Soups for Comfort: Winter vitamins galore!

Rape seed oil

Rape seed oil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At this time of year I really like to make a lot of soups – in the summer I make cold cucumber soup and so on but now I rummage through my vegetable drawer in the fridge and see what I can make. often spur of the moment but these have been made more than once so I was convinced to write them down. Often you can make variants of course and there are some excellent soup cookbooks now available. Still these do work and have the great advantage of using vegetable stock. I find the Knorr now do a very good jelly-like herb stock which is good, or you can use Bouillon by Marigold but that can be salty unless you can find the low salt version. Or, you can of course make your own! Too much effort for me though …. These are also all very low in fat – the latest Weight Watchersallows all vegetables for ‘free’ eating so soup is a great way to fill yourself up. I try and use organic virgin rapeseed oil for my cooking now as it is mono-unsaturated and can be used for all types of cooking including frying. The first pressing version has a wonderful flavour and can be used for salad dressings too. I use Lo-salt too and find this doesn’t really affect the flavour – I agree on chips or an egg it might but then I don’t often eat them!

Recipes: 

Mixed Green Soup

2 litres vegetable stock

Salt

Pepper

Handful fresh parsley

Good sized head of lettuce

Bunch spring onions

Small white onion or shallots

Handful cooked white rice [WW points if used are 1 point per 10g uncooked]

Fry chopped onion in olive or rapeseed oil [1 WW point per tsp]. Preferably first pressing virgin rapeseed. Add stock. Season. Add chopped parsley; shredded lettuce; chopped spring onions. Cook 10-15 minutes. Add cooked rice. Cook 5 mins more.

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Red Pepper and Bean Spicy soup

Tin tomatoes

Tin spicy mixed beans in sauce

Large red pepper chopped

Red onion chopped

½ tsp chilli powder

Salt pepper

1 litre vegetable stock

½ carton half-fat crème fraiche [125mls] plus 1 dsp per serving [1 WW point per 1 tablespoon]

Bunch fresh coriander chopped

2 tsp rapeseed oil [2 WW points]

Fry onion and red pepper in rapeseed oil. Add tin tomatoes and beans, stock, chilli, season. Cook 5 mins. Add half carton cream [ 1 WW point per tablespoon if half-fat], coriander, cook 10 mins.

Liquidise.

Serve with extra crème fraiche to taste.

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Spicy Squash Soup

Large acorn squash, chopped

White onion chopped and fried with oil and 2 small cloves of garlic until soft – at least 10 minutes

Chickpeas or split peas – pre-cooked [3 WW points per 100g drained]

Hot curry spice or paste

24 fresh if available otherwise dried, curry leaves

Heaped tsp grated fresh ginger [tip: you can now get jars of  minced ginger, coriander, chilli etc in liquid form which are a better substitute than dried. Note that dried coriander is from the seeds and thus is no substitute for fresh growing coriander]

Salt

Pepper

Vegetable stock

Fry curry paste/powder with onions and garlic after they are soft for around 1 minute. Add to squash, stock and chickpeas. Season. Add spices and herbs. Cook 20-25 minutes. Liquidise.

Add more stock if too thick.

Serve with crème fraiche to taste.

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Red Pepper soup

3 large red peppers, roasted, skin removed, chopped.

Large red onion chopped and fried in rapeseed oil [rapeseed oil is mono-unsaturated and thus very good for you, especially if organic and virgin, and first pressed]

2 tbsps sundried tomato pastes

Fresh parsley handful chopped

2 litres vegetable stock

Salt pepper

½ pint semi-skimmed milk [approx] [4 WW points]

Fry pepper with onion until soft. Add parsley. Add pastes, stock, season. Cook till well reduced approx 1 hour. Liquidise. Add milk to right consistency.

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Spring Lemon Soup

Rind organic unwaxed lemon and juice

¾ shredded iceberg lettuce

1 minced white onion

2 cloves garlic

Salt pepper

Approx 2 oz  thin vermicelli [1WW point per 10g dried weight]

1-2 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped

2 litres vegetable stock

3 tsp fresh green pesto – jar will do. [5 WW points per 30g – note you can get low-fat versions where 1 Tablespoon is 1 point]]

Rapeseed oil to fry

Fry onion and garlic until soft. Add lemon rind and juice., pesto, stock. Season. Cook 5 mins. Add tomato and lettuce. Cook 10 minutes. Add vermicelli. Cook another 5 minutes.

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Cheesy leek chowder

Rapeseed oil or butter.

2 diced sticks celery

3 large[ish] leeks, halved lengthwise, sliced fine.

2 oz plain wholemeal flour [1 WW poinmt per tablespoon]

2 pints mixed semi-skimmed milk and water.

3-4 oz ripe brie [Somerset if available as delicate flavour] [1 point per 10 g – you can get low fat but I don’t recommend it]

Salt; pepper.

Fry onion, leek until very soft. Mix flour with some milk and make roux. Add roux to leeks and add half milk/water to make lump free consistency. Add cheese and melt. Liquidise and season to taste. Add remainder milk/water.

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8 thoughts on “Soups for Comfort: Winter vitamins galore!

  1. ukgardenfiend Post author

    Pretty much exhausted by the end of the day. Jim reckoned we walked 8 miles including Tube steps…. But worthwhile. I’ve put up some info on the breakfast – the museums etc can wait for more time .. off to complete my article now!

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  2. ukgardenfiend Post author

    Thanks for reblogging my soups! I have to try and cook healthily as I a: I need to lose weight; and b: I have high cholestrol…
    That said, I love to look through what is in my fridge and see what I can imagine it into… I have some more recipes to add when I get the time.
    Off to lunch with the London Mayor tomorrow morning, then an art show at the Tate, and then, if we’ve still got energy, the British Museum!!!!! So not a lot of time then…

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    1. Gardengirl

      Well go and enjoy! I live far from any museums so I would treasure any chance I got to visit one. Blogging can wait. Oh.. and I probably won’t be lunching with any mayors real soon either.
      Enjoy!

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  3. Gardengirl

    I love soup and this is just the time of year when I begin to get inspired to make them. I am always trying new recipes and some of these look really good. Maybe I will try one tomorrow for Sunday dinner and a football (American) game.

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  4. Lois

    Lovely soups! I would never have thought of putting chickpeas with squash but what a good idea! I’m going to try that! I adore red peppers… silly me for not thinking of making them into soup, so another one for me to try! I’m going to be busy!

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