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Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

13th November 2012

There’s nothing quite like getting in from a brisk walk to a warming bowl of soup. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, it is the perfect meal for those convalescing, in need of comfort, or as a quick and easy family dinner. Rustle up some homemade bread to serve, slather with butter, and there you have it: comfort food at its very best!

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

13th November 2012

Lucy Corkhill

By Lucy Corkhill

13th November 2012

To make soups with the best flavour, make up your own stock in a big batch and store in the freezer to use as you need – see below for a recipe. Soups are a great way of hydrating the body, and because you are eating the cooking water, you also get all the vitamins and minerals in the vegetables. Check out our favourite winter warmers – make these up and have them on the hob for a tasty post-walk or after-school snack.

Make a vegetable stock

Ingredients:
Butter, coconut oil, or ghee – to cook (these fats/oils aren’t harmful when heated)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 onions, finely diced
2 leeks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
1 large bay leaf
Handful of fresh thyme
Handful of fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
4-5 whole black peppercorns

Heat the butter in a large heavy-bottomed pan, and add the onions, leeks and garlic and sweat until soft. Add the other vegetables and a splash of water and sweat gently with the lid on for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 4 pints of water and the salt, peppercorns and herbs, bring to the boil, and then simmer gently for 45 minutes. Let the stock cool and then strain through a sieve, getting as much liquid as you can from the vegetables. You can use the vegetables ‘waste’ to make vegetable leathers (like fruit leathers) by rolling it out and drying it on a very low heat in the oven. Your stock will keep for 4 days in the fridge or can be frozen for future use.

For a simple and quick stock recipe, simply use vegetable peelings, add herbs and water to cover and bring to the boil, then simmer as above.

Seasonal Root Vegetable with herby sprinkle

Ingredients
Butter, coconut oil, or ghee – to cook (these fats/oils aren’t harmful when heated, coconut oil has distinct taste however)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
2 medium onions or 1 large, finely diced
2 beetroots, cubed
2 large sweet potatoes, cubed
2 large leeks, sliced
3 carrots, chopped
4 sticks of celery with leaves, chopped
2 pints vegetable stock
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mustard seeds

For topping (optional)
2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch of parsley
Rind of 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated

Heat butter/oil in large heavy-bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds and simmer until they begin to pop, then add onions and leeks and sweat on a low heat with lid on for five minutes. Add the carrots and celery and sweat for another five minutes, then add the rest of the vegetables, the turmeric and the stock and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for half an hour or until all the vegetables are soft.

For the topping, grate the rind of a lemon into a bowl. Pulse the parsley and garlic together in a food mixer for a few minutes until finely chopped, then add to the lemon rind. Sprinkle on to your soup for a delicious, zesty kick.

Warming bean soup with guacamole topping

Ingredients:
Butter, coconut oil, or ghee – to cook (these fats/oils aren’t harmful when heated, coconut oil has distinct taste however)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed or chopped
2 medium onions or 1 large, finely diced
2 sticks of celery, chopped
1 tin of chickpeas
1 tin of borlotti or kidney beans
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 pint of stock
Chilli powder, to your family’s taste and preferences
Yoghurt to garnish

For topping
½ red onion, very finely chopped
1 large avocado, peeled and mashed
Juice of 1 lime
Sprig of parsley or coriander, chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

Heat butter/oil in large heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onions, garlic and celery and sweat on a low heat with lid on for five minutes. Add the beans, chopped tomatoes, chilli powder and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for half an hour.

For the topping, mash the avocado in a bowl. Add the chopped red onion, the chopped tomatoes, the lime juice and the herbs, and stir together. Serve the soup with a dollop of yoghurt and guacamole.

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