There is a definite chill in the air as we reach the end of November—and there is nothing more comforting on a cold day than piping hot bowl of hearty soup. By utilising some of the best seasonal ingredients you can create delicious soups that are packed with flavour—and full of vitamins to help stave off the winter bugs.
We’ve rounded up our favourite soup recipes that are easy to make—some recipes can simply be left to simmer in the slow cooker all day—so you have freshly prepared soup ready for when you arrive home from work. Read on to discover our soup-er recipes to keep you feeling full and warm this winter, plus our recommendations of the best soup makers on the market.
Slow cooker soup
Using a slow cooker to create a hearty soup is one of the easiest ways to dish up a midweek supper for the whole family. We love this meatball and spaghetti soup recipe which features spicy Italian sausage as the star of the show. Simply make the meatballs, and then place all the ingredients into the slow cooker for six hours for a marinara-flavoured soup full of warming goodness.
Hamburger soup is a firm favourite with children—and can be left to simmer all day, whilst filling your home with the welcoming aroma of smoky barbeque beef. This hands-off soup recipe combines minced beef with hidden vegetables to boost your families five-a-day intake without them realising!
This slow-cooker vegetable soup is healthy, hearty and budget-friendly—and the beauty of a veggie soup is that the recipe can easily be adapted to use up any vegetables you have at home, meaning less food waste. Before serving, blend to a smooth consistency and dish up with plenty of crusty bread and butter to dunk.
If you don’t already own a slow cooker, then take a look at this £24.99 bargain from Aldi. It has three settings and hold 6.5 litres, allowing you to batch-cook soups and freeze the leftovers. It has a toughened glass lid and a removeable ceramic pot with a non-stick coating. With a matt black finish, it’s a good-looking and functional addition to any kitchen.
Make the most of winter ingredients
Winter vegetables, such as parsnips, chestnuts and celeriac are the ideal ingredients to blitz into a hearty bowl of soup to keep out the cold and bring some much-needed cheer as we get nearer to Christmas.
If you’ve got vegan visitors this festive season, this vegan celeriac, truffle and hazelnut soup makes a greater starter or lunchtime treat. The truffle oil elevates this simple recipe and adds a touch of luxury too!
The addition of chestnuts to a soup recipe make the dish rich and creamy. This chestnut and cauliflower soup uses roasted chestnuts for an intensely festive flavour – but works just as well with tinned chestnuts for a fast midweek supper.
To really turn up the heat this winter, cook up a batch of fiery, curried parsnip soup. This recipe includes curry powder (as much or little as you like!) and red chillies. Top with a swirl of double cream and some smoked paprika for a perfect treat after a long winter walk.
Comforting chicken soup to relieve cold symptoms
Chicken soup has always been the nations go-to dish when we are feeling unwell. There is something incredibly comforting in a bowl of chicken broth when we can feel a sniffle coming on, but is there any evidence that it does actually help to relieve the symptoms of a cold?
At the first sign of a cold, we often don’t feel like eating much, but it’s important to remember the old saying: ‘feed a cold’. Chicken and vegetable soup is a great source of healthy, easily digested calories, with heaps of added nutritional benefits—chicken is packed with a compound called carnosine, which can help to relieve the symptoms of congestion.
Side dishes that make soup the star of the show
To make more of a meal of your soup, it can be served with your favourite sandwich or a soft white roll. But if that sounds a bit boring there are plenty of exciting accompaniments that still allow the soup to be the star of the show.
Roasted veggies are delicious with soup and gives you a five-a-day boost as well! For an extra dose of veggie goodness serve up garlic roasted broccoli with a chunky beef broth, or sprinkle braised bacon and kale generously over a bowl of chicken soup.
If you’ve never considered serving a salad with your soup, now is the time to give it a try. This midweek winter salad has Swiss chard as its base and is topped with grated fennel, sweet potato cubes and tossed in an orange vinaigrette. Serve whilst the sweet potato chunks are still warm, and any leftovers can be kept in the fridge and eaten cold as a delicious lunch the next day.
Save time with a soup maker
Save time (and washing up) with a soup maker. These kitchen must-haves will blend and cook food in one jug, so there is hardly any washing up and no need to use a separate liquidiser.
Most soup makers will provide a bowl of piping hot soup in 30 minutes, and some give you the option of smooth or chunky soup. Look out for ones which include cold-bending so you can use it for smoothies in the summer too.
Morphy Richards offer this one litre soup maker, reduced from £49.99 to £38.00 on Amazon, which will provide two good-sized portions. The John Lewis soup maker is more expensive at £149.00, but with a 1.7 litre jug, hot and cold blending options and a one-button easy cleaning programme, it’s a worthwhile investment for serious soup fans!