Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup. Picture / Babiche Martens.

3 Hearty Soup Recipes

Home-made stock and seasonal veges create the base for hearty, nutritious soups

At home the stock pots are on the boil. These are the heart of tasty soup making.

Stock is made from a boil-up of leftover bones (popular with paleo enthusiasts as bone broth), onions, carrots and any herbs you have lying around.

Don’t let any vegetable juices go to waste — they can be added too for extra flavour. A good stock will make the difference between an average soup and an exceptional soup. It is well worth the effort.

When making meat stocks, let them settle overnight and scoop the fat off the top. You will be left with a thick rich jelly underneath — this is your beautiful stock. Use it to make gravy and sauces too. This gold must not go to waste. Freeze it in containers so it is ready to use.

During these winter months, our soup pot is permanently on the go. I make a large pot at least twice a week. Usually I use whatever is in the fridge — pumpkin, kumara, green curry paste, tomatoes — then I throw in the stock, boil, season, whizz and it’s ready.

Use seasonal vegetables and it is very cost-effective. The courgette soup I made back in February and put in the freezer is now being heated up for warming meals. It was worth the effort at the time, and is being devoured and appreciated at such a rate in this cold weather.

They had the biggest heads of broccoli at the Mangawhai farmers’ market this weekend, so into the soup pot one went, along with onion, garlic, blue cheese and, of course, the home-made stock. Within 30 minutes, a decadent soup was ready to eat. I am a bit of a sucker for blue cheese, so couldn’t resist sprinkling extra over the top to melt — perfect on a rainy winter’s day by the fire.

For a heartier soup, try this chunky one with lamb and chickpeas. Meaty and delicious, it creates a substantial meal.

Another favourite is this quick and slightly lighter soup with mussels and parsley pesto, which can be whipped up in no time at all. Parsley pesto is a great option in winter when other herbs are in short supply.

If you want to make the soup more substantial, add a couple of cubed potatoes with the tomatoes. Serve with warm, crunchy bread to soak up the juices.

Recipes:
• Broccoli and Blue Cheese Soup

• Lamb and Chickpea Soup

• Quick Mussel Soup

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New Zealand Herald

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