Every year, as the weather turns cold, I turn to soup. Home-made soup is super-easy, super-delicious, and perfect for warming you up. There’s just something about a steaming bowl of soup for lunch on a Sunday after we’ve walked home from church in the cold. Read on to find out about some of my favourite winter soup recipes for you try, – 12 simple soup recipes to warm you and your family. Note: I’ve heard a lot about soup makers lately (if you have one, I’d love to know your thoughts on them) and though I don’t have one myself, all the easy soup recipes below can be made in a soup maker or in a pan.
Why make your own soup?
It tastes great
As with most meals, I find that home-made soups simply taste so much nicer. Fresh ingredients, plenty of herbs and spices, and as smooth or lumpy as you choose – taste-bud heaven! But making your own soup from scratch isn’t just about the flavour.
It is so easy
Some of the best homemade soup recipes ever are also incredible easy soup recipes. A few minutes on Google and you’ll find loads of results for “5 ingredient soup”, or “3 ingredient soup”, or even “2 ingredient soup”. Its difficult to get a recipe wrong when there’s such a simple recipe. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than cooking the ingredients in a pan and then blitzing them down to the desired consistency. Of course you can go for much more fancy soups but even those aren’t difficult and pretty much anyone can make them.
Is it cheaper to make your own soup? Some of my family’s most popular soups that I make use leftovers from the previous meal. Leftover roast chicken is perfect to quickly turn into a chicken noodle soup. Vegetables that are on offer or nearing the end of their shelf-life cab usually be bought cheaply and is ideal. If you don’t know what to do with the veggies at the bottom of the fridge draw, instead of throwing them away, turn them into soup, which saves money by saving waste. Many soups are also just based on ingredients that are generally pretty cheap – think things like carrots, potatoes or peas – meaning home-made soups can be incredible cheap.
What is the secret to making good simple soup recipes?
There are plenty of tips out there for making a perfect soup, but none of them are scary! Simple things like roasting your tomatoes adds tonnes of flavour. Using home-made stock (a really easy thing to make as well) adds so much more taste than the bought equivalent and, if you’re using the chicken carcass from last night’s roast, its really cheap to make.
Top tips: Try not to over-cook or over-boil your soups, let them simmer gently (or pressure cook for just a few minutes). Adding a few extra ingredients, like noodles or lentils, adds texture and flavour. Dairy (or dairy-alternatives) such as cream or plain yogurt will made your soups creamy and silky-smooth.
Toppings: And, of course, a bowl of soup is about more than just the soup. Fresh bread or a baguette, grated cheese or chilly-flakes to sprinkle on top, or some fresh herbs add that extra bit to make your meal extra special.
Give it a go
Hopefully you’re ready to have a go at making your own soup. Play around with the flavours, particularly herbs and spices, because we all like something a little bit different to each other. To get you started, here’s a one of my recipes that I just love cooking, and some links to plenty more.
Tomato and Lentil Soup
- Tomatoes, medium 6 (approx. 510g)
- Olive oil 1tbsp
- Salt and pepper 1g each
- Lentils, canned 200g
- Water 300ml
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
- Halve the tomatoes and place them on a lined baking tray.
- Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until soft.
- Meanwhile, rinse the canned lentils and place in a pan with the water. Once the tomatoes are cooked add them in too.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce to a medium heat, simmering for 10 minutes.
- Pour cooked ingredients into a blender/food processor and blend until smooth. Serve hot straight away.