Tag Archives: Soup

Carrot and Coriander Soup

Since the weather doesn’t seem to be improving any, we’re stuck in soupsville for however many weeks it’s going to take Spring to warm things up enough to let us enjoy salads at lunchtime. This is a swings and roundabouts problem, however, because the soup gets made on Sunday, and then portions will need to be reheated each day for lunch, whereas salads necessitate chopping and boxing every evening when supper’s being made, and there often needs to be a roast bird in the oven on Sunday to provide the protein element.  So either way, this is my hardest work part of eating well.

 
All that work pays off, however, as long as you can keep changing things up enough that you keep enjoying whatever it is you’re feeding yourself. And that’s why it’s time for a new soup! You don’t me need to tell you that carrots help to see I the dark but you may not know that they are packed with vitamin C. They can be a little sweet, however, so to me it makes sense to balance them out with a little heat and some acidic citrus to give you a tasty well/rounded soup. 

You will need:

2 onions

2 leeks 

3 cloves garlic

2 cm piece ginger 

1 tbsp olive oil 

1 kg carrots

3 chicken stock cubes (use vegetable if you would prefer, or fresh stock)

2 tsp dried parsely

1/2 tsp ground chilli

1/2 tsp ground cumin 

4 tsp ground coriander 

Splash orange juice

Dash Worcestershire sauce 

Salt and pepper 

A few leaves of fresh parsely or coriander (optional)

  
1. Chop the onions, garlic and ginger. Don’t worry about being too delicate or even – it’ll all blended once it’s cooked.how to make soup 
2. Add a tablespoon of oil to your soup pot and chuck in the onions, garlic and ginger and cook on a medium to high heat until it’s all starting to turn transparent.  recipes to use up leeks
3. Chop the leeks – make sure you rinse out any mud and trim off the toughest part of the leaves.

 carrot recipes 4. Peel and chop the carrots – you can leave the skins on if they’re not too gnarly – just give them a quick wash.easy soup recipes 

5. Add the leeks to the soup pot and cook out for a few minutes… carrot soup recipes 

6. …then add the carrots and stir it all together.  how to make carrot soup 
  7. Make the stock by dissolving the stock cubes in water, then add to the pot, topping up with more water if necessary. I used about a litre and a half. Put a lid on and leave to simmer on a low to medium heat for 40 minutes to an hour.  Carrot and Coriander Soup Recipe

8. Add the parsley and spices  to the pot and take it off the heat. Now it’s time to turn this hitch pitch into a smooth soup. You can do that by pouring it into a blender or by using a stick blender. I like to use a stick blender and decant the soup into a big bowl before blending to avoid getting my soup pot scratched.   

9. Add a little more water if it’s all looking too thick. I added some fresh parsely leaves at this point just to freshen things up, but you could use fresh coriander if you like it. I tasted it for seasoning and added some more ground coriander at this stage but I’ve accounted for it in the overall measurements above. Add seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and the orange juice and mix together. 

Carrot and coriander soup 10. Taste, and add anything you feel is missing. If it’s a little bland, add seasoning. If it’s not spicy enough for you, add more coriander or chilli, or if you think it needs more zest, add a splash of orange juice. Serve up and enjoy!  

Slightly Spiced Lentil and Tomato Soup

This soup is nostalgic for me and something I’ve been trying to recreate ever    since my uni friend Chris introduced me to the Tesco version. Come to think of it, it was in a bag on a shelf so there couldn’t have been much in it that was good for you. Hey ho. Anyway, it was delicious. So here is my attempt at a hearty, warming lunch, with a little bit of a punch. 
You will need:

2 red onions

2 cloves garlic 

1cm piece ginger 

1 leek

2 large carrots 

2 tsp tomato purée 

600g red lentils 

1 litre chicken or vegetable stock, plus extra water 

Tomatoes – I used 5 large vine tomatoes and 2 punnets of cherry tomatoes, plus a bottle of passata. Use whatever you like. You could make it with just 2 tins of tomatoes,  but there’s something about turning fresh tomatoes into something lovely that’s rather, well, lovely 

1 tsp ground coriander 

1 tsp dried parsley 

1 tsp mild chilli powder 

1 tsp ground cumin

Cracked black pepper

Splash Worcestershire sauce 

 

1. Put a large soup pot on the hob at the higher end of a medium heat, and add a splash of oil (I use olive). Chop the red onions and grate the garlic and ginger, then add to the pot. Chop the leek and carrot and add these to the pot once the onion has starred to cook down. Keep stirring to stop the garlic catching. 

2. Add the tomato purée and cook out, stirring well. 

  
3. Boil up the kettle to add to your stock cubes, or otherwise have your stock ready to add. Chuck in the lentils and stir well. I love the crackly noise they make when they hit the heat. I’m not sure if that’s part of it, but I know it helps a risotto so why not?! 

4. Add the stock, stir, and put the lid on, turning the heat down to a simmer. 

  
5. Now, this is where you can decide how time-consuming you want this process to be. I hate tomato seeds and skins getting into soup, but to me it’s a total nightmare faffing around with hot water to skin tomatoes before you put them in the soup. When I make tomato soup, I blend up the cooked ingredients and then push the whole thing through a sieve. It takes a lot of time. For this soup, though, I really wanted to be able to blend it a bit but leave some texture in there. It makes it feel heartier and more luxurious. So my solution is to treat the tomatoes separately, or you could of course use tinned or already sieved tomatoes. 

 
If you do want to use fresh (which you will do if you’re anything like me), chop them up and chuck them into a large saucepan on a medium to high heat. Let them simmer away until they’ve broken down and look like a really fresh tomato sauce – it should only take 10 minutes or so, stirring every now and again. Now, press this mixture through a sieve, and you’ll immediately be left with only the seeds and skins.
  
6. Add this to the lentil mixture and then add in all of the spices, seasonings and flavourings apart from the salt. You should never add salt to lentils until they’re fully cooked, or they’ll immediately start to harden up instead of braking down. A little too learned the tough lentil way. 

7. Stick the lid on and allow to simmer away for another hour or so.

  
8. Grab a stick blender and blend to your desired consistency. If you want to go for the suggested half and half, ladle however much you’d like to be puréed into a separate bowl and purée within an inch of its life with a stick blender, then add the rest and mix together, blending an extra bit here and there as required. Or you can just put the stick blender into the top layer of soup, being careful not to scratch the pot’s bottom or send the soup flying everywhere by holding the stick too shallow. 

9. Add the salt to taste and serve, freezing anything you don’t need once it’s cool. 

Skinny Minestrone Soup

I’m determined to keep on track with eating healthy even though we’re now into comfort food season and my lunch salads have been replaced with hearty soups. When it’s cold and wet outside, and you’ve been working hard all morning, there’s little more rewarding than a bowl of steaming hot soup. Ditch the pasta, and you still have a great, filling, nourishing soup.   

 You will need:

1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil

1 onion

1 leek

3 carrots

1 clove garlic, grated

1 red pepper

1 litre chicken stock – I used 2 stock cubes

1 can cannellini beans 

1 tin chopped tomatoes 

Seasoning

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp parsley

4 leaves fresh basil 

 

1.  Chop the vegetables and gently sauteé them in the oil. Add the grated garlic and tomato purée and cook out for about 20 minutes.  
  2. Add the stock. Then add the tomatoes and seasoning and cook for around 20 minutes, before adding in the cannellini beans and seasonings, setting the fresh basil aside.  

3. Simmer on a low to medium heat for around an hour to an hour and a half.  Add the chopped basil and immediately remove from the heat. 

This should keep in the fridge for around 5 days, but I wouldn’t recommend freezing it as the chunks of carrot will change in texture. 

Sweet Potato and Pepper Soup

It’s almost autumn! It’s getting colder, there’s infighting about whether the heating should be going on and you might just want something a bit warmer and heartier to eat than a chicken salad. 

Soup time!

  
I’ve already started off the season with tomato and pepper soup, but you have that recipe already, so here’s some sweet potato and pepper soup. You can add as much spice as you like, or replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock if that’s your preference. 

You will need:

1 onion

1 leek

1 clove garlic 

1 knob ginger 

2 large red or orange peppers (or 3 small ones)

3 carrots

3 large sweet potatoes 

2 litres of chicken stock (I used 2 stock cubes and boiled water)

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp chilli powder 

2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp dried thyme

Chopped fresh parsley 

Salt and pepper 

  
1. Chop the onion and add to a little rapeseed or olive oil in a large soup pot. Grate in the garlic and ginger. 

2. Repeat with the leek, carrots and peppers, and cook out over a medium heat. 

  
3. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes and add in. 

4. Add the stock, making sure the vegetables are covered. If not, add some more water. 

  
5. Add in the thyme and black pepper.

6. Simmer for around 45 minutes. Add the rest of the spices including a pinch ofsalt then add the chopped parsley. Blitz with a stick blender or food processor. If it’s still quite thick, add some more water and spice and season to taste. 

  
Easy! And it freezes like a dream. Have a go!

Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup

This weekend, the snowdrops popped out and the sun winked at us for the first time in a good long while. I had a sudden feeling that Sunday might just be the last soup Sunday in awhile. So, for what might be the last hurrah, I had to take on a classic, in a rather majestic way. The secret to the strength of flavour that comes with this smooth, dark orange soup is the oven – pre-roast the veggies and everything intensifies.

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This recipe makes about 6 portions, so plenty to share or put in the freezer.

You will need:

2 large red onions, or 4 small ones

1 1/2 red peppers

3 cloves of garlic

1 large carrot

1 punnet cherry tomatoes

6-8 tomatoes on the vine

12 salad tomatoes

Note: use wherever tomatoes you like in whatever quantity. I tend to mix up the types by what looks good in the supermarket. The salad ones are cheapest and give you bulk, but I like the cherry tomatoes for a sweeter, deeper flavour. Beef tomatoes work well too.

olive oil

chicken or vegetable stock, 2 cubes or about a litre plus extra water

salt and black pepper

oregano, basil, paprika, chilli powder

lemon juice

a pinch of caster sugar

Worcester sauce – just a dash.

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1. Heat the oven to about 200C and line a couple of baking trays with tin foil, then add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and place in the oven to heat.

2. Quarter the onions and chop the the peppers into chunks. Don’t peel the garlic – it’ll roast nicely inside the skin. Chuck into a tray, carefully (don’t burn yourself) and season. Half the tomatoes and add to the trays.

3. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, chop the carrot into fine pieces and sauté without browning and prepare the stock.

5. Take the first tray out of the oven when the onions are starting to look vaguely translucent and the skin on the peppers is starting to shrivel. Allow to cool for a short time as this will help you to remove the pepper skins more easily. Chop up the onions, peel and chop the garlic and peppers, add to the soup pot and sauté.

6. The tomatoes are a bit fiddly, but it will help everything go more smoothly if you roast them until the skins have started to come away themselves, and if you let them cool a little so you can pull the skins off with your fingers. Then chop the larger ones and add to the pot.

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7. Add the stock and seasoning, stir, put a lid on and allow to simmer on a medium heat for around 40 minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking.

8. As you’ve removed the skins, most of the stuff you would normally need to sieve out has been taken away, however, you’ll still need to blend with a stick blender and sieve out the tomato seeds and any bits of stringy pulp. Be patient – your soup is worth it!

The soup will keep well in the fridge for around 4 days, and is great frozen and reheated.

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