THERE is nothing more warming and versatile than soup.
It is perfect in a flask as a snack when you are going on a long family walk, as a hearty lunch or even a light supper.
And why buy soup when you can make your own quickly and cheaply?
Plus, you can freeze it and defrost in a matter of minutes when you fancy tucking in. Here are three great recipes for you to try at home.
Mushroom soup with wholemeal garlic croutons
(Serves 4 – 82p per person)
Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
For the soup:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 750g closed cup mushrooms, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Leaves from one stem of thyme
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 100ml semi-skimmed milk
For the croutons:
- 4 slices whole wheat bread
- Low fat cooking spray
- ¼ tsp of garlic powder
- ¼ tsp of onion powder
- Pinch of flaky sea salt
METHOD: Preheat oven to 180C/gas 4 and slice the bread into one-inch cubes. Toss the bread in a large bowl and cover with cooking spray. Then lay it on a baking tray in a single layer.
Sprinkle over the garlic, onion and sea salt. Bake for five minutes, then flip. Continue until brown. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook for five minutes until softening and brown. Add the mushrooms, increase the heat to high and cook for ten minutes until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic and thyme and cook for one minute.
Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and blend until smooth with a food processor. Return the soup to the pan, add the milk and heat through. To serve, pour soup into bowls and top with croutons.
Chicken and sweetcorn soup
(Serves 4, £2.87 per person)
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
- 2 corn on the cob
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 2cm piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 1.2 litres chicken stock
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 cooked chicken breast fillets, skin removed and meat shredded
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 15g fresh coriander, finely chopped
METHOD: Boil a pot of water. Have a large bowl of ice water ready. Cook corn in boiling water for four minutes. Using tongs, remove immediately and put into ice water. Leave for a couple of minutes until cool enough to hold. Drain excess water from the ears before cutting corn off the cob.
Cut carefully down one length of the corn with a sharp knife. Then place it on a chopping board, cut side down, and using a sawing motion remove the corn and put into a bowl. Take half of the sweetcorn and blend with a stick blender or in a machine to a smooth paste. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and add the garlic, ginger and half of the spring onions. Cook for two to three minutes until softened. Add stock and soy sauce to the saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Whisk in the sweetcorn puree until smooth then add remaining sweetcorn kernels and the shredded chicken. Simmer for four to five minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour in egg, stirring to create little threads. Serve in bowls topped with spring onions and coriander.
Broccoli and Stilton soup
(Serves 8 – 62p per person)
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 500g Morrisons frozen broccoli, thawed
- 1 medium-sized potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
- 280g of Stilton, crumbled
- ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
METHOD: Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic until tender, but not browned. Mix in the broccoli, potato and stock.
Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. With a hand mixer or in a blender, purée the mixture until smooth.
Return to the saucepan, add in the crumbled Stilton and reheat. Stir until melted. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper and serve.
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