Soup season is upon us! Whether you like them smooth or substantial, chunky or creamy or paired with crispy crunchy elements piled on top, everyone has a favourite soup that they go back to as the colder months close in.
Soups are both nutritious and filling, packed full of veg, beans, lentils, meats and whatever else you fancy throwing in. This combination of ingredients helps to make sure that every bowl is always packed with flavour, with the option to spice it up with Indian-inspired flavourings or add a chilli kick for an even more warming bowlful.
As well as their endless flavour possibilities, soups are also a great healthy option for mealtimes. Go for a stock-based soup packed full of luscious seasonal veggies, ditching any creamy additions, and you’ve got a great, filling meal that easily helps you be well on your way to hitting your recommended five a day. Plus, they’re sure to be a hit with little mouths too!
Stock up in season
Seasonally, autumn provides some of the best ingredients for making soups. October and November are abundant with gorgeous produce, with plenty of options that make the perfect addition to silky soups or chunky broths. From earthy wild mushrooms and superfoods like kale to warming root veg in the form of carrots, parsnips, pumpkin and celeriac, there are endless possibilities for soup creation during the autumn months in the UK.
How about trying roast carrot soup with a hint of earthy cumin and coriander, or go for a spicy lentil soup for a more filling meal. Wild mushrooms can make a homely addition to a broth, particularly when paired with bacon, or a creamy mushroom soup makes the perfect starter for a luxurious dinner party.
Dipping and dunking
Once you’ve chosen your soup ingredients the possibilities do not infact end there. A whole world of toppings and sides awaits you! Whether you opt for curry pastry pinwheels to accompany your Indian-inspired blend or go for a more traditional bread-based side, such as posh goats cheese toasts with sweet red onion chutney, there are plenty of choices when it comes to yummy little bites to dip and dunk in your bowl of soup.
Autumn and winter are seasons for getting snug and cosying up with a bowl of something luscious. Aside from their tasty, nutritious properties, soups are also a great convenient meal option that doesn’t require you to be slaving over the stove when you’d rather be snuggled up on the sofa with a good book. Most of the time you can chuck all of your ingredients into one big pot and leave it to do its thing, returning to find a delicious meal ready to go. If you’ve got a slow cooker then the whole process gets even easier, as it can be simmering away while you’re out enjoying the crisp autumnal days, or be ready and waiting when you come home after a cold commute. What’s not to love about that?
Image by Ewan Munro from London, UK (Albion, Barnsbury, London) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.