I love soup. It’s like a salad, but blended. What I don’t get is: with this massive smoothie trend that’s currently in full swing, why isn’t soup more popular (or in fact considered part of that trend at all)? It’s got everything you could ask for:
1. It’s souper healthy (expect many more of these)
Soup is like 90% vegetables, and the other 10% herbs and spices. If you’re feeling gluttonous you could add cream or coconut cream, but even that’s not terrible for you in small quantities. Overall, 10/10 health points in my book.
2. It’s souper easy to make
See below for recipe. It’s incredibly low-effort, trust me (and fairly quick to prepare as well).
3. It can serve as a full meal
I love turning a salad into a full meal. However, I’ve found most people I know don’t like the idea of this, mainly because it’s cold and therefore just doesn’t “feel” like a full meal. With soup, you don’t have that problem – it’s warm, and can be served with bread or a toastie (if you feel the need for something more “solid”). I feel fully full from a giant bowl of soup (or 3).
4. It’s versatile
There are about 50,000 different soup recipes out there. Chicken soup for when you’re feeling ill, mushroom soup if you’re feeling fancy, tomato soup for when you’re feeling cosy. Take your pick!
5. It’s souper fancy (to serve at dinner parties)
Making dinner for friends is one thing – but it somehow feels significantly more impressive so also serve them a starter of homemade soup. I remember the first time I went to a friend’s house for dinner and was served home-made soup as a starter – I distinctly remember my initial thoughts being “wow, they really have their shit together don’t they!”
By making more soup, you can serve this lie to your friends as well!!
6. It can last for days
A few years ago, I bought myself a GIANT pot specifically for making more soup at a time – and it has 100% paid off. I make quite large portions that can last for ages. If you make it on Monday, you can easily still be eating it by Thursday. Even if you’re like me and like to eat things mostly in one go, a pot will still last well into the next day.
7. It’s mostly vegan (at the very least vegetarian).
Check out my flexitarian post on why this is a good thing.
8. It’s a proper comfort food
Can you think of anything better to have on a rainy autumn day or while wrapped up by the fire while there’s a blizzard outside? (Clue: No. No, you can’t.)
Basically, soup is amazing, and widely under-appreciated in the whole “superfoods” craze that has taken over this decade. Show your appreciation of hygge and healthy foods by making soup this winter.
So, without further ado, here is my (incredibly easy) recipe for soup:
First, pick your ingredients. Here I’ve gone for red pepper, tomato, chilli. I’d always recommend onion and garlic for flavouring. Also, this is the quantity I’d usually go for for a large bowl of soup: (in case you don’t feel like counting, it’s 24 tomatoes, 2 large onions, 4 red peppers, 1 carrot, and garlic & chilli to taste)
Chop the vegetables as coarsely as you like and fry them for a minimum of 20 minutes. Start with onions & garlic if you’re adding those, then add the more “solid” vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, and finish off with the “softer” vegetables like tomatoes.
Add water and boil for a further 20 minutes (minimum). If your vegetables aren’t too starchy, for example in my case where I used a fair few tomatoes, you may be able to skip adding the water (or not need as much). Add stock to taste & based on size of pot.
Blend (or leave as a broth if you prefer). A hand blender is much more handy (ha ha) than a countertop blender here. I’d recommend blending for quite a while after it starts to look smooth, as it really is worth going the extra mile to avoid too many lumps.
Add cream / coconut if you like. You can also wait until you’ve eaten half the pot, and then top up the quantities by adding coconut. It could make your soup last a full extra day!!
- Try to throw in as many different versions of your main ingredient in as possible, whether it be tomatoes (cherry tomatoes / colourful heritage ones are always fun), different varieties of mushroom, or a few different types of squash for a winter warmer.
- If making tomato soup, in the boiling step, add a couple of tomato stalks along with the stock (the Sainsbury’s taste the difference tomatoes are quite good for this). This adds the tomato-ey fragrance that can sometimes be missing from homemade tomato soup. Just remember to take the stalks out before the blending stage! As my husband learnt very early on in our relationship, they can be quite difficult to remove otherwise…
- In a vegetable / tomato soup, add a whole cucumber. I saw this once in a gazpacho recipe, but it’s genuinely amazing for warm soup as well – it adds a little freshness, a little something-something.
i) As a starter for dinner guests
ii) A giant bowl just for you
Happy souping!! (Can you tell I massively enjoyed photographing my soup from all possible angles??)