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Want healthy, tasty food with no stress, no fuss and no recipes? It’s time to Hack your Soup. These four steps create delicious soups that are inherently seasonal — you just use the veg you have on hand.

soup 1

Soup basics

Keep soup basics in your cupboard at all times. Obviously there are endless spice and herb options, not to mention different oils and stocks. This is just a suggestion list — amend it to your taste.

  • Garlic

  • Onions

  • Vegetable stock (cubes or liquid)

  • Miso paste

  • Coconut milk
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Coconut oil

  • Extra-virgin olive oil

  • Chilies

  • Bayleaf

  • Rosemary

  • Thyme

  • Oregano

  • Sweet and hot paprikia

  • Cumin

  • Curry powder
  • Turmeric

  • Nutmeg

  • Black or mixed peppercorns

  • Coarse sea salt

With these basic ingredients you can start any soup from Thai vegetable to Japanese ramen to lentil stew. The secret is, you assemble soup like you would a balanced meal — starch, vegetable and protein. The combination is up to you!

Pick a protein

Beans are a fantastic protein source. Try chickpeas, white, black, navy, broad, kidney or pinto beans. Buy dried beans and soak them overnight before cooking for a cheap, nutritious addition to your meal. You can also add proteins like nut butters (peanut great in sweet potato soup with a coconut milk base), firm tofu, veggie sausage or mince, and seitan. Of course, if you are pescatarian or omnivorous you can choose from a vast range of meat, fish and seafood.

Step 3: Choose a starch:

Noodles add an extra dimension to soup. You can use farfalle, macaroni, fusilli and penne are great in soups based on Mediterranean flavours. For Asian-style soups try thick udon noodles, nutty soba, rice stick or vermicelli.

One trick for adding body to creamy soups is to puree a peeled baked potato into the stock to add extra starch and texture.

Step 4: Eat your vegetables

Go to town with seasonal veg! Anything you find in your fridge, cupboard or garden can go in soup. Root vegetables like beetroot, carrot, parsnip, Swede or celeriac add earthy notes and lots of nutrients. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and their relatives are hearty and delicious. All types of squash are great in soups, as are mushrooms.

Soup hacking is simple: start with the basics, add ingredients 1-2-3 and enjoy!

Share your favourite soup flavour or cooking tip in the comments!

photo credit: marcoverch Rindergulasch mit Semmel via photopin (license)