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Sweet Tomato Soup

If you want a really simple lunch, this Sweet Tomato Soup will remind you of those comforting canned tomato soups that you were served as a child–but with fewer heavily refined ingredients. This makes 2 large bowls.

Ingredients:
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
400 ml vegetable broth
2 cans (400g each) tomatoes in juice
1 tsp suitable-for-vegans sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat a large stainless steel pan over a medium-low heat.
2. Add the onions and sauté until lightly coloured. Stir in the garlic for 30 seconds.
3. Deglaze the pan with a splash of the broth. Then add the tomatoes and the rest of the broth.
4. Stir in the sugar, and crumble in the dried herbs between your finger and thumb.
5. Allow to simmer, uncovered, on a very low heat for about 10 minutes. Season to taste, and serve.

Lemony Cauliflower Soup

Creamy and chunky, creating wonderful textural contrasts, and with subtle undertones of lemon balanced out by the herbs and pepper, this soup is a real winner and would be perfect for entertaining. This recipe serves 4-6 depending on whether it’s being eaten as a starter or a main.

Ingredients:
2 white onions, finely chopped
650g white mushrooms, quartered
1.5 litres vegetable broth
1 large potato, peeled and in bite-size dice
1 tsp dried thyme*
1 tsp dried basil*
1 head cauliflower, in small florets
1 lemon, rind and zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Red chilli flakes and parsley (optional)

*Crumbling dried herbs between your fingers before adding them to a dish will help to release more of their aromatic oils.

Directions:
1. Preheat a large soup pot over a medium low heat. Add the onion and mushroom, and sauté until the mushrooms release their liquid.
2. Add the vegetable broth, potato, and herbs. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Stir in the cauliflower, cover the soup once again, and simmer for 7 minutes more.
4. Stir through the lemon zest and juice.
5. Transfer half of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth (optional). Return to the pot to reheat, and season to taste.
6. Serve garnished with red chilli flakes and parsley, and a little extra lemon zest, if desired.

Two-Tone Pepper Soup

This fun talking-point for guests is simple to make, and great fun to eat. It serves 4, and you can choose whatever colour peppers you like. We’ve chosen green and yellow for the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 green bell peppers, roughly chopped
4 yellow bell peppers, roughly chopped
1.2-1.6l vegetable broth

Directions:
1. Preheat two saucepans over medium-low heat. Divide the onions and celery between the two and sauté until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the garlic, and sauté for 15 seconds.
2. Add the green peppers to one saucepan and the yellow peppers to the other. Add enough broth to cover, and bring to boil. Simmer 15 minutes.
3. Transfer the ingredients of the saucepan containing the yellow peppers to a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a jug. Repeat with the saucepan containing the green peppers, and transfer to a separate jug.
4. Pour from both jugs into a bowl at the same time and at the same speed to keep the colours of the soup separate. Season to taste, and enjoy.

Waste-Not Want-Not Soup

Don’t throw those vegetable scraps away. You can slow-simmer them for a flavourful vegetable broth, or you can turn them into a hearty soup that’s very easy on the budget.
Ingredients:
2 medium onions, medium chopped
3 parsnips, medium dice
3 carrots, medium dice
1 small turnip or swede, medium dice
Stems from a bunch kale, chopped
Cauliflower leaves, chopped
Outer leaves of a savoy cabbage, finely shredded
Stem of 1 broccoli head, chopped
Inner stalks and leaves of celery, chopped
2 potatoes, medium dice
2 l vegetable broth
2 tsp turmeric
1.5 cups soup mix
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1) Sauté the onion in a large soup pot until lightly coloured.
2) Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to your liking.
3) Serve.

Carrot and Red Lentil Soup: Budget Recipe

This soup costs €0.18 per portion and takes about 20 minutes to prepare. The recipe is very easy, but we’ve written it out in lots of detail in case you’re new to cooking. We’ve used a blender to make it smooth, but it’s equally delicious chunky.

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 l vegetable broth*
2 carrots, washed, topped and tailed, and sliced (no need to peel!)
80g red lentils, picked over to make sure there’s no grit
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika

Directions:
1. Heat a stainless steel saucepan over a medium low heat until hot. Reduce the heat slightly, add the onions and keep stirring until the onions start to take on a little colour and release their aroma (about 2 minutes). Turn the heat right down to low before adding the garlic for about 30 seconds.
2. Add the broth, carrots, and red lentils. Crumble the herbs between your finger and thumb, if desired, so that they release more of their fragrance.
3. Raise the heat to high until bubbles start appearing around the sides of the pan. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every 3-4 minutes to make sure the lentils aren’t sticking.
4. Add the smoked paprika, and stir.
5. At this point, you can blend the soup with an immersion (stick) blender or in a jug blender, following the instructions that came with your blender.
6. Serve, and enjoy.

Celeriac and Chickpea Soup with Spinach-Miso Purée

This extremely thick, yet very creamy, soup  makes for a filling and delicious lunch.

Ingredients:

For the soup

1 onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 celeriac, peeled and diced roughly
1 can chickpeas
300g white cabbage, chopped roughly
1 can coconut milk
500ml vegetable broth
Pinch white pepper
2 tsp onion salt
2 tsp dried basil

For the purée

50g spinach
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp soy (or other all-plant) milk
1 tbsp white or yellow miso

To garnish

Suitable-for-vegans crispy salad onions, if desired

Directions:

1. Sauté the onion in a large soup pan over a medium-low heat until it starts to soften, but don’t let it take on much colour. Reduce the heat to low and add the garlic for about a minute.
2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes or until the celeriac is tender.
3. Meanwhile, make the spinach purée by blending all ingredients in a high-speed blender.
4. Rinse the blender, blend the soup in it, return to the pan, and season to taste.
5. Serve the soup topped with some of the spinach-miso purée, and garnish with crispy onions, if desired.

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.