Terrific Tomato Soup

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I think most people have childhood memories of tomato soup – probably Heinz – and its comforting qualities. It must be the soup equivalent of a hug in a bowl. However most canned soups seem to contain milk or cream, so here’s my easy store cupboard version that packs a punch of flavour and will take you right back to those Sunday evenings in front of the telly! (Or was it just my family who ate a simple Sunday evening meal in front of the tv?)

Terrific Tomato Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 stick celery, peeled and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of oregano
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tins chopped tomatoes, good quality
  • 400ml or 1 tins volume of vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 branch of basil
  • Sugar, salt, pepper to taste

– Sweat the onion, carrot, celery and pinch of salt in the oil until soft
– Add the garlic and oregano and cook until fragrant.
– Stir in the tomato purée and continue to cook for a couple of minutes
– Pour in the tomatoes and stock
– Add the basil and balsamic vinegar
– Simmer gently for about 15 minutes
– Blitz with a hand held blender
– Taste and adjust the seasoning.

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Mexican Taco Soup

 

IMG_7876It’s funny how you suddenly feel like eating a certain dish. Spring has suddenly hit, but I just really fancied some soup. I didn’t really feel like a warming wintery root veg based concoction, or one that was totally summery. Difficult!

So spurred on by a half eaten pack of tortilla chips, here is my resulting Mexican bean soup. It managed to tick all the boxes, being quite light and refreshing with the lime and coriander; but also hearty and warming with the beans and spice.

I would say the topping of crushed up tortilla chips, fresh coriander and an extra squeeze of lime is absolutely essential to bring a basic mexican bean soup into the realms of deliciousness. A classic ‘meal in a bowl’ type dish.

Mexican Taco Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

IMG_7877serves 4

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Splash of wine or water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes or 1 small chilli, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tin mixed beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tin of sweetcorn, or 1 cob shaved of its kernals
  • juice of 1/4 lime

To garnish:

  • Fresh coriander
  • Crushed tortilla chips
  • squeeze of fresh lime

– Saute the onions and peppers in the oil until soft and just starting to turn golden.

– Add the garlic and chill and cook until fragrant.

– Add the other spices and cook out for a minute or two.

– Pour in the splash of wine to deglaze the pan. Once the wine and reduced to almost nothing, stir in the tomato puree and again cook for a couple of minutes to get rid of any raw flavour.

– Pour in the beans, tinned tomatoes and stock. Season and cook for 10-15 minutes.

– Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the sweetcorn and lime juice. Cook for another 5 minutes.

– Serve garnished with crushed tortilla chips, fresh coriander and an extra squeeze of lime.

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Celeriac and Apple Soup

The celeriac in the shops are looking great at the moment, in their wonderfully gnarly glory. I do like celeriac, but it is a ‘grown up’ flavour, which I’m sure I would have hated as a child. So this soup is an attempt to make the knobbly old celeriac more child-friendly – whizzed up into a smooth soup and sweetened with apple. To my surprise my girls actually liked it! Definitely a winner of a winter’s lunch.

Celeriac and Apple Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

IMG_7174serves 4

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 large or one small celeriac, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme, fresh if possible but dried is fine
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

– Sweat the onion and celery in 1 tbsp oil until soften but not browned.

– Add the celeriac and apple, thyme and about 1/2 tsp salt..

– Pour over the hot stock and bring to a simmer.

– Simmer for 156-20 minutes, until the celeriac is thoroughly cooked through.

– Blitz in a blender or with an immersion blender until totally smooth. Taste and season. Serve scattered with herbs (chives are nice), black pepper and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.

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Leek, Courgette and Parsley Soup

We’ve been swamped with leeks in our weekly veg box. I would have just made a bowl of my frankly awesome vichyssoise, but in writing a food blog your mind is always needing to come up with new foodie ideas, so here instead is another bowl of green deliciousness. The lemon zest may sound slightly unusual, but it packs a mighty punch and adds real interest to the soup.

Leek, Courgette and Parsley Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 4

  • 3 leeks, washed and chopped
  • 2 courgettes, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • lemon zest, of 1/2 a lemon
  • Large handful of parsley
  • 600 ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper

– Sauté the leeks and courgettes in olive oil until starting to turn golden
– Add a clove of garlic and continue to cook until fragrant
– Pour in the stock
– Add the lemon zest and simmer for 15-20 minutes ( add the parsley after 10 minutes) until all the vegetables are cooked through.
– Blitz in a liquidizer
– Taste and adjust the seasoning, perhaps adding a splash of lemon juice for a bit of zing
– Serve garnished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some parsley.

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Silky Squash and Rosemary Soup

It’s April and it’s still freezing. Come on weather! Pull your socks up, and get a bit more spring-like – in the meantime, here’s another soup to warm the [figurative and vegetarian] cockles.

I not a big fan of butternut squashes, but since one arrived in this week’s veg box, it just had to feature in my soup choice. However, this  combination of squash with rosemary was capable of changing even my opinion on the humble squash. The resulting soup is silky, herby, punchy and (in my opinion) transforms squash into a wonder ingredient! Top with these rather addictive rosemary roasted salted pumpkin seeds and feel the warmth.

Silky Squash and Rosemary Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 4

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 750 ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper

– Saute the onion, carrot and celery in the oil until softened but not browned

– Add the squash and rosemary and stir well.

– Pour in the stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the squash is cooked through.

– Remove the woody rosemary stalks and liquidize.

– Taste and adjust the seasoning.

– Serve scattered with rosemary roasted pumpkin seeds and sliced spring onions.

Rosemary Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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makes plenty!

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary,
  • 1/2 tsp salt (or less)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4

– Toss together all the ingredients and scatter on a baking tray.

– Roast for 10-15 minutes, until starting to turn golden.

– Cool

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Broccoli Soup

Yet another soup from Lucy’s friendly Foods! I promise I’ll stop posting soup recipes soon. Well, just as soon as spring arrives.

Maybe broccoli soup doesn’t sound very exciting to most people, but it does to me! So simple – but packed full of healthy flavour – a great way to get a dose of green goodness. And it’s a vegetable that children seem to love, although mine can eye a green soup with suspicion.

A few chives on top, a drizzle of olive oil, black pepper, a hunk of my rosemary focaccia and it’s another simple, winning lunch.

Broccoli Soup (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

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serves 4

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large head of broccoli, broken into florets
  • 1 potato
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or more according to taste
  • 700ml vegetable stock

– Saute the onion in the oil until softened but not brown

– Add the broccoli and potato and tir.

– Pour in the stock. Place on a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through.

– Liquidize or blitz until smooth.

– Add the salt and taste. Adjust the seasoning.

– Serve garnished with chopped chives, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and some black pepper.

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