6 warming winter soups and sides to go with them
Temperatures are dropping, socks are getting thicker and you’re suddenly finding you need an extra blanket on your bed at night. Winter is here, and it brings with it more time snuggled up indoors, endless cups of tea and, of course, bowls of steaming soup. There’s no better side for soup than fresh bread, so here’s a round-up of six super soups and sides to go with them.
1. Cheeky broccoli and cheese
Broccoli and cheese are a heavenly match, and this is a good way to disguise healthy green vegetables if your family aren’t mad about them. Fry half an onion in a little oil until soft. Add two cups of broccoli, a litre of chicken or vegetable stock and a tin of evaporated milk. Boil and simmer until the broccoli is soft, then add a cup of grated Cheddar cheese. Blend until smooth.
Side: Mix softened butter with grated lemon zest, then spread onto toasted bread. Serve with the broccoli soup and enjoy.
2. Smoky bacon and bean
The best thing about this soup is that you can make it with items from your kitchen cupboard or freezer. Simply fry a few rashers of chopped bacon until crispy. Add a tin of Italian tomato and onion mix and a tin of butter beans.
Side: Make herbed garlic butter by mixing together soft butter, one chopped garlic clove and some dried herbs. Spread this mixture onto slices of white bread then grill until crispy and golden. Dunk the garlic bread into the soup for a hearty meal that’ll warm anyone up from the inside.
3. Tummy-filling sweetcorn
This soup is a great way to use up leftover roast chicken pieces. Fry two chopped potatoes and one onion in a little butter, then add a tin each of creamed sweetcorn and whole kernel corn (drained). Add a can of cream of chicken soup, a dash of milk and any leftover chicken, chopped into small pieces.
Side: While the soup bubbles away, toast a few slices of bread, top with grated Parmesan and grill until the cheese has melted into the bread. Serve the soup when the potatoes are completely soft, with a healthy portion of the Parmesan toasts.
4. Hearty veggie noodle
If you have odds and ends of vegetables in your fridge, you can whip up this soup from almost nothing. Fry one onion in a little oil, then add chopped carrots, celery and courgettes. Add two tablespoons of tomato paste and two cups of vegetable stock to the mixture. Bring to the boil, then add two cups of short pasta (macaroni, penne, fusilli or shells) and cook until the pasta is al dente.
Side: To serve with the soup, cut slices of bread into cubes, sprinkle with olive oil and salt, then roast in the oven until crispy. Sprinkle the homemade croutons into the noodle soup just before serving – scrumptious.
5. Creamy mushroom
This soup couldn’t be simpler and it works for a laid-back dinner party starter. Fry two punnets of sliced mushrooms, one chopped onion and three cloves of chopped garlic in melted butter until all the mushrooms are brown and tender. Add two cups of fresh cream and a cup of vegetable or chicken stock, simmer for five minutes, then turn off the heat.
Side: Cut slices of bread into ‘soldiers’, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with brown onion soup powder, and bake until completely crispy. The brown onion soup gives them a salty, savoury flavour. Serve with the hot mushroom soup and top with a dollop of sour cream, if you have some.
6. Meaty lasagne soup
If your family loves lasagne, they’ll adore this twist on the classic pasta dish. Fry mince with one onion and a chopped carrot until golden brown, then add two tins of chopped tomatoes and simmer. Add two cups of beef stock and a cup of elbow macaroni. Cook until the pasta is soft.
Side: Toast three pieces of bread, then whizz in a blender until a chunky crumb is formed. Fry the crumbs in a little olive oil with some dried herbs, until crispy. Use these crunchy breadcrumbs to top the lasagne soup.
Reprinted with permission of Blue Ribbon.