9 Most Soulful Soup Recipes this Winter

9 Most Soulful Soup Recipes this Winter

Recipes for the best winter soups provided by an ex-student and his culinary sensei

In my final year of university, I substituted Jaegerbombs and clubbing for fine wine and soup making. Spending a day carving up veg and listening to Tracy Chapman tends to be much more gratifying than lying in bed hungover. I am going to outline some of the best of mine and my housemate’s creations, so you can experience for yourself the oomph that each of these soups deliver.

So I don’t endlessly repeat myself, here's a few pointers that go for every soup:

- Heat 1 chopped medium/large onion with 2-3 cloves of garlic and olive oil in a saucepan until translucent (chuck a stick of celery in too, if you think the flavour will work). Do this before adding any of your other ingredients.

- Throw in the rest of the veg and cook until soft.

- Add around 1.5 litres of vegetable stock (homemade or not, who cares).

- Simmer for 20 minutes, blend, throw in herbs, spices, and crème fraiche to taste.

- Always have plenty of tiger bread ready and maybe a flatbread if you’re feeling fiendish.

All of these soups are made in a similar fashion and serve 4-5. Anyway, the soups!

9. Honey Roasted Parsnip

Lather 6-8 parsnips in olive oil and honey, before baking them in the oven.

Fry the onion and garlic. A small amount of ginger can be added here if that’s your sort of thing.

Take the parsnips out when golden and chuck them into the saucepan.

I recommend adding a lot of heat to this one to counteract the sweetness. Crushed cumin seeds are ideal, or possibly garam masala with finely cut, fresh chillies on top.

8. Apple and Celeriac

This soup has an intriguing flavour that had my housemate wearing an inquisitive look on his face throughout the time he was eating it.

Get one nice, big celeriac and chop it roughly. Celeriac comes from the same family as celery - believe it or not - so add a couple sticks if you like.

Add 3 or 4 cooking apples with thyme or rosemary (depending on your preference).

NOTE: This soup can wind up tasting a lot like the apple sauce you have with roast pork so be sure to add lots of salt and pepper to prevent this.

7. Cream of Mushroom

Get experimental with this one; it’s hard to go wrong.

Get 500g of as many different kinds of mushrooms as you can get your hands on: brown, white, shitake, whatever. Add parsley, thyme, or both. Rich and majestic. Croutons are a must.

6. Pea and Mint

You’ll need 500g of peas - fresh or frozen. But make sure the mint is fresh; add about a handful 10 minutes before blending.

This soup is quite thin, so add a potato or extra crème fraiche to thicken. Again a simple win; just don’t drop it.

Click the photo for my incredible Thai Green Curry recipe on YouTube!

5. Broccoli

I’m not gonna insult your intelligence by explaining this one too much.

A whole broccoli without the thick stalk in the middle. Add a potato if you want.

4. Carrot and Fennel

Balance is key here: 2 carrots to 1 bulb of fennel. 4 carrots and 2 bulbs should suffice.

Carrots can be honey roasted as per the parsnip recipe before.

Fennel smells just like aniseed. Don’t panic, the sweetness of the carrots should counteract this if prepared properly.

Roast all veg for 20 minutes before adding to the saucepan and add some fresh sprigs of thyme at the end.

3. Tomato and Basil

I hope after this recipe you won’t eat tinned tomato soup again. Tomato soup should be a shade of deep ruby, not some scatty fake tan.

Use tinned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes or both; around 4 tins of tomatoes or twelve fresh tomatoes (if fresh, chuck the vines in as well for a delicious earthy flavour).

Once cooked, tear in as much fresh basil as you have. I recommend not being stingy on the crème fraiche here. A complete classic.

2. Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato

The next two soups are utterly delectable. The squash and sweet potato made me say for the first time, “Yeah. This is what I want to do with the rest of my life.”

Carve one ripe butternut squash and 2-3 sweet potatoes depending on their size. Simply velvet.

1. Spicy Pumpkin

This edges to number 1 over the previous entries simply because of the warmth it brings in the cold months.

Allow yourself an hour and a sizeable knife to carve the biggest pumpkin you can get your hands on.

Get out the cumin seeds early on (crushed), and fry them off with the onion and garlic.

Before blending, add sliced red chillies - the more you can handle the better. Once blended; season the soup with chilli flakes, fresh coriander and a big old dollop of crème fraiche.

And there you have it, a lifetime of wisdom from a soup connoisseur.

Have you tried out these heart-warming recipes? Let me know if you hated them below!

Cover Image Credit: https://previews.123rf.com/images/mkistryn/mkistryn1503/mkistryn150300042/37634304-vegetables-and-fruits-collage-Stock-Photo-images.jpg

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9 Things All Mexican Food Addicts Know All Too Well

Don't come between me and my Mexican food.

In the city I grew up in, there is a Mexican restaurant just about every five miles. They are the after school hangouts and first date go-to's for most of the kids here, especially the high school girls.

I know the servers at my favorite one know my order almost every time I go in there (at least once a week). However, a lot of people apparently get tired of eating Mexican food about twice a week... but I sure don't. If you are a Mexican food addict like me, I am sure you know at least a few of these yourself.

1. Cheese dip tastes like heaven and you have to have it.

That amazing creamy white cheese dip put on a perfectly salted chip is enough to make your day better. Forget the actual food---we'd be content living off of cheese dip and chips for the rest of our lives. Our restaurant trip is not complete without an order of it and if you are lucky enough to get your favorite waiter, maybe even get a large bowl for the night.

SEE ALSO: An Ode To Queso, My First And True Love

2. You never have to look at the menu.

We know when we decide to go what we are having and it is probably the exact same plate we order each time. I am sure the servers laugh after I order some days because there is only three things I rotate between. My burrito is always my go-to, unless I am feeling fancy.

3. Some of the servers know who you are when you walk in the door.

Either by first name or by order they know us. You are the ones that they tell to pick your own seat and already have your drink order placed by the time you sit down.

4. Your boyfriend/ girlfriend puts you on Mexican restaurant restriction on date night.

You drag them there so much, they get tired of eating there. So much so, they flat out say no when you ask to go there on date night. I mean, how does someone get tired of Mexican food to begin with though?

SEE ALSO: The Perfect Skin Color For A Mexican?

5. You can hum some of the songs that come on.

We may not know what they are saying in the song, but we know the song---trust us. We are in there so much we remember them. Don't ask any questions when we start humming.

6. You "have" a parking spot.

Do not park in my parking spot that is not actually my parking spot, but is my parking spot. Got it? Just do not do it. That starts my meal bad when you take my normal spot.

7. You used to hangout there all the time after school.

It was the hangout spot. Forget the nasty school lunch--- everyone goes to eat Mexican after school. It's the cool thing to do and it started your addiction.

8. You always want to introduce new people to your favorite restaurant.

Oh, you aced that exam? Let's go eat at this amazing Mexican restaurant I love! We always want to find people to go there to eat with so we always introduce new people to it.

9. People always pick on you about your addiction.

Yes, I love Mexican food. Go ahead and tag me in all the memes on Facebook about tacos. As long as I have my Mexican food, I am fine with that.

All in all, we LOVE our Mexican food and our go-to restaurants--- so here is your warning. Don't come between me and my Mexican food.

Cover Image Credit: jenaroundtheworld

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Tips For Making A Perfect Morning Smoothie

Take advantage of all the fresh fruit and vegetables during the summer season for a fresh addition to your smoothies


Smoothies are one of my favorite things to make for breakfast because they are quick and easy to take on the go in the morning on my way to work. Although I love smoothies in the morning, they're great after workouts any time of the day as well.

When making a smoothie for breakfast, try to keep it healthy! It can be tempting to add in some chocolate to that strawberry banana smoothie to make it a bit sweeter, or some whipped cream, but that makes it like a dessert. If you're craving something chocolate in your smoothie, add a little cocoa power or a drop of vanilla.

The base of your smoothie can sweeten your smoothie too. I frequently use coconut milk in my smoothies which is low in calories and adds a sweetness to green smoothies. Almond milk is another great base and also dairy free.

Speaking of green smoothies, don't be afraid to try them! I was so suspicious of the thought of spinach or kale ever in my smoothie and it took a while for me to finally try it. A smoothie place was serving samples of their green smoothie and I braved the jump to try it, and I loved it.

I have started to make some of my own green smoothies at home. One of my favorite combinations is mango, pineapple, spinach, and coconut milk. It also creates this amazing green color that also tastes amazing.

While it's the summer months, take advantage of local produce but frozen fruit is also a great option for some fruit that you can't always find, such as mango. Frozen fruit helps to make your smoothies the perfect cold temperature too.

Don't be afraid to switch up your smoothie combinations and test out your own recipes so you don't get tired of the same smoothie every day.

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