At the moment I’m really re-thinking how we eat as a family and am using half term to overhaul our diets. We generally eat quite well and everything is freshly cooked and home made but I think there’s an over-reliance on carbs (don’t get me wrong, carbs are not the devil!) and not enough variety of fruit and veg. Therefore there is no meal planning board this week! I’m busy trawling recipe books and the internet for some different ideas.
One thing we have been eating a lot of is soup. And that won’t be changing! We have always made soup at the weekend, which generally provides my husband and I with our lunches for the week, but recently we have been including soup at weekends for the kids and as part of our evening meals.
I thought I’d share some of my favourite soup recipes with you and also some of the things we eat with soup to keep it varied! Though crusty bread, especially sourdough, is always a winner!
Paul Hollywood’s Cheese scones
125g self raising flour
125g wholemeal self raising flour (ot just double up the self raising flour but the wholemeal makes these extra scrummy!)
100g cheddar grated
1 egg, beaten to glaze
Mix the flour and cheese (save some cheese to sprinkle on the top). Add the milk gradually to bind, you may not need it all! shape into a round on a floured surface and squash until about an inch thick. Cut into triangles almost all the way through. Place on greaseproof paper and glaze with the beaten egg. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake at 200c for 15 mins until brown and cooked through. Serve warm or freeze.
The thing about soup is that you really can throw any vegetables in with a bit of stock and then blend, and it’s pretty much fool proof! I don’t own a soup maker or Vitamix or anything, I don’t see the point, a handheld blender for £10 from the supermarket will do the job!
Soup freezes well in individual portions and as I mentioned, we keep ours in the fridge all week and take enough out each day for lunch.
Butternut squash, red pepper and chilli soup
1 large onion chopped
2 red peppers chopped
1 medium butternut squash peeled, deseeded and chopped
1 fresh red chilli chopped or a pinch of chilli flakes
2 pints vegetable stock
Soften onion in a small amount of oil. add the peppers and squash, chilli and stock . Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes ot until the veg is soft.
Leave to cool and then liquidise / blend.
Roasted tomato soup (just like Heinz!)
Roast a load of tomatoes (at least a dozen) with a tiny bit of salt for half an hour (180c)
Chop an onion and celery and soften, then add the tomatoes and about 2 pints of veg stock (we always use reduced salt stock cubes).
Boil then simmer (adding a few tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce) for half an hour or so.
Once cooked and cooled, blend until as smooth as you like it and then we add a few generous teaspoons of red pesto and stir it in.
Chilli and cheese cornmeal muffins (Yeo Valley Great British Farmhouse Cookbook)
115g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
100g dried polenta
1/4 chilli flakes
1 medium free range egg, beaten
50g butter melted
Heat oven to 200c. Line a muffin tray with cases. Mix the flour, polenta and baking powder in a bowl. Add most of the cheese saving some for the end and the dried chillies. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, milk and melted butter. Mix together and share between the cases, sprinkling the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 20 minutes until well risen and golden.
These freeze well too!
Curried sweet potato soup
2 onions chopped
4 garlic cloves crushed
Chill flakes / chopped chilli to taste
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons curry powder
700g sweet potato peeled and chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
1 400ml tin coconut milk
Soften onion and garlic in oil. Add the chilli and spices and sweet potatoes. Stir. Cover in the stock and simmer for about 45 minutes until the potato is soft.
Blend and then add the coconut milk.
As always, do let me know if you try any of the recipes and what you think!