Week beginning Friday 5th January 2021

This Week: Hearty Winter Soups

Warm up with a bowl of comforting soup. Here’s four recipes, packed with healthy ingredients and plenty of flavours that you can keep in the fridge to make sure you’ve always got a nourishing meal to tuck into!

If you’re familiar with my recipes, you may have noticed that I don’t use stock cubes and soups are no exception! I feel that they can override the flavour of the delicious vegetables and flavours that we add in.  It also allows you to control the amount of salt you use to bring out the flavour; don’t be afraid to do this. And of course, if you do prefer to use a stock cube, feel free to!

  • Spiced Tomato and Chickpea soup (V) ***
    This delicious vibrant tomato and chickpea soup is delicately spiced and supercharged with plenty of vegetables and pulses to pack the nutrients into each mouthful. The perfect hearty winter warmer to batch cook and have ready for those cold winter days. I’ve used “Chana dal” in this recipe; essentially they are chickpeas that have been split and dried, so they have a slightly firmer texture than whole tinned chickpeas. Not only do they provide a good source of plant-based protein, but also a boost of fibre and iron. RECIPEREAD MORE: Legumes; can they play a role as part of a healthy diet?
  • Tom Yum Soup
    Tom Yum Miso Soup is an easy “one-pot meal” soup to put together and an effective way to boost your gut health. By including chicken bone broth or miso paste, alongside fibre-rich vegetables, your simple and full of flavour meal is also a great gut healer. RECIPE
  • Creamy Dairy Free Carrot and Ginger Soup. (V)
    Rarely does a week go by without me making this soup! It’s incredibly tasty and a great way to use up a large bag of carrots that arrives in my veggie box most weeks!
    This delicately sweet creamy ginger carrot soup is subtly spiced with ginger and does not use cream! Providing great fibre and an array of vitamins, including beta-carotene, a precursor to the antioxidant vitamin A, this rich carrot soup doesn’t skimp on flavour. Naturally warming, this ginger carrot soup is perfect for the whole family. RECIPE
  • Homemade Broth Mixed Vegetable Soup
    I don’t like to use carrots as I prefer my basic broth not to have a sweetness to it. I prefer a “salty” flavoursome broth as a base.

    • 1 small chicken, whole or chicken carcass (leftover from roasted)
      [For a veggie broth, see my tip below]
    • 1 large onion, diced in large chunks
    • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and cut in large chunks
    • 6 peppercorns
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 4 cardamon pods (my secret ingredient!)
    • Juice from half a lemon
    • Salt

Put all the ingredients in a large pan and cover with water. Gently bring the water to a simmer and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Then cover the pan and continue to simmer at the lowest heat for 2-2½hrs or longer if time allows.

Turn off the heat and allow the stock to cool and settle. Then turn out the contents into a large sieve over a deep clean bowl.  Allow it to drain so you capture as much of the stock as possible, squeezing the vegetables slightly to release into the stock for added flavour.

Return the stock to the saucepan if you’re using the stock immediately, otherwise, once it’s completely cooled, transfer to clean glass jars (or any other container) and keep in the fridge for 5-7 days or freeze for 3 months.

Add in any vegetables to the stock and cook for around 10-15mins.

Start keeping all your leftover scraps from your fresh vegetables and add them to a large plastic box or bag in the freezer. Carrot tops, outer leaves from cabbages, stalks and any peelings; save them all and start building up a mixed collection in the freezer. Do wash them before you freeze, so they’re ready to throw into a large pan, along with all the remaining ingredients above, to make a nutritious homemade veggie stock.