Beat the winter chill with these fireside soups

Beat the winter chill with these fireside soups
Clockwise from top left: spinach and bacon, vegetable and barley, tomato and red pepper, beans and ribs, and spiced pumpkin soup. (Photos: Tony Jackman)

Chunky, fulsome, hearty and hot. That’s what you want in a soup, plus a pleasing texture. Add a fire roaring nearby, and a glass of sherry or red wine to hand, and you’re beating that winter chill that is unsettling us all right now.

The icy hand of winter is upon us, and with it our thoughts turn to hearty broths consumed by the fireside. TGIFood Editor Tony Jackman has trawled through his recipe archive to find you the best warming soups he can muster. Here they are…

Chunky beans & ribbetjies soup

Beans and ribs soup. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

This is a real winner for winter and one of my favourite soup recipes. My recipe involves three stages: roasting the bones with the onions for two hours; transferring them to a large, heavy pot, adding all the vegetables and herbs and filling it to with water to cover, then boiling that down by half (the stock phase), finally adding the beans, bringing it to a boil, then reducing it to a simmer and cooking for another hour or more.

Find the full recipe here.

Chunky vegetable & barley soup

Almost every soup is blended today but a substantial broth packed with tiny chunks of all sorts of vegetables has an appeal that takes us back to our childhood.

For a chunky soup such as this one, you don’t have to follow the recipe slavishly and go out and find every last vegetable in the ingredients list for it. This is about raiding the vegetable crisper or rack, or both, and seeing what you have.

I happened to have a variety of vegetables, which is what prompted me to make a hearty vegetable soup. I had plenty of leeks, turnips, carrots, fresh tomatoes, celery, red and white onions, broccoli and, unusually, a bunch of fennel (the fronds and stems, not the bulb). With one eye on those and the other on the packet of pearled barley in the cupboard, I concocted this recipe. Substitute whatever you have for anything you don’t…

Find the full recipe here.

Red pepper & tomato soup

Tony Jackman’s tomato and red pepper soup, served in Mervyn Gers Ceramics ware. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

A bright and cheery soup for a chilly day, this broth is finished with coconut cream for a bit of luxury and has a hint of basil for extra freshness.

Roasting vegetables before making a soup lends richness to the finished product and considerably more flavour than it would have if the tomatoes, onion, peppers and garlic were not roasted first.

The garlic becomes a gooey sauce inside the husks while they cook in the oven, as long as you use nice plump cloves; thin garlic cloves risk drying out in the heat.

Find the full recipe here.

Spiced pumpkin soup

Tony Jackman’s spiced pumpkin soup. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

Pumpkin is at the heart of this dish, but there’s plenty of other veg too: onion of course, leek, carrots and celery, and a large yellow pepper for no particular reason other than I had it in the crisper and didn’t want to see it wasted. It lent a bit of sweetness to the soup.

There’s ginger and a range of spices too, and I used avocado oil for its mild flavour. It’s finished with double-cream yoghurt, but you could use cream.

Find the full recipe here.

Spinach & bacon soup

Tony Jackman’s spinach and bacon soup, served in a Mervyn Gers Ceramics bowl. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

As with any spinach recipe, you need a lot of it for this soup, as it cooks away to a fraction of its former self.

The dark green and perky spinach leaves in proud bunches were calling to me in the vegetable aisle. They needed to go into a soup, and fast. But they needed other flavourings too. First to come to mind were a touch of lemon and a grating of nutmeg. But bacon… there had to be bacon too. And so it came to pass.

Find the full recipe here.

Find ALL of our TGIFood soup recipes here. DM


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