Sunday, December 20

Healthy Warming Winter Vegetable Soup

There's nothing nicer than cosying up with some homemade soup on a cold winters day. I was surprised to find how easy it is to make your own and it's far better than anything you'll find in a can. This is a super easy recipe for a healthy root vegetable soup, it takes a handful of carrots and parsnips, a little preparation, and next to no skill.

1. Begin by melting a little butter in a large pan (use real salted butter because it tastes delicious but if you don't have any opt for a little olive oil). While the butter is melting dice an onion and then add it to the pan to sweat for a few minutes while you chop the other vegetables. 

2. Roughly chop your root vegetables, the smaller you chop the quicker they will cook. For three large portions I use five large carrots and two parsnips, Add these to the pan with a lid on and let cook while you prepare some stock. 

3. Make up half a pint of stock for a fairly thick soup, add less if you want it very thick. I use chicken stock because I don't like the taste of vegetable but use whatever you like. Add this to the pan and leave on a medium heat until your vegetables are soft. 

4. Away from the heat and using a hand blender, pulse your soup until it's smooth. You could also transfer to a standing blender but a hand blender is quicker and needs less washing up.

5. Add final seasoning i.e. salt and pepper, and, for a rich soup, add a dash of cream. You can skip the cream if you want less fat but I like it - treat yourself, you're eating a bowl full of vegetables after all.

Voila! A tasty homemade soup in less than half an hour - faster if you can chop up your veg quickly. This is a nice alternative to a sandwich and a great way to add some vegetables into your diet. It's also really easy to alter by throwing in different vegetables. Butternut squash works well and I think a tin of chopped tomatoes would be good too for a different flavour. 

Please let me know if you try this out, it's great for a healthy lunch and delicious with buttered bread rolls. If you don't have any kind of blender I think you could leave the vegetables cooking for a long time until they've very soft and try mashing for a rougher soup.

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