Sunday, 24 November 2013

Winter Warmers - Delicious Home Made Soups

Hey Lovelies,

I just love a nice hearty soup after a long day at work or even during lunch, but all those ready soups you can buy are not that tasty. I do miss some flavour in them and I'd love them to be thicker/creamier. And do you really know what's in them?

I've had a few colds already this year during which I started cooking my own vegetable soups with the veggies I had at home at that time and which needed to be used anyway. I am amazed with how quick these soups are done and how little ingredients you need to make them. Also you don't really need a proper recipe as it's all up to you how you want it. There is nothing really you could do wrong with it. Anything goes ;-)

I think that soups can be really very filling and you can make a lot to either freeze or eat a few days in a row or feed the whole family. And you know exactly what's in it.

There are so many different types of soups you can make. The one I made last time and which I'll tell you about now is a soup with the following ingredients:

1 small pumpkin - any type is fine
2 big carrots - no need to peel them just chop off both ends and wash them
1 medium or big size Onion
1 tomato
2 celery stick - I had them left over
1 or 2 garlic gloves

You could also add a few potatoes - which I love to do as well but last time I did not have any at home, the way you cook it is the same way actually, you just have to boil it a bit longer at the end.

1) Wash the pumpkin and cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and cut it up into chunky cubes - no need to make them very small. There is no need to peel the pumpkin either, but that's up to you; Chop all the other vegetables, again no need for the to be very small. Don't forget to chop the garlic.

2) Put all the ingredients on a baking tray season them with salt, black pepper and any other  of your favourite seasoning. Sprinkle a little bit of olive oil on top of the vegetables and mix them up a bit.

3) Put the Veggies in the oven, turn up the heat and bake them until they're soft. Put the temperature on 220° or even more and use either the Fan or the Grilling function. Leave it in there for about 20 mins or if they are not soft enough a little bit longer. It's OK if they are not fully cooked as you'll still boil them after.

4) Now, after you've taken out the tray, put everything in a big pot and add vegetable, chicken, lamb or beef stock - all up to your personal taste. I, to be honest prefer beef stock. - Add enough stock to cover the vegetables plus a little bit more, if you want the soup to be thicker you don't need that much more but if you prefer it more liquid then I would add enough for the vegetables to slightly swim in it. Bring all this to a boil and shimmer until the vegetables are extra soft and absorbed the flavour of the stock.

5) Once you're happy with the texture turn of the heat and take the pot of the stove.

6) I normally use a hand blender to purée the vegetables. Sometimes I miss a few chunky bits but that's OK I don't mind that. 

Once you blended it, you're done! That's how simple it is. ;-)

If you want more flavour feel free to add it after. I normally use a lot of black pepper and some chilly flakes, but beware don't use too much as it might be too hot then.

I once also added a little bit of sour cream and Gorgonzola. Mhhhmmm that was delicious but not that healthy any more.
If you decide to add any dairy products, I would not add it to the whole batch of soup. Take out the portion you want to eat put it on a low heat in a smaller pot and add the "special ingredients" only to that portion. The soup will last you longer without the dairy products.

I also find that the soup is much better heated up the next day, so it's great to prepare it the day before while you can do something else and no need to worry about cooking your lunch the next few days.
This is a soup I made with Broccoli, Potatoes, Sour Cream and Gorgonzola and black Pepper of course
If you make a soup like this, you'll know exactly what's in it and you really have the flavour you want. Whenever I make a big batch of that soup, I feel so happy and proud and I can't wait to eat it the next day.

Mhhmmmm enjoy cooking and eating it!

Did you think that making soups like this would be that easy?
What is it you like to eat during the cold seasons or when you're ill?

Gisi  XXX

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