Turn Soup into a Main meal

It’s not going to fill me up!

When we think about soup, the first thing we think of is that it’s a “light meal”, “it’s something that won’t fill me up” or “I’ll need something to go with it”. But it doesn’t need to be like that, we can turn soup into a main meal that will keep you going until your next meal time. In addition to that, it is also a great way to add in any other macronutrients that you need to fit in to your meal plan.

Anything goes!

The great thing with soup is that anything goes! You can make a soup out of pretty much anything, also it is a great way to use food up that you have left over. If you have made soup before, then hopefully this will give you a few ideas on how to “pimp them up” into more of a meal. If you have never made a soup before, then no problem, we’ll give you some recipes to get you on your way and then you’ll be ready to take on the soup world with your own recipes!

Turn soup into a Main meal. Thai Butternut squash soup with shredded chicken and vegetables.

Moving away from tradition

Traditionally you would have to make a “roux” for a soup (melting butter, adding flour then stock, milk or water to thin). Nowadays, in the kitchen we’d rather use things like Potatoes to thicken a soup as it ensures the soup is  “Gluten free”, making it more available to a larger customer base due to allergies becoming more and more common. As a result of using vegetables to thicken the soup, it also makes it a quicker method and easier.

Being prepared

The great thing with soup is that it can be prepared way in advance and either frozen in portions or kept in the fridge for a couple days. Furthermore, the extra ingredients that we place in the soup to make it more of a meal can also be prepared and placed in a container ready to go also, therefore making this a really quick lunch to sort out in the morning before work etc.

Recipes

We’re going to give you a couple of recipes here to get you started. The ingredients we add to “pimp it up” are suggestions, you can add whatever you like depending on what macronutrients you want to include, preferences etc.

Spinach & Celery Soup

This is a really tasty soup as well as being super healthy. All the health benefits from the Spinach including being low in cholesterol and loaded with Vitamins makes this a great one to make.

Turning Soup into a Main meal. Spinach and Celery Soup topped with Pasta and vegetables.

Ingredients

serves 4

  • 1 head of Celery
  • 1 large White Onion
  • 2  large White Potatoes (peeled)
  • 2 Carrots
  • 3 litres of Vegetable Stock
  • 250 grams Spinach

toppings

  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 cups of cooked Pasta
  • bunch of Spring Onions
  • 1 fresh chilli and dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Pesto

Method

  1. Roughly cut the Celery, Onions, Carrots and Potato and cook in a Saucepan in a little Rapeseed oil for approximately 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
  2. Add the stock and cook on a simmer for 45 minutes ensuring you have cooked all the Vegetables through thoroughly.
  3. Once all the Vegetables are cooked through, remove from the heat, add the Spinach and let it wilt in the soup for a couple of minutes.
  4. Now blitz with either a stick blender or food processor. Season to taste, if it is too thick add either more stock or if you would like to make it creamy add some whole milk, Almond milk or any other of your preference.
  5. Add all your toppings into a bowl, no need to heat these ingredients due to the hot temperature of the soup which will heat them up. Pour the soup into the bowl and enjoy.

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

This is a great soup to make as it is really tasty, has bags of flavour, can be kept vegetarian or have meat introduced into the toppings if you’d rather.

turn soup into a main meal. Butternut squash soup topped with shredded vegetables.

Ingredients

serves 4

  • 1 White Onion
  • 4 sticks of Celery
  • 4 Carrots
  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 Tablespoon Thai Red Paste
  • 1 tin of Coconut Milk
  • 3 litres of Vegetable Stock (or chicken if you would prefer)

toppings

  • 2 tablespoons of Chickpeas
  • Coriander
  • 2 fresh Chillies
  • 1 bunch of Spring Onion
  • handful of Diced Butternut Squash (roasted)
  • Shredded Chicken or Cooked Brown Rice

Method

  1. Dice up the Onions, Carrots, Celery and Butternut Squash (make sure to keep a handful of the diced Butternut Squash aside for the topping). Cook in a Saucepan in a little Rapeseed oil for approximately 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
  2. Add the Thai Red Paste and cook for another 3 or 4 minutes.
  3. Add the stock and cook on a simmer for 45 minutes ensuring you have cooked all the Vegetables through thoroughly.
  4. Whilst the Soup is on a simmer, roast your Butternut Squash that you kept aside for the topping, this will need approximately 20 minutes at 180°c depending on how large you diced it. You can also cook off some brown rice if you would like to add this to the topping.
  5. Once the vegetables are cooked through, add your tin of coconut milk, Season to taste, you may even want to add a squirt of honey at this stage as a little sweetness really enhances Thai flavours.
  6. Add the toppings or whatever toppings you may have chosen and finally, enjoy.

Tomato & Oregano Soup

Again this is a great soup to make as it is so versatile. Add Chicken, Turkey, Quinoa, Wholemeal Pasta or even something like Halloumi to it. Can even be used as a Pasta Sauce rather than a soup if you get in a pinch!

serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 Large White Onion
  • 4 sticks of Celery
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Bunch Oregano
  • 2 litres of Vegetable Stock
  • 3 x 400 gram tins of Chopped Tomatoes

toppings

  • 2 cups of Quinoa (you could use Wholemeal Pasta, Chicken, Halloumi etc rather than Quinoa)
  • Pesto
  • Chives or Garlic Cress (optional)
  • Tomato Salsa or 1 chopped fresh tomato

Method

  1. Firstly, roughly cut the Celery, Onions, Carrots and cook in a Saucepan in a little Rapeseed oil for approximately 5 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
  2. Add the stock and cook on a simmer for 45 minutes ensuring you have cooked the Vegetables through thoroughly.
  3. Add the Chopped Tomatoes and Oregano and cook for a further 15 minutes.
  4. Once all the Vegetables are cooked through, blitz in your food processor or with your stick blender.
  5. Season to taste, add all your toppings into a bowl. No need to heat these ingredients up due to the hot temperature of the soup which will heat them up. Pour the soup into the bowl and most of all, enjoy.

We hope this gives you a little inspiration for jazzing up your soups and therefore encourage you to give it a go yourself. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at The Urban Canteen, either regarding these recipes or if you’d like help or advice regarding another. Finally, check us out on Instagram (link on homepage) for other ideas and recipes.

 

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