I’ve said it before but “people don’t eat enough soup”. This quote gets bandied about my house quite a bit, after a friend said it in a restaurant one time. He meant that people assume it’s boring, liquid, not like a real meal. But really good soup, made with good stock, is gorgeous. I make my own when I have glut of veg – the only ingredient that’s really essential is onion, I think. Just gently fry a chopped onion in olive (or sunflower) oil, then add in your chopped and prepped veg (celeriac, carrot, beetroot, butternut squash, anything!) and your chosen spices (cumin, coriander, salt and pepper, smoked paprika, chilli etc) and herbs (fresh or dried parsley, thyme, rosemary, chervil, coriander leaf) and simmer. Then blend smooth or leave chunky. Sieve, if you’re feeling fancy, for a really creamy velvetty texture. Voila! Add cream or creme fraiche at the table if liked. It couldn’t be simpler (and I haven’t even got a stick blender or one of those food processors that heats up and cooks at the same time).
If you can’t be fagged, you can always buy a fresh soup. This week I have been testing Tideford Organics’ new ‘free from’ winter soups, all gluten-free, low in fat/salt/no added sugar.
I liked the subtly-flavoured Sweet Potato Soup with Chia Seed and Quinoa. The protein in the chia (a superfood) keeps you fuller for longer, so it’s more sustaining than an ordinary veg soup. Suitable for vegans, vegetarians and coeliacs.
Winter Beetroot soup with Curly Kale is a vibrant, deep plummy-pink, with a hint of seasonal parsnip and carrot, and a super-healthy 26 cals/100g. great with a blog of creme fraiche on top.
And Red Lentil Soup with Apricots and Crushed Chillies is tangy, with a soft chilli kick, and the sweetness of the apricots. I line fruit with savoury foods, but that’s just me. The lentils gave all my family a reaction though, digestion-wise, if you get my drift.
A 600g pot is £2.79. www.tidefordorganics.com