show on telly at the same time, but enough about my Saturday nights.
As well as being good for you, soups are cheap and incredibly easy to make. You can actually get some pretty decent flavours from not that many ingredients.
All you need to get started is some stock cubes and some salt and pepper. A hand blender can come in handy too, which you can pick up quite cheaply in big supermarkets. Mine cost me just under £5 and does the job just as well as some of the more expensive models!
Once you get started, you’ll see how versatile soup can be. You can have them for lunch, dinner, and even pudding. You’ll see…
1. Courgette, pea and pesto soup
This might sound super fancy but it won’t make a dent in your bank balance. It’s very green though, suspiciously so. It’s exactly the sort of dinner time offering that would’ve sent me running for the hills as a kid, but it has plenty of positive points. As it’s quite light and low in fat, it makes for a perfect lunchtime treat. Head over to BBC Good Food for the recipe.
2. Lentil soup
This is such a cheap and easy soup to make – all you need is an onion, a carrot, some red lentils and a stock cube! There are loads of things you do to add a bit of variety, too. I’d suggest chopping up some bacon and stirring it through your soup, or adding parsley and homemade croutons for extra flavour. Check out the recipe on Not Delia.
3. Butternut squash, carrot and ginger soup
This soup is delicious and good for you, and will help keep those winter coughs and colds at bay. In the video below, Nick Coffer from Netmums gives you a step-by-step guide. As soon as Nick said “this is chuck-it-all-in-the-pan style cooking”, I was sold!
4. Tomato rice soup
Tomato soup is a classic, but this variation is even more filling. It’s a perfect meal to make at the end of the month, as it uses up all of the odds and ends you probably already have in your cupboard. It’s lovely and tomato-y too and is great for dipping a crusty piece of bread! You can find the instructions over on Frugal.co.uk.
5. Mushroom soup
This is another classic winter warmer. It’s packed with protein, and best of all it can be made in around half an hour! I love this recipe from Feeding Boys. It’s perfect for freezing, meaning you can avoid the monotony of eating the same soup every day for a month! You can also make it your own by stirring in some single cream or even some chicken to add a bit of variety.
6. Thai green curry soup
This is another suspiciously green soup, but it’s so flavoursome I can forgive it. Plus you can make it in one pot, and anything that saves on the washing up is a winner in my eyes. The Thai green curry paste gives it some spice, but you could always add some fresh chilli to give it an extra kick. Take a look at the recipe from Lauren Abery.
7. Broccoli and blue cheese soup
This is probably my favourite soup to eat on a cold day. The broccoli means it’s packed with vitamins, but the cheese makes it feel like a treat. Even if you find blue cheese a bit smelly or strong on its own, the flavour really mellows out in a soup. If it’s not cheesy enough for your liking, you could add some crunchy cheddar croutons. Check out the recipe over on PopSugar.
8. Chocolate soup
Yep, you read that correctly! It sounds more like a mousse than a soup to us, but they’re calling it a soup, so technically it’s a soup. It’s perhaps not as healthy as the others on this list, but it’s good for the soul! It’s the brainchild of chef Anthony Demetre and is available at his Soho restaurant – or in the comfort your own living room for a lot less!
All you need is chocolate, butter, eggs, cream, and some vanilla ice cream to top it all off. You can find the recipe, plus a nice little interview with the genius behind it, on The Guardian website. The ingredients are a bit more expensive than the other soups, but it’s perfect for a treat.
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