comforting soups to fight away the cold

Whether you’re suffering from a cold that just won’t seem to budge, or you’re feeling a bit sorry for yourself on a rainy evening, beautiful homemade soup is the perfect solution to boost your mood and add some warmth to your day. The heat will help to reduce and ease the symptoms of congested sinuses, whilst aiding in the fight against the pesky common cold. As well as being good for your body being filled with essential vitamins and minerals, soup is also a quick and easy meal for the family as it can be made in bulk, frozen and easily warmed up whenever it’s needed.

Soup is extremely versatile and can be made using any of your favourite ingredients including anything curry to pasta, to fruit and veg. Whether you like your soups chunky, smooth or mixed- there are soup recipes out there for you.
We have specially selected some of our favourite soup recipe’s which we think are perfect for the winter season-


Sweet potato and butternut squash soup

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Serves 6

1 knob of butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced to 2cm cubes
1 butternut squash, peeled and diced to 2cm cubes
900ml vegetable stock

Melt butter in pan and add oil.
Add onions to soften, then the sweet potato and butternut squash; stir for one minute or so.
Add stock and bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for around 45 minutes.
Use a hand blender to blend all the ingredients together (be careful as it will be hot) or leave it to cool before doing this step. Serve with crusty bread.

Chicken and Vegetable soup

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Serves 9

1 whole chicken
1 parsnip, sliced
1 turnip, quartered
2 carrots, quartered
2 stalks celery, quartered
1 leek, quartered
1 onion, quartered
3 sprigs fresh parsley
3 sprigs fresh dill
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Place chicken, parsnip, turnip, carrots, celery, leek, onion, parsley and dill in an 8 litre stockpot; cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer for 2 hours.
Remove whole chicken from soup, remove meat from bone, and set meat aside. Discard chicken bones, parsley and dill.
Remove vegetables from stockpot with a slotted spoon. Using a food processor, purée vegetables and return to stockpot, along with chicken. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Leek and Potato Soup

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large leeks, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
5 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
900ml boiling water
2 vegetable stock cubes
salt and black pepper, to taste

Heat oil gently, add leeks and onion, then cook for 7 to 10 minutes until soft.
Add potatoes, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add water and stock cubes, and season well.
Bring to boil, lower heat, simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
Cool slightly, puree, reheat gently. Serve in warm bowls.

Spicy Tomato Soup

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Serves 4

1 large sweet chilli, halved and deseeded
1 yellow pepper, halved and deseeded
1 large onion, halved
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube
1 handful of fresh basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sugar
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tin of plum tomatoes in tomato juice
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 220 C / Gas mark 7.
Place the chilli, pepper, onion and garlic onto a baking tray and drizzle a small bit of olive oil over the lot. Put into the oven and allow to roast for 20 to 25 minutes. (Some of the chilli edges may blacken but this improves the flavour.)
While the vegetables are roasting, make up 1 pint of stock with the stock cube, and add to a heavy bottomed pot on a low heat. Add basil, oregano, sugar, pepper, tomato puree and tinned tomatoes. Stir well and leave to simmer.
After 25 minutes, add the roasted vegetables and leave to simmer for a further 30 minutes.
Take the mixture from the pot and put into a blender. Blend the contents until nice and smooth and return to the pot (you may have to do this in batches). Add salt to taste and eat with a lovely big chunk of bread.

To keep those winter bugs at bay, why not try these delicious immune system boosting recipes to keep you feeling healthy and fighting fit.


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