Soup Kitchen

Author: Lauren Coleman

My oven is back in action this month, warming up the kitchen a treat and producing all sorts of new meals. At this time of year I’m very keen on whipping up big batches of hearty and comforting soup. Like a warm smoothie, it’s easy to pile in a large proportion of your five a day and anything filling and nutritious is my kind of meal.

A few weeks ago I knocked up a butternut squash and chilli soup recommended by one of my very kind instagram followers. This involved roasting a butternut squash laden with chilli flakes then blitzing with sautéed onion and vegetable stock to a thick and creamy consistency. Top off with a dollop of creme fraiche and you’ll be in heaven with your hat on.
Another one of my favourite soup recipes is Celery and Stilton. When I was younger we used to spend some of the Christmas holidays in a teeny cottage in the North Yorkshire village of Staithes. This soup was a staple of our stay and the smell reminds me of happy days filled with hilltop walks, strolls on the beach and lots of Monopoly.

The lovely Claire B was very enthusiastic about her soup maker recently prompting me to go and check out their merits. I’m usually quite happy with a pan and a stick blender so was quite intrigued as to what a soup maker could bring to the table, so to speak. I have to say after doing a bit of research I’m tempted! You just throw in your ingredients and twenty odd minutes later dinner is ready. Perfect for the time starved cook.

Now I’m on a soup making mission, I’d love to know your favourite combos? What’s your favourite soup to knock up during the autumn? I’ve recommended my favourite recipe book and utensils below (as well as the soup maker I’m considering). Any other books or implements you’d like to recommend?

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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33 thoughts on “Soup Kitchen

  1. My favourite soup to make is a spiced pumpkin (very timely!). I roast a load of pumpkin for 20mins with paprika, ginger and chilli. At the same time I cook down a pack of soffrito mix from waitrose (lazy I know!). Then chuck in the pumpkin with water and stick cube, let it simmer then blitz it last minute. Well, that’s dinner tonight decided!

        1. Fab idea. There’s no point letting the flesh go to waste. Though I do wonder if some of the massive ones I’ve seen in my supermarket would be tasty or not?

  2. My favourite and quickest recipe is Bacon and Chickpea soup. Super SUPER tasty.
    All you do is fry off some bacon and onions, season, top up with chicken stock and a couple of tins of drained chickpeas, blitz with a blender stick and you have a delicious delicious soup!
    It’s a recipe from my mother-in-law, aka Queen of Soups.

  3. I love spicy parsnip soup, and good old leek and potato! My favourite soup book is the New Covent Garden Soup Everyday book, as it’s got a recipe for every day of the year, and it goes with the seasons. Some lush recipes in there! I’ve just looked and it’s currently £20 on Amazon but I saw it for £6 in WH Smith yesterday 🙂 x

  4. My family is full of soup makers too – my Gran’s celery soup is the stuff of legend! My mum passed on a recipe for tomato and lentil soup to me, and it’s one of my favourites; really filling and dead cheap, plus you can literally shove anything “extra” you have lying around in it. The basic premise is onion, garlic, thyme, tomatoes (could be tomato juice, tinned chopped, or fresh), red lentils and vegetable or chicken stock (fry onions & garlic then whack the rest in and cook for 20 minutes), but additional carrot, celery, red pepper, other herbs etc. never seem to harm it! You can leave it chunky if you want, or blitz til totally smooth, but generally I do a bit of a semi-blend so it’s somewhere in the middle. It also freezes really well. Might have to make a pot of it this week now! (Celery and stilton sounds amazing – and I love Staithes!)

    1. Ahh Katie, you know Staithes too. I love it there but haven’t been for years. We’re going to Sandsend for Easter though.
      Fabulous recipe too. Lentils are delicious and filling too x

  5. Awwwww, blushing about my butternut squash soup!!! So glad you enjoyed it. I love Stilton & broccoli @ christmas. I also do a v quick one which is sautéed onions and garlic, a can of chopped toms, stock, whizz, add half a packet of pre cooked lentils, serve & grate Parmesan. Yuuuum. Which reminds me of Jamie’s recipe for French onion. Yuuuuuuum.
    Love the Le Cru pic, sainsburys do some great & more affordable copies, I picked up a lovely aqua one a couple of years back & I love how pretty it looks on the hob, even if it is a nightmare to clean! Xxxx

  6. I do love my soup maker! In fact it is the Morphy Richards one pictured above. The main reason I prefer it over a soup pan is that you don’t have to worry about stirring and blending.

    I love a chunky meal type soup and my most recent experiment is tomato, lentil and chilli. Pick a tomato recipe of your choosing and chuck in the lentils and a bit of chilli to give it a kick. It’s the perfect winter warmer. I bought a huge pumpkin from a farm yesterday so there may be a lot of pumpkin soup being cooked up this week. The seeds are also delicious once toasted and make a healthy alternative to croutons.

  7. My Mum has always made a mean lentil and bacon. She swears by her pressure cooker (so 70’s) and she’s absolutely right… it bursts with flavour and the bigger/chunkier the bacon is the better!

    Unfortunately I have no idea how to work a pressure cooker so just rely on a massive pan.

    Not much of a recipe – just red lentils, carrots, onion, potato, a handful of whatever herbs or spices come to hand, cover with stock then bubble away until its cooked down. Throw in your bacon and its ready. So warming and wintery xx

    1. I’m sure it’s just as delicious from a pan Karen. James is obsessed with bacon – he’d love this x

    2. I was so scared the first time I used my pressure cooker, I was about 80% sure that something was going to explode. Turned out fine though, now I use it all the time. Its a magical time saving device!

  8. This post has come at a great time, I am new to soup making but desperate to learn, where would be the best place to start? Any recommendations on recipes for a newbie! I have a hand blender and a Le Creuset!

    1. Hi Anneliese, the world is your oyster! Most of the soups I make start with frying garlic or onions, then throwing in extra veg and stock and whizzing up.
      Hopefully our lovely readers have inspired you with a few suggestions x

    2. Yes! The covent garden books are ACE.

      Alternatively, there is a sort of formula that I use.

      Softened alliums (leeks/onions/garlic/shallot) + 2 x similar coloured veg (eg butternut squash and red pepper, or broccoli and spinach) + a flavouring (eg herbs, spices or just salt and pepper) + stock or water = soup.

      Other stuff – add potatoes for a thicker soup, add any kind of pulse (lentils, chickpeas etc), add a pork product at the start (eg chorizo or bacon), roast your veg first for more flavour and quicker soup, add dairy at the end (eg cheese, creme fraiche etc)

      Have fun!

  9. I love making soup and it is just so easy. Recently I just took 1 carrot, 1 potato and half a zucchini. Covered everything with vegetable or chicken stock, cooked it, blizzed it, put creme fraiche in and it was yummy. Today I plan on making a fennel, carrot and potato soup. It’s with a little bit of lemon juice an cream. I love it. But my favourite is butternut squash soup.

  10. Ooh, can I have the butternut squash soup recipe please? I tried looking on Instagram but I can’t see it there… Sounds delicious! My new kitchen is FINALLY being fitted next week, so I am stockpiling all sorts of recipes to make. Thank you! x

    1. Hi Annie, it was super simple – I cut a butternut squash in half and then put a chopped chilli over the top and roasted in the oven for a while. You can throw in a few peppers too to roast for an even sweeter taste.
      I then fried an onion until it was soft and blitzed with the veg some stock x

  11. Red Lentil Soup, 8oz red lentils, 2pint water, chopped onion, grated carrot, 2 veg stock cubes, squirt tomato purée, sprinkle dried mixed herbs all in a saucepan together, bring to the boil, simmer for twenty minutes, add pepper. Done! Freezes well too.

  12. Yum yum some lovely sounding recipes to try! In fact the butternut squash and chilli soup is going to be tonight’s tea (and an excuse to use our lovely blue Le Creuset) Roast tomato and red pepper is one of my all time faves

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