Monday, January 14th, 2019
I really enjoy a good bowl of soup and haven’t found any ready made ones that deliver on taste or health benefit, so I decided to invest in a soup maker after my best friend said that she makes soup in the morning for lunch in a flask. I’m not sure that I could get that organised but the soup maker takes twenty minutes, so there’s no excuse to eat super fresh, healthy and delicious soup to increase your veg. intake.
Well, it got me thinking about buying a soup maker and I invested in a very basic one, now that I have used it, I might just have to invest in one that has the sauté option. I think a little fry really adds to the flavour of any dish.
In an ideal world, I should make my own stock but for the following examples of my super speedy soups, a low salt stock cube will add the flavour you need. You can make your own stock, but this blog is about using up any veg. you’ve got floating about or just trying to eat more veg.
My soups always start with an onion and sometimes a little garlic, which I fry in a pan on the hob with a tiny splash of oil. If using spices, pop them into the pan now. Any raw veg., cooked beans/lentils go in next and gently fry the mix for a minute or so. The veg. mix can then be popped into your soup maker with a mug or two of boiling water and a stock cube. I like a smooth soup but you might choose the chunky setting, twenty minutes later you have a delicious, fresh soup which can be seasoned with a pinch of garam masala and salt. It’s as simple as that, the same principle for all the examples in this blog.
Soup ingredients can be anything but if you are using meat, beans or lentils, they need to be cooked before adding to the soup maker, liquids are best added hot to speed the soup making process.
Here are some examples of soups, I have tried and tested in my soup maker.
Try a big parsnip or two smaller ones and a couple of apples, peel and chop, season with 1/4 tsp of garam masala and 1/4 tsp of chef crush.
500g of peeled and chopped carrots and 1 tsp of roasted cumin seeds.
750g mixed leftover veg., season with a 1/4 tsp of chef crush.
500g ripe tomatoes, a sprig of thyme and 1 tbsp of tomato puree, finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a tbsp of cream.
Roast butternut squash with 1/2 a bulb of garlic, 2 red peppers and 1 onion. Peel the roasted veg. and pop into the soup maker with stock.
Pea soup, is one of my favourites, finish with some fresh pesto (parsley, coriander or mint, some nuts (almonds or cashews), extra virgin olive oil and garam masala. One of my favourites.
Garnishes or soup finishers can include cubes of bread (croutons), nuts (my favourites are walnuts), herbs, freshly ground black pepper, garam masala, cream, coconut milk – it’s your home-made soup, you must be creative and add your favourite ingredients.
Serve your soup with a lovely garnish, with a sandwich, cheese on toast, a bread roll or simply on its’ own. It’s a perfectly simple lunch or supper dish and you can some add some extra ingredients for a special starter.
As I would say in class, check your seasoning, trust your senses, does your soup look ok, taste ok, even listen to the soup bubbling away and you’ll be an expert soup maker in no time.
I’ve been making soup without a soup maker for years in a pan, on the hob. Without a soup maker just means I have to be around to keep an eye and my soup maker just makes like super convenient.
Please let me know how you get on with your soups and super happy, healthy and bright new year to you all.
Lajina Leal, Founder, Lajina Masala
Lajina had a Corporate Career as an Accountant for many years and whilst discussing an impending redundancy in an Indian restaurant with her friends, they persuaded her to set up an Indian Cooking School.
The fun started in October 2013 and the business has grown from strength to strength.