Ok, so I wasn’t exactly enamoured by the prospect of a bowl of something thick and wet for dinner when I was younger. I’ve since rediscovered soup. I love how easy it is to make something healthy and comforting out of, literally, whatever you have left in your vegetable crisper and cupboard. As with most things, I discovered that my mum was on to something.
My preference is for soup to have texture. Think chunks of beans, meat, grains and vegetables simmered in tomato or stock (Check out this recipe). Perhaps I might whizz up a ladleful or two of the soup with a stick blender at the end and then return it to the pot to thicken things up. But given my ability to eat soup for extended periods of time (I have no qualms in admitting my love of leftovers, double batches and frozen containers of excess produce) and my tendency to look down at the stove some time later to discover I’ve cooked enough food to feed an army; chunky soup can mean I’m tied to the kitchen for quite some time.
That’s all dandy on a Sunday afternoon, or with the assistance of a younger sibling…but sometimes I want soup fast. Waiting for hurriedly chopped hunks of pumpkin to soften in a pot of stock and onion takes a while too. At this point, you have my full permission to roll your eyes and question the mental state of the current generation. Anyway, this is why I like creating extra roast veg if we’re doing a roast leg of lamb (another favourite lazy meal) or even if the oven is on for something else. Make sure you include some well oiled wedges of onion and a head or two of garlic with the top removed. A day or so later, when soup fever strikes, is when you reap the rewards.
Pop your roast veg in with the usual amount of onion and garlic in a deep dish, and whizz together with a little stock using a stick blender. Done. Maybe add a swirl of yoghurt and some chopped parsley or a handful of baby spinach to disguise the lack of effort involved. You could even go one better and freeze any leftovers; in which case, it’s a good idea to cool things down quickly rather than leaving it to linger on the bench before you freeze it and then reheat it (same goes for the initial roast veg).