Who doesn’t enjoy a nice bowl of soup? I like it at any time of year and it is so easy to make your own soup! It can be as fancy or as basic as you want, but it is a cheap, healthy meal that always hits the spot in my book. Here is why.
Fourteen reasons to make your own soup
Home made is nicer
Once you start to make your own soup, you will wonder how you ever at the canned variety. Fresh soup is so superior to the sweetened, starch thickened stuff you get in tins. Even fresh soup in cartons isn’t as good – and it’s so much more expensive.
It is so easy to make your own soup
If you don’t believe just how quick and simple home made soup can be, check out my mum’s pea soup recipe. It literally takes 10 minutes. This is one of my absolute favourites.
Whatever ingredients you decide to use, it rarely needs to be more difficult than adding stock to vegetables and whizzing with a blender.
You don’t need lots of fancy equipment
I would recommend investing in a decent hand blender such as this one. However, other than that you are likely to have everything you need to hand. I have a couple of big saucepans that I use for soup making and you will need a sharp knife for chopping your ingredients.
You can use a special soup maker, but you really don’t need to. They look like a lot of faff to clean and restrict you making larger quantities to freeze.
You can pretty much make soup out of anything. Fresh or frozen vegetables, pulses, pasta, meat or fish all make good soups. You can even make a delicious and refreshing fruit soup, like this one!
The options really are endless.
All weather dish
OK, soup is probably at its best on a cold, winter’s day. A warming bowl of a substantial soup such as this pasta one will get the blood going when you get in from a walk or from work and are starving hungry.
However, the cold Spanish special gazpacho or a chilled cucumber soup can also hit the spot on a hot day. My preference is always for hot soup, even on a summer’s day.
Soup is budget friendly
If you are on a tight food budget, soup can be a life saver. As I mentioned, you can make it with pretty much anything and it is super nutritious. You lose none of the goodness like you do if you boil vegetables. In addition, you can cram it full of protein packed (but very cheap) goodies such as lentils, kidney beans and chick peas. Check out Thrifty Lesley’s cauliflower and chick pea soup.
When I was working in an office, I would make a big pot on Sunday and it would do for lunches for the week. With a home made sandwich, it can’t have cost more than 50p a serving. You can give it to your children in a food flask to take to school too. Cheaper and better than school dinners!
Soup saves waste
How many times do you make just too much mash or have a few boiled vegetables over? What about that sad bunch of celery wilting at the bottom of the fridge? I keep and freeze leftovers. When I have enough I make leftovers soup! I even chuck it salad leaves that are past their best.
As we always seem to have a lot of celery, another soup I often enjoy is cream of celery.
At a time when we are becoming so conscious of the environmental and economic impact of food waste, soup provides the perfect response.
(Sometimes I even make too much mash on purpose as it makes a great thickener when you make your own soup!)
Reducing plastic and metal waste
As many of us are becoming more environmentally aware, we naturally want to reduce our consumption of resources. Making your own soup means fewer containers from the supermarket. Plus, the containers you find it hard to avoid, such as plastic butter and yogurt cartons, can be reused to store your home made soup.
You can use what’s in season
Seasonal food tends to be cheaper, you can buy it locally so it has fewer food miles and it is often the item that is being sold off at a reduced price at the end of the day. This means lots of good, cheap ingredients for you to make your own soup!
You can freeze it
Soup freezes really well. I tend to make a bucket of the stuff in one go and freeze it in portions for quick and healthy lunches. Minimum effort for maximum taste and nutrition.
This is where you can put your stash of plastic butter and yogurt containers to work!
A meal in itself
Soup can be a lunch, a starter or a meal in itself. As mentioned before, it is a great budget option for dinner, especially if you chuck potatoes or pasta in it. Meat eaters will enjoy a delicious chicken noodle soup or how about a classic leek and potato? Use up some bread ends to make croutons to fill you up even more.
It will use up your produce
If, like us, you have a veggie patch, you will doubtless have gluts of vegetables. Soup is the perfect way to use them up. We make gallons of courgette soup and pumpkin soup when they arrive. It’s nice to have a taste of summer in the darkest depths of winter.
It’s great for dieters
There are loads of soup recipes that can easily be made Slimming World friendly. Use Frylight instead of oil and don’t eat too much bread with it!
Make your own stock too
A good stock is the basis for a tasty soup. I often use Marigold stock powder to make mine, but prefer to make my own. Poultry stock and vegetable stock are both super thrifty and very easy to make. Best of all, they help prevent food waste.
Do you make you own soup? What is your favourite recipe?
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