I love soup. I must admit though; I’m not a “soups for winter” “ice cream is for summer” kind of girl. I probably fancy a warming soup, or a bit hearty casserole more often in the winter, but I still have the odd urge in the warmer months, and when I do I make them.
I’d never actually made a soup until a few years ago. Actually, until about seven years ago I’d only eaten cheap tinned soups. Then I discovered the fresher, more Covent Garden style ones. Then, a few years ago, I started making my own.
Homemade soup is about 6 million times better than tinned. I love experimenting with flavours. I enjoy and old classics, but I also love trying new things and putting different ingredients together. Soups are one of the few things that I prefer without meat weirdly. I much prefer loads of vegetables. I do add cream generally though, even if it’s just a splash.
We quite often have a big homemade soup as a main meal. I’ll make a loaf of crunchy bread, and we’ll all share it with a big pot of soup that’s been simmering away for hours. The house smells amazing, it’s wonderfully warming, and we’re all full and happy. What could be better?
Do you have a favourite soup? The one that you’d happily curl up with on a cold winter night? Or the kind that makes you feel better when you’ve got a cold and can’t face anything else? Well, I’ve got loads of favourites. Here’s a look at some of them.
Leak and Potato
In my years of eating ready-made soups out of a tin or carton, I’d have told you that I didn’t like Leek and Potato soup. I’d never had one that I’d enjoyed. The leek flavour was always just far too strong.
Then, I made one myself. I tend to go for more potatoes and less leek. It’s creamier and more subtle. I add a little salt and pepper and a splash of cream, but that’s about it. Simple, but fantastic. I’d probably say that this is my favourite. If ever there’s a leek going spare, I soup it up.
Leek and Potato soup is the one that I make when I don’t feel great. It’s my ultimate comforter.
Roasted Butternut Squash
This might sound strange, but I’ve only ever eaten butternut squash in soup. I’ve never had it on its own. It’s just never come up. It’s good in soup though.
For this one, I roast the squash with some carrots, onion, and garlic before blending it up with some stock and herbs. Squash doesn’t have the flavour or potato and leek, so I think it needs more. I tend to use frozen butternut squash; it’s just easier.
Roasted Sweet Potato
Roasted sweet potato is an awesome flavour. Sometimes, I roast them in their skins and eat them with cheese and beans, like you could a baked white potato. It’s good.
It’s better in soup. Roasted sweet potato on its own is great, but this also works well with butternut squash or pumpkin. Husband makes a spicy sweet potato soup that’s great too. I tend to need a full tub of cream in that; he’s fond of his spices!
Mixed Vegetable is a fantastic way of saying “whatever I’ve got in.” Most combinations work though. Blend them up with some stock, add some salt and pepper and see what you’ve got.
Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato
I love the fantastic sweet flavour of a roasted red pepper. I love them in burgers or wraps with chicken or halloumi, the textures and tastes are so complimentary. I also love them in soup. Really simple roasted and then blended up with some tinned tomatoes and vegetable stock for a perfect tangy soup. I might not always add the cream to this one.
Broccoli and Stilton
Broccoli and stilton is my favourite store-bought soup. Not from a tin, but the fresh ones. The kids don’t like it. I’m not sure husband is that keen. So, I don’t make it myself too often. I adore the flavour though. I love Stilton. The idea of putting it with broccoli in a soup seems a tad ridiculous, but it works.
I like the texture too. It’s kinda bitty. Sounds awful, but it’s awesome.
Parsnip and Apple
Parsnip and apple is a funny one. It’s sweet. Parsnip is an earthy kinda flavour, adding sweet apple and cream gives it a tangy quality. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but it’s quickly become a favourite and something that I go back to time and time again.