Soup recipes to warm your bones

Channel your inner Iron Chef - and invite your flatmate to join along - as you cook a healthy, homemade, one-pot meal. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Although a staple of student diets, soup does not need to come from a tin, tasting like it does more harm than good. Autumn and winter are great seasons for hearty vegetables such as broccoli, chard, courgette, fennel, kale, leeks, parsnips, spinach, squash and sweet potatoes, so incorporate them into a soup, perfect for these cold and windy days. Served with a hunk of bread, soup is a quick, healthy and filling meal, which can be prepared in advance for maximum ease.

For more recipes like these, check out Chloé’s blog at:

Channel your inner Iron Chef - and invite your flatmate to join along - as you cook a healthy, homemade, one-pot meal. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Channel your inner Iron Chef – and invite your flatmate to join along – as you cook a healthy, homemade, one-pot meal.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Honey and parsnip soup

Parsnips are more than something to be eaten as a novelty at Christmas or Thanksgiving. With a taste and texture similar to that of a potato, parsnips are perfect roasted, fried or mashed. Their sweet flavour means that they are complementary to many ingredients, from bitter vegetables to game.

Olive oil
One onion, roughly chopped
A couple of cloves of garlic, crushed
One carrot, sliced finely
Five small parsnips, in small pieces
300ml vegetable stock
Two teaspoons runny honey
Sour cream, to serve
Honey, to serve

Over a medium heat on the hob, sauté the onion, garlic and carrot with a dash of salt and pepper, until the onion has softened (about 10 minutes).

Add the stock, honey and parsnips and bring to the boil. Then cover and leave to simmer until the vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes).

Purée and serve warm with a dollop of sour cream and honey.

Mint and kale soup

Despite its status as the ‘in’ food this year and as Gywneth Paltrow’s best friend, kale is hardly a passing fad. Sweet but peppery, kale is rich in antioxidants and is known for cancer-preventing qualities.

Olive oil
Four medium-sized potatoes, peeled
and diced
One large white onion, diced
A handful of garlic cloves, chopped
A large handful of kale, chopped
A medium-sized handful of spinach
500ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Single cream, to serve
Crusty bread, serve

Sauté the potatoes, onion and garlic over a medium heat in a generous drizzle of olive oil, and season with pepper and salt.

Once the onion has softened, add the kale and spinach, and leave to wilt for a few minutes.

Add the mint and stock, and bring to the boil. Return the heat to medium, and cook until the potatoes are soft (about 5 minutes).

Purée and serve with a drizzle of cream, finely sliced mint and crusty bread.

Roasted fennel and carrot soup

The aniseed-taste of fennel means that it is brilliant braised or roasted, sautéed or barbecued, so don’t discount it just because you don’t like liquorice. Fennel is great as the star of a dish (such as in this soup), or as the base of a meal, like in a stew or with roasted pork.

One onion, roughly chopped
5 carrots, peeled and roughly
One fennel bulb, trimmed (2cm above
the bulb) and sliced
Half a teaspoon of cumin
Half a teaspoon of nutmeg
Olive oil
500ml vegetable stock
100ml orange juice

In a preheated oven, roast the onion, carrots and fennel on a baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil and topped with the cumin, nutmeg and seasoned with the salt and pepper.
Once the vegetables have softened, (about 40 minutes), remove them from the oven and place in a pot.

Over medium heat, simmer the vegetables with the stock and orange juice for ten minutes.

Serve with a drizzle of olive oil.


  1. Deacon Ambrose Bean Soup Recipe


    • 1 1/2 C small white beans such as pea beans or navy beans, picked
    over and rinsed (soaked overnight in cold water)
    • 7 Cups of cold water
    • One medium ham hock/pork shank/eisbein (preferably smoked)
    • Bay leaf
    • Four cloves
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 3 medium stalks of celery with leaves, chopped
    • 1 cup carrot, diced
    • 1 large potato, peeled and finely diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp pepper
    • 2 Tbl chopped fresh parsley


    1. Place beans in a soup pot with 7 Cups of cold water and a small ham
    hock (with bay leaf and cloves inserted in ham hock)

    2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer until beans are tender, about 1
    1/4 hours.

    3. Remove the ham hock, discard the bone, skin and any fat; dice the

    4. Return meat to the pot with the onion, celery, carrot, potato, garlic,
    salt, and pepper

    5. Simmer until the potatoes are quite soft, 20 to 30 minutes

    6. Optional: Remove from heat and mash potato (or use immersion
    blender) until soup is a bit creamy

    7. Stir in the fresh parsley

    8. Ladle into warm bowls


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