Featured Soup - Part 2!

Tomato Soup

What's your favourite tomato soup recipe? Are you a cream of tomato fan or do you prefer a super-spicy gazpacho? Is there nothing this fabulous fruit (pretending to be a vegetable) can do? Our top tip to making the best possible tomato soups is to keep those spheres away from your refrigerator. At room temperature and above, the flavour sweetens and intensifies, especially important if you won't be masking your toms with strong spices or cloying cream. Unlike most fresh produce, tomatoes are deemed healthier for us when cooked, as their lycopene content is increased. Which means a piping hot bowl of scrumptious tomato soup is actually said to be better for you than a tomato salad. Let's get cooking!

French Onion Soup

Typically not a vegetarian option due to the beef stock used in the traditional French onion soup recipe, this is nevertheless a delicious dish when made meat free. Although the dish is associated with France, there has been evidence of an onion soup recipe as far back as the Roman empire – so it's certainly one dish that's stood the test of time. Vegetarian versions use a good, rich vegetable stock to replace the beef broth, but otherwise are very similar in character to the original dish. The finishing touch? Croutons, or 2-3 slices of French bread topped with grated cheese and popped under the grill until bubbling and beginning to brown. Not your everyday bowlful!

Minestrone Soup

It's a shame that often you'll find bacon in the classic minestrone soup recipe, as the dish is just as delicious when made vegetarian or vegan. Vegetarian minestrone soups rely on a really good stock, aromatic herbs, seasonal vegetables and hearty pasta to make a satisfying meal that's healthy too. If you do want to add that 'meaty' taste, vegetarian rashers can be snipped up and stirred into the mix, but we promise if you use great ingredients your soup will need no additions.

Lentil Soup

Combining health benefits and a gorgeously smooth texture when cooked correctly, lentils are a boon to the meat-free soup maker. Every lentil soup recipe is different, as the pulses make a lusciously-textured blank canvas for any flavours you might like to add. In terms of nutrition, you're not only looking at healthy vegetable protein and fibre but also folate and vitamin B1. But unlike many foods that are said to be good for you, lentils provide a genuine sense of satisfaction and enjoyment. Do make sure you cook your lentils properly – until the texture is almost buttery to the bite – as the one thing that can ruin this soup is hard, unyielding pulses.

Leek and Potato Soup

Hot, it's leek and potato soup. Cold, it's Vichyssoise. Whatever you call it and however you cook it, every leek and potato soup recipe has something to offer the veggie chef. Hot and hearty, this soup is the ultimate low-fat comfort food. Cold, it's a gourmet delight, and the perfect way to start a dinner party. If the creaminess of Vichyssoise could ruin your diet – or if you just prefer to go without – you're in luck. As chef Harry Eastwood explained in a recent edition of Cook Vegetarian, it's possible to reduce or even remove the cream and butter, as the potatoes will provide the silkiness needed to make this soup sing. And, by doing so, you also allow the leeks a chance to shine.

« Favourite Soup Recipes - Part 1

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