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Let there be soup...

"Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish, game or any other dish? Who would not give all else for two pennyworth of beautiful soup?"
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

OK.. its said at nearly EVERY meeting .. I'm always asked about how I make mine.. yep.. its the infamous Zero ProPoint SOUP! People can tire of it so quickly.. but as the saying goes.. Variety... spice of life... etc! So here are some of the things I add and do to make my soup a little different each time!

One of the best and yummiest things I discovered in the early soup making days was that roasting the veg before I made the soup made a MASSIVE difference to the flavours! It's very easy to just add a few tins of tomatoes, chuck in some veg and boil the bejesus out of it .. but by roasting your veg you can flavour them from the off.. its all about the marinating!

And we all know most vegs can be used... and the combination of these will also alter the taste and texture of your soup... My staples are peppers, onions, garlic, celery, tomato's, courgettes and mushrooms.. all free and filling... occasionally I add carrots or whatever else looks like its not going to make it to the end of the week .. it's all good! And vegs that don't like roasting are added at the stock stage.. mangetout.. peas.. sweetcorn.. whatever floats your boat!

Spray your tin with oil... chop up your veg to be roughly the same size.. you're going to be blending it at the end, there's no extra points for being fancy!

Then the fun stuff .. add your flavours.. everything from teriaki to soy to Worcestershire sauce is fair game..

I regularly add a teaspoon of honey to the mix to make them sweeten up a little.. this works very well when roasting garlic! (a recent pressie of fancy honey with ginger is lush!)...

Worcestershire sauce will "beef up" most dishes.. if you're craving that "oxtail" meaty taste...

Herbs and spices are you best friends.. and don't be afraid to try something new.. Chinese five spice is AMAZING if you've got bell peppers and onions.. smoked paprika is yummy with mushrooms & garlic .. check out the spice rack in your local supermarket..

or if you're lucky enough to have a weekly farmers market .. then fresh herbs are even better... thyme with a chick stock base is like roast dinner in a bowl! There are also some fancy seasonings out there at the moment.. my latest addiction is chilli salt! (for someone who never puts salt on her food I'm lashing this into most of my dishes instead of the regular stuff! delish!)

Once your veg is nicely roasted.. try not to get them too overdone as they can get a little bitter.. into your saucepan..

... add your tinned tomatoes to bulk it out.. .

... then add stock..

again there's LOTS to choose from .. your basic chicken cubes to bullion stock cubes which are gorgeous and very full of flavour!

Home made stock is, of course, a must if you have it.. but there are other little tricks to try here.. adding a cuppa soup .. stick with me.. and then add water can give you the creaminess that you might be looking for especially if you're making a mushroom based soup.. its the cream that makes it so yum! you can also get this from fromage frais or cream cheese (side note - this makes its harder to keep.. and freeze!) but at 2PP for the Lidl cream cheese you can lash in half the tub and it makes all the difference.. another discovery... don't judge me here..

is chicken bovril.. its something I bought when I was poorly and its been looking back at me from the cupboard ever since.. not any more! It adds a great chicken flavour to the stock and its 0 PP so you'll save points if you don't use a stock cube... (gwan.. now you can have a roll!) TIP: its quite a strong flavour so a teaspoon can be more than enough

Once you're got your stock to simmer.. if your veg have been roasted it's a VERY quick process... if you're boiling from the start you're looking at an hour... then its time to blend..

again .. if you're tired of the "SAME OLD SOUP" then take out half, blend and add back the pot.. it'll give you a more stew like substance and you feel like its something new! Portion out into single portions and freeze .. easy peasy! I got 8 dinner (rad BIG!) portions out of this pot!

Zero ProPoint soup is a god send.. to take it out of the freezer in the morning and have it waiting when you get home, can save you from the bread/biscuit/cake tin! And with autumn here, there are some lovely veg in season! Experiment and try things out.. it works! Once you have the base sorted .. you can add all you like.. ham.. parmesan cheese.. the worlds your oyster! Just don't forget to point them!

A final addition which I heard from a member at the meeting.. if she had left over sweet potato or butternut squash mash.. she would put a scoop in the bowl before adding her soup.. she's my new hero!!! Seriously try it!

Now.. no more of this "soup is boring" talk.. I won't have it! Doll x


  1. This all looks great - I do the roasting stage with my soups too, but I'm amazed at all the variations you've come up with here.

  2. Yummy.. Look delicious! I'm making a big batch of soup next week... The perfect winter lunch! xo

  3. I've never been a soup girl but am a total convert now.My soup is even requested at work on a daily basis during winter!And to think I only started eating and making them a few years ago.xox


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