Soups: Hearty soups for winter
Try these substantial soups for long winter nights
A supper of soup says comfort. It’s the edible equivalent of a duvet, a dish you can snuggle up to. Add a salad, hot crusty bread, a hunk of cheese and you have a feast. Use the easy secrets below to making delicious soup every time. Borscht Goulash Lentil soup Kidney bean and carrot soup
Italy has a pantheon of hearty, slow-cooked soups, of which Minestrone is probably the most well-known. Leftovers are turned into Ribollita (which means ‘reboiled’), a soup served with olive oil drizzled over the top, made thick enough to stand a spoon in, with the addition of chunks of stale bread.
Pasta e Fagioli, or pasta and bean soup, is another classic meal in a bowl. Half its cannellini beans are mashed, the rest are left whole, and it’s cooked with pasta tubes, sometimes cubes of potato and slivers of fennel, and served with a trickle of olive oil and grated Parmesan. Try it with fettunta, toasted Italian peasant bread rubbed with a clove ofand drizzled with more olive oil.
So long as you have good stock – available in supermarkets if you don’t have your own – you can make any soup. Toss into the stock, in order of thickness, rounds of potato, courgettes, and baby carrots, french beans, tinned flageolet beans or broad beans, and shreds of spinach or chopped watercress. When all is cooked, remove from the heat and beat a ladle of the stock into a bowl in which you have whisked a couple of egg yolks with a little double cream. Pour back into the soup and cook over a low heat, without boiling, for a couple of minutes to thicken.
Served with a sprinkling of chopped parsley, some hot French bread and cold butter, and it’s a taste of summer all year round. Black beans, tomatoes, onions, chilli and garlic in a vegetable stock, served with a bowl of fresh, chopped raw tomato, onion and coriander salsa and a basket of tortillas is a filling soup with a South American flavour.
Cook brown lentils in stock with toasted cumin seeds, onion and garlic, then liquidise and served with a squeeze of lemon juice and warm pita bread. A base of fried onions, bacon, and cubed potatoes with a generous pound of shredded Savoy cabbage added to the stock, makes a rib-sticking soup that is great with dumplings or warm scones.