Now the new year has rolled around, many people start to need a boost in their vitamins, nutrients, add this to the fact that the weather is gloomy and cold and the post-Christmas blues are in full force. Here are some easy, family friendly soup recipes that pack in the good stuff and keep you warm and cosy when you need it the most.
This soup is a vibrant green colour, it yells ‘healthy’ at anyone who sees it, packed with vitamin C, B1 and B6, this will warm you from the inside and make you feel great.
Serves 4 (generously)
- A glug of oil
- 1 leek, finely sliced
- 1 large white potato, cut into small cubes
- 1 stick of celery, finely sliced
- 300g peas, frozen or fresh
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 few mint leaves (optional)
- 1ltr stock, chicken or vegetable is best
- Optional toppings – Grates cheese, croutons, pesto, creme fraiche.
- Put a large, lidded pan onto heat, add the oil.
- Sauté the leek, garlic and celery on a medium heat for around 5-7 minutes.
- Add the potato and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Cover the vegetables with stock, season generously with salt and pepper, bring to the boil and then turn cover and turn down to simmer for around 20 minutes or when the potato is soft.
- Add the peas and simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Add the mint (if using) and then blend with a stick blender or jug blender until silky smooth, check the seasoning and adjust to taste.
- Serve in bowls with crusty bread, a swirl of pesto and a sprinkle of cheese or whatever topping you prefer.
Store-cupboard Sunshine Soup
This soup is one for when the fridge is looking a little empty, but you still want a hearty, colourful meal to keep you going. The colour of summer but with a wintery warming feel and the added benefit of being full of vitamin B6 and soluble fibre. This soup is a must to keep in your repertoire.
Serves 2 as a main meal.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 340g tin of sweetcorn
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 stock cube, chicken or vegetable works best
- 280ml milk, whatever you normally use is fine
- A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp turmeric (optional)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pan
- Sautee your onions until softened
- Add the butter and when melted stir in the flour to make a roux
- Slowly whisk in the milk and 200ml water and the stock cube, whisk often to prevent lumps
- Add the sweetcorn and simmer for 5 minutes before blending into a golden, smooth soup
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and add any additional chilli, turmeric to bring a little heat if desired
- Serve in bowls with a swirl of cream and some chunky bread and butter.
This soup couldn’t be more jam packed with goodness, it’s easy on the budget and freezes beautifully to bring out for a quick lunch or to perk up someone feeling the winter blues.
It is full of an array of vitamins from the vegetables and pulses, and it will fill you up on a budget.
Serves 6 generous portions
- Generous glug of olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped into small cubes
- 1 whole butternut squash (or other squash) skin removed and chopped into small cubes
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
- 100g broccoli, chopped into small florets
- 100g frozen spinach
- 2 x 400g tins of pulses such as chickpeas, beans or lentils, drained
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped or crushed
- 1.5 litres of veggie or chicken stock
- Salt and Pepper to season
- Optional spices to tastes – cumin, coriander, ginger, chilli flakes.
- In a large, lidded pan, add the olive oil and then sauté the onion and garlic until softened
- Add the potato, squash, carrot, broccoli, spinach and tinned pulses and give everything a good stir
- Cover the vegetables with stock and bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover and cook for 30-40 minutes until the veg are nice and soft.
- Use a blender to blend either half of it to make a chunky soup or blend the whole amount to make a velvety, thick soup.
- Season to taste with Salt and pepper and any optional spices.
- Serve in large bowls with crusty bread and a swirl of crème fraiche or cream if you have some in.
Take some time this January to nourish your body, keep warm and show yourself some tlc. Keeping up your vitamins will help banish colds and viruses and keep you fighting fit until springtime comes along.