Yes, spring has most definitely sprung. It’s been a long time coming. Soups may not be on the top of everyone’s list of things to eat as they bathe in the sunshine today, but the night’s are still chilly and a good bowl of soup is satisfying at almost any time of the year. Ribollita is a hearty vegan Tuscan soup made from cannellini beans, stale bread and kale. It may not sound that appetising, but it’s delicious.
I do love a bowl of soup in the winter. It’s the perfect comfort food. Warming, nutritious and delicious, it’s a great big hug in a bowl. This vegan apple parsnip soup is one of my favourites. It’s lightly spiced, but the real flavour comes from the sweet aromatic parsnips offset by the slight tartness of the apple.
When spring finally emerges, I like to banish lethargy and listlessness and that’s when I start to crave the vitalising, cleansing effect of nettles. I normally have my first bowl of nettle soup in March, but I was a bit late in foraging any from our plot this year. When the day dawned bright and fair on Sunday morning, I was determined to go nettle picking – and I did.
In cold weather, there is nothing more warming and comforting than a big bowl of steaming soup. Or do I mean stew? I’m not entirely sure whether this Mexican bean soup is actually a soup or stew, but with a generous amount of vegetables, beans and spicy Mexican flavours, it certainly makes for a satisfying meal. It’s especially good when served with some hearty soda bread spiked with a little smoked chilli honey.
CT gets a bit sniffy about watching endless cookery programmes, although he does cave in for the Great British Bake Off. So when he’s away I take the opportunity and catch up on the odd programme. He’s been away enough over the last couple of months for me to see the entire Simply Nigella series. Her parsnip spinach soup I simply had to try.
A couple of months or so ago, I decided we needed a change from fruity smoothies for our morning breakfast. Delicious as they are, I’m more used to having something savoury at this time in the morning – it just feels right somehow. This cucumber and celery smoothie is so versatile it doubles up as a cooling summer soup.
Just because it’s summer, it doesn’t mean I don’t want soup, especially when that soup is packed with summer produce. With a house full of newly dug potatoes, courgettes and broad beans, I took inspiration from a Nigella recipe for Summer Minestrone in the September 2004 issue of Delicious.