Whether it’s smooth and silky, rustic and chunky or light and brothy, soup conjures up feelings of cosiness for me. When I was a child, my mum always had a pot of chicken or turkey stock on the go, ready to be incorporated into one of her soups for when my sister, Simone, and I got home from school. It not only fed us, it turned us into avid soup-makers too.
Now, my own home is filled with soup fans. It’s the first thing I offer to our children if they’re feeling under the weather. Soup helps soothe everything from a sniffly cold to a tired body after a tough day. Our daughter even takes broth or soup in a flask for her school lunch.
Making stocks, soups and broths is almost a state of mind. I love having a rummage in the fridge and seeing what needs to be used up and turned into a soup. It’s spontaneous and creative and a good way to learn how different flavours work together, as well as being a sustainable way of making the most of leftovers. So many cooked vegetables can be turned into a soup once you have just a few other ingredients to hand. Cooked meat and seafood can also be transformed into a chunky broth or chowder with a little know-how, and leftover rice and pasta can be given another lease of life in a bowl of soup.
Inspired? Here are three recipes to try at home…
Roasted Parsnip, Garlic & Haricot Bean Soup With Sage
This is a smooth and silky soup, topped with deliciously crisp fried sage leaves. The garlic cloves, when roasted in their skins, deliver a sweet but rounded depth. A perfect soup for a cold blustery day.
Cauliflower, Cashew & Coriander Soup
This smooth and creamy golden bowl of goodness gets its silky texture from cashew nuts and its soothing anti-inflammatory benefits from the yellow turmeric. Serve on its own, or with toasted cashews scattered over the top.
Pumpkin, Cheese & Rosemary Scones
Savoury but still light in texture, these scones are great served with a big bowl of soup. You can use any squash instead of pumpkin, and, if you fancy, add lardons of crispy bacon or diced chorizo to the mix.
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