Soup is a winning way to use up any odds and sods from your veg box, or it might be the first thing you do when you open the box. Either way, it’s a goodness rich and easy meal for lunch, especially if you make a batch that will cover a few lunches.
There are millions of soup recipes out there but there are really just a few simple rules for soup making.
You need some kind of onion type base to your soup – a quarter of an onion per serving is a good rule of thumb, but don’t forget you can use leeks, spring onions or shallots too.
You can make your own stock using chicken bones and veg, but if you don’t fancy that the jelly style stock cubes (we sell Kent’s Kitchen stock which is delicious) are really very good. You will need 1/3 to half a pot per serving and about 200ml of water (you can always add more later if it’s too thick).
A mug of veg per portion is about right, and what you use is up to you. You might get a bit more from your veg than you usually do as well – don’t forget you can chop and use stems from broccoli, outer leaves from cauliflower, leaves from bunched veg, things that you might put into the compost (oh no- you don’t put them in the brown bin do you???)
You can stick to one type of veg, for a more purist soup such as Butternut Squash or mushroom, or mix it up to use up last ends of vegetables. The varieties are endless, especially when you factor in the optional extras of Herbs & Spices, Garnish
Herbs & Spices – some veg lend themselves well to certain flavours, carrot and coriander, butternut and chilli, mushroom and thyme, but really the only limit is your imagination (and maybe your spice rack) A bay leaf will never go amiss, and parsley is a sure fire way to add some fresh herby flavour, but you know what you like… add a bit and see if it works out.
Garnish – feeling fancy? Serving for friends or as a posh starter? Stick to one vegetable for a great colour, and jazz up your soup with a little crumbled feta, some quickly toasted croutons or seeds, or a swirl of creme friache.
Make it a meal
Soup doesn’t need to be a side dish or starter – make it the main event by adding some protein, and bulk it up with some carbs and you have yourself a satisfying dinner. Protein could be some left over roast chicken, some dried lentils (remember you will need extra liquid) or even a poached egg. Your carbs could come from brown rice, barley or noodles if you are feeling oriental and boom. you have yourself the real deal. The soup meal.
Spiced Butternut with Feta and Pumpkin seeds
- 1 butternut squash, cut into small cubes
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 stock pot with 650ml water
- 1tsp garam masala
- 1tsp cayenne pepper (plus extra for garnish)
- 50g feta cheese
- 1 tbs pumpkin seeds
- Fry onion gently until soft, add butternut and fry gently altogether for 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and spices and fry for a further minute.
- Add stock and simmer for 20 minutes until squash is soft, remove from heat and blend
- In a dry pan toast the seeds for a few minutes, stirring often and taking care not to burn
- Serve the soup sprinkled with the seeds, a pinch of cayenne and the crumbed cheese