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Creamy Red Curry Soup

This soup couldn’t possibly be any silkier. The beautiful texture is down to the quantity of coconut milk in the recipe, and the flavours are lively and bright. This serves six.

Ingredients

1 onion, roughly diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cauliflower, in florets
2 x 400ml cans coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
2 tbsp soy sauce

Directions

1. In a large soup pot over a medium-low heat, sauté the onion until aromatic and starting to turn golden. Add the garlic cloves, and stir for 30 seconds.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Blend.
3. Season, taste, and serve.

Pear, Pea, and Parsnip Soup

Summery, refreshing, sweet, and delicate: a perfect soup for a hot day, and very easy to make.

Ingredients

1 onion, diced
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
3 pears, unpelled and diced
250g peas, fresh or frozen
1 litre vegetable stock
Salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. Sauté the onions over a medium high heat until just starting to colour.
2. Add the parsnips, pears, peas, and stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 15 minutes until the parsnips are soft.
3. Blend, season, and serve.

Spanish Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Another easy and cheap recipe. Serve topped, if desired, with some roasted asparagus and croutons. Serves two.

Ingredients

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 red bell pepper or sweet pointed pepper, small dice
1 can (400g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp sweet paprika or smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
200g baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
1. In a non-stick or stainless steel pan over a very low heat, sweat the garlic, adding a couple of drops of water if needed, until fragrant but not coloured.
2. Add the red pepper, chickpeas, vinegar, tomatoes, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and stir for about 30 seconds.
3. Raise the heat to medium low and add the broth. Stir, and then add handfuls of spinach to wilt.
4. Season, and serve.

Cannellini Bean and Red Cabbage Stew

A simple, budget recipe, bursting with colour, and oil-free, this stew is bound to please. Serves 4.

Ingredients

1 leek, sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, sliced
250g red cabbage, finely shredded
2 cans tomatoes (400g each)
1 l vegetable stock
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp hot paprika
200g cooked cannellini beans
To garnish, soured tofu

Directions
1. Sweat the leek, garlic, carrots, and celery in a large stock pot over the lowest heat possible for 10 minutes. If they start to stick, add a splash of water.
2. Add the red cabbage, tomatoes, vegetable stock, lemon juice (which serves the function of preventing the cabbage from losing its colour) and paprikas to the pot. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, until the carrots are fork tender.
3. Add the beans, and warm through.
4. Serve garnished with some soured tofu, if desired.

Creamy Butternut, Cauliflower, and Lentil Soup

This is an easy budget soup, making four main-meal-sized portions. Don’t let the inclusion of the notoriously difficult to peel squash put you off; there are two options below to make your job much, much easier. As always, use this recipe as a roadmap: try it with the addition of coconut milk and either Thai or Indian spices; add a can of tomato sauce and some Italian herbs. A good base soup can be varied in so many different ways.

Ingredients:

1 red onion, medium dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 butternut squash
200g split red lentils
1 small cauliflower, in florets (approx. 500g)
1.5 litres vegetable stock
Pinch chilli flakes
1 tbsp fresh sage leaves, minced (or 1 tsp, dried, rubbed between fingers)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tbsp yellow miso

Directions:
1. Carefully make several slits in skin of the squash with a small sharp knife, and microwave for about 3-5 minutes to loosen the peel from the flesh slightly. Alternatively, slit and then boil the squash whole in a large stock pot for about 5 minutes, until softened. Wait until it’s cool enough to handle, and then peel, deseed, and chop into bite-sized dice.
2. In a stock pot over a very low heat, sweat the onion and garlic, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Don’t allow them to take on any colour; if they start to stick, the heat is too high. Lower it, and add a little broth to loosen.
3. Add the cauliflower, stock, butternut squash, chilli flakes, and sage leaves. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
4. While the soup is cooking, rinse and drain the lentils, picking them over to ensure there are no small stones or pieces of grit among them. Add them to a saucepan with about 400g water, bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until softened. Drain and rinse.
5. Add the lentils back to the pot with the butternut squash (cooking them separately ensures that the lentils don’t add any foam to your soup), and mix well to combine. Spoon between a third and half of the soup into a blender jug with the miso paste and blend until creamy. Alternatively, remove the same quantity of soup and use an immersion blender to blend it to smooth.
6. Stir the blended soup back to the pot, warm, and serve in warmed bowls with some parsley, additional chilli flakes, and nutritional yeast if desired.

Hot and Sour Soup

With a different combination of flavours in every mouthful, and taking under 15 minutes to prepare, this soup is bound to be a winner. It makes 4 large servings.

If you can’t find the types of mushrooms listed in the ingredients, use 350g sliced mushrooms of your choice, and if you can’t find the vinegars, use apple cider vinegar.

Ingredients

250g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
20g dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted (save the soaking water) and sliced
20g dried Chinese black (wood ear) mushrooms, reconstituted (save the soaking water) and sliced
1 can bamboo shoots (120g drained weight)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 inch ginger, grated
1-2 red chilli peppers, deseeded and finely sliced
1.5 l vegetable broth
110g mung bean sprouts
200g extra-firm tofu, cubed
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
Pinch white pepper
2 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced

Directions

1. Heat a large stock pot over a medium-low heat, and when hot add the mushrooms and bamboo. Lower the heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, adding just a splash of water if the mushrooms start to stick.
2. Add the garlic, ginger, and chilli, and stir for about 30 seconds.
3. Add the broth, mushroom soaking water, bean sprouts, tofu, soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, and white pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve topped with the green onions.

Creamy Broccoli Soup

This speedy Creamy Broccoli Soup takes under 20 minutes, is oil-free, and serves 2 (generous portions) and is great for those on a tighter budget. The spices create an interesting flavour profile with just a tiny bit of heat.

Ingredients

1 onion, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp wholemeal flour
1 large head broccoli, roughly chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp suitable-for-vegans yellow or Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
pinch white pepper

Directions

1. Heat a soup pan or large pot over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, adding a splash or two of water if the vegetables start to stick.
2. Mix the flour with 1/4 cup vegetable broth from the 4 cups. Add to the vegetables and cook stirring, for 1 minute more.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
4. Blend the soup with an immersion blender, or in batches in a jug blender. Season to taste, and adjust the seasoning if desired.

Tomato, Butterbean, and Kale Soup

This thick and rich soup is full of interesting textures from the kale and the beans. It serves 4.

Ingredients
1 large onion, medium dice
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 cup suitable-for-vegans vegetable broth, stock, or water
500 ml tomato juice
2 x 400g tins tomatoes
2 tsp suitable-for-vegans sugar
1 tbsp Italian herbs
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3 cups kale, tightly packed
1 can butterbeans, drained and rinsed

Directions

1. Heat a large stainless steel soup pot over a medium-low heat. Add the onions and dry sauté, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes until nicely caramelised. Add the garlic and sauté for a further 30 seconds.
2. Deglaze the pan with the broth or water.
3. Add everything else but the kale and butterbeans, bring to a boil, and turn off the heat.
4. Blend the soup until smooth.
5. Add the kale and beans, bring to the boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Season with cracked black pepper, sea salt, and some chopped basil or parsley.

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

With only a few ingredients, this budget recipe is relatively fuss-free, and produces batch of flavoursome and healthy soup that will serve 6.

Ingredients

2 onions, chopped
1.5 litres vegetable broth
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Dry sauté the onions over a medium-low heat until caramelised, adding a splash of water if they start to stick.
2. Add about 1/4 cup vegetable broth to deglaze the pot.
3. Once the bottom of the pot looks clean, add the butternut squash, carrots, and the rest of the broth.
4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and allow to cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender.
5. If you have a blender, you might like to try the soup smooth. If not, it will be just as delicious with the vegetables in chunks. Season to taste.

Smoky Black Bean Soup

The smoky flavours of this soup pair perfectly with the black beans and sweetcorn in the recipe, and the miso adds umami notes that bring it all together. This is a budget recipe that serves 4, and it takes under 15 minutes to make

Ingredients

1 red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1l vegetable broth
2 x 200g cans or 4 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
3 tsp smoked paprika, or 2 tsp smoked paprika and 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp tomato purée
pinch cayenne pepper
200g frozen sweetcorn
1 tbsp yellow miso

Optional toppings: more sweetcorn, thawed; bell pepper; avocado; squeeze lime juice, etc.

Method

1. Sauté the onion over a medium heat for 3 minutes, until softened and lightly browned. Add the garlic for another 30 seconds.
2. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth. Add the rest of the broth, the beans, the paprika (and liquid smoke, if using), coriander, cumin, tomato purée, cayenne pepper.
3. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, lower the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sweetcorn and continue for two minutes more.
4. If desired, transfer half of the soup to a blender with the miso and blend to smooth. Transfer back to the rest of the soup and reheat. Do not allow to boil. If not blending, remove from the heat, add the miso and mix well.
5. Serve, if desired, with a squeeze of lime, chopped bell pepper, sweetcorn, and avocado.