Easy-as soups for when you’re time poor

Soup. It’s an easy meal-break or quick winter dinner and it's pretty cheap to buy. I’m all for soup, however, what I don’t necessarily like about store bought soup is that they tend to be high in salt, which is what gives them such a great shelf life.

When you’re working shift work, commuting for long periods, or working from home – you might not think that you have the time to make soup. Truth be told, there are a lot of tasty soup recipes that don’t require huge amounts of time, effort or salt. Making a soup on your days off is easily achievable. You can even freeze it, so you’re prepared for the week ahead.

Some soups freeze better than others, so if you are keen to pop some of your delicious meal in the freezer for another day, avoid cream or milk-based recipes as they don’t reheat as well as others. Or, simply add the cream element when you are reheating! Making your own soup is a great (and cheap) way of getting extra veggies, beans or legumes into your diet. There are lots of wins when it comes to making your own soup.

Check out the links below to give you some ideas to get started.

  1. Donna Hay Roast Pumpkin Soup – you don’t even need to chop the ingredients neatly in this one, just roast, combine, whiz them!
  2. I love making tomato soup with a tin of tomato instead of fresh tomato. It tends to offer a better colour and consistency, and it is also quicker, easier, and made from pantry staples. You can change up your flavour by adding basil or chilli, or other flavours depending on your mood! Simply Google ‘easy tomato soup’ for plenty of recipe ideas.
  3. If you are keen for a creamy soup but don’t want the cream, a simple cauliflower soup might do the trick.
  4. Veggie soup is very versatile as it can be blended or left ‘chunky’, you can add pasta, rice, legumes or lentils if you want to bulk it up, or you can simply omit or substitute ingredients that you don’t have (or don’t like). I tend to use my father’s method of ‘throw in whatever veggies you have and hope for the best’, which usually works. If you are chasing a recipe and not sure where to start, this easy vegetable soup is hearty and delicious.

The list so far only includes vegetarian options, yes. While meat-based soups are equally as delicious, I find serving a vegetarian dish on ‘soup night’ an easy way to get more veggies and legumes in. Fan favourite soups containing meat include: Chicken noodle soup; lamb or beef minestrone; potato and leek soup with the addition of crispy bacon; or a Spanish style chorizo and potato soup. The options are infinite!
If having soup alone will not quell your hunger, add a slice or 2 of grainy bread, toast, or a warm bread roll. If you are keen to have a go at making some bread, this Irish Soda Bread is a perfect side to soup. It doesn’t require yeast or hours to prepare, and it stays fresh for several days. Sitting down to eat fresh soup accompanied by DIY bread is a great way to warm up this winter!

Written by Naomi Blines,
Qualified Nutritionist & Registered Nurse
Helping people is Naomi’s thing, which is what drew her to nursing.  Over the years she learnt that food is more than just fuel for our bodies; it’s the centrepiece for community, it’s medicinal, it can be simple, healthy and delicious. Wanting to share this discovery, she completed a Medical Science (Nutrition) degree. Naomi knows how busy this thing called life is and loves to share tips and tricks that make eating (& living) well, easy and enjoyable.

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