Simple soups to warm you up

Roasted red pepper and butternut squash soup.

Roasted red pepper and butternut squash soup.

Hi everyone and thanks for all those e-mails, looking for recipes, etc. This week I got a lovely e-mail from Julia, who is looking for a few easy soup recipes, so here goes.

Tasty vegetable soup

Fresh homemade soup is so easy to make, you basically chop up your ingredients, cover them with water, boil, simmer and puree and that’s it. Simple and delicious.

Ingrdients

1 celery stick (chopped )

3 carrots (chopped )

3 large potatoes (peeled and cubed )

1 parsnip (peeled and diced )

1 turnip (peeled and diced )

1 leek (sliced )

1 onion (chopped )

Salt and pepper to taste

1 vegetable stock cube

Water

Method

Place all the vegetables into a large saucepan with the crumbled vegetable stock cube. Fill the saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the vegetables are tender. Puree vegetables in a blender or using a stick blender. Serve and enjoy. Sometimes I cut my vegetables up very neatly and don’t puree the soup for an alternative, but it’s up to your own preference. You can put any vegetables that you want into this soup but I personally like to keep it simple. This is the basic vegetable soup recipe that is cooked in many pubs, cafés, and restaurants around Mayo, so you should find this soup to taste familiar. You could add chopped fresh herbs if you had them as well. Also as many diets let you eat as much vegetables as you like this is a very low points meal which will fill you up.

Tomato and basil soup

This is another classic soup dish that's familiar to everyone.

Ingredients

4 sprays of “fry lite”, cooking spray

1 onion (thinly sliced )

2 carrots (thinly sliced )

2 stalks celery (thinly sliced )

3 cloves garlic (chopped )

1 tin of tomato passata

2 vegetable stock cubes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped oregano

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Method

Spray the cooking spray into a large pot over medium-low heat; cook and stir onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until vegetables are tender for about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato pasata, vegetable stock cubes, basil, and oregano. Increase heat to medium and simmer until soup is reduced, 10 to 20 minutes. Use a stick blender to get a lovely smooth soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if you think that it needs it. You can get pasata in most supermarkets, and I prefer to use it instead of tinned tomatoes as it gives the soup an extra dimension. Again, this soup is packed with low calorie ingredients and an alternative to vegetable soup for the January dieters.

Roasted red pepper and butternut squash soup

This is a favourite in our house, and also in the hotel, especially this time of the year when everyone is on a diet.

Ingredients

1 red pepper

1 clove of garlic

Squirt of low fat spray

1 butternut squash

1 onion

3 vegetable stock cubes

Seasoning

Water

Method

Set the oven for 200C. Squirt the whole red pepper with the low fat spray and season with salt and pepper. Cook the red pepper on a tray in the oven with the clove of garlic, until the pepper skin is mostly black and burned. Take the tray out of the oven and leave to cool. Peel and chop the butternut squash and the onion and put them in a saucepan with the stock cubes and enough water to cover the vegetables. Peel the skin of the red pepper and remove the seeds and put in the saucepan with the other ingredients. Squeeze the garlic clove out of its skin and into the pan as well. Bring the soup to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft, then blend until smooth with a stick blender.

Go on, you can do it. These recipes are very easy to prepare and soon you will be tucking into a lovely warm bowl of soup that you have made all by yourself.

Roasted red pepper and butternut squash soup.

Homemade vegetable soup.

Tomato and basil soup.

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