This Geeky Kitchen | Soup Foundations

This Geeky Tangent This Geeky Kitchen

Winter is a time for soup, liquid vegetable, warmth and goodness, and also the soup song. If you know, you know.

For a good while there, I was making two soups on a Sunday (often using up left-over vegetables from the previous weeks shop) and then the boy and I could chop and change through the week for lunches.

On the left we have a tomato soup, and on the right we have a carrot and lentil number. Read on for the recipes.

This worked fantastically until the wisdom tooth reared its ugly head and I all I could eat was soup. I wasn’t in a position to cook any, and I honestly never want to see soup again… for a while.

But, up to that point, it was a really, really good routine, so I thought I’d share my general soup ethos.

I swing between using soup recipes and making it up as I go along and I’ve got three general “norms”, as it were:

  • there’s always one of either garlic or onion, though it’s very rare there are no onions (or their relations) involved;
  • thickness (if desired) is generally achieved by using potato or lentil; and
  • unless vegetarian/vegan, chicken stock cubes taste best.

For me, the best of soups is a basic leek and potato, for which you need:

  • potato
  • leek
  • salt and pepper
  • nutmeg
  • stock

It’s that simple. Here’s a blog post I did earlier!

Once you’ve got the basics and ratios down, it’s simply a case of swapping your favourite vegetables in and out.

For leek and potato soup, the thickness is provided by the potato. For the carrot soup up in the photo above, the thickness is provided by good old lentils. That was a BBC Good Food recipe that you can find here (note those onions… see!)

I have found that one of the easiest ways to change the taste of a soup is by altering the way in which vegetables are cooked. Take tomatoes. I’ve posted a recipe on here before for tomato soup, here, in which I roasted tomatoes to then blend into soup (this one used onions). The tomato soup from the photo above was another BBC Good Food recipe (here), this one with no roasting required (no onions, but garlic was still there!)

As I forgot to add the pesto a couple of times (and it was just as good both ways), I was able to tell the difference between the two soups, and it’s remarkable how much different such a small change can make. Both are great soups and will be made again, the choice entirely depending on time and effort!

As I’m writing this, I’m already pondering some soup combinations for the new year. Butternut squash is up there, as is a pea and ham number – I have a love affair with peas, which the boy finds hilarious – and a hearty bean soup is on the horizon also, I feel.

What are your favourite soups to make? Let me know down below!

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