Winter soup recipes to enjoy seasonal vegetables 'at their best' with 'maximum flavour'

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It’s hard to ignore the rising cost of food, particularly when it comes to staple fruit and vegetables found on supermarket shelves. While paying more to stay healthy is something many people have accepted, consuming seasonal produce is a great way to cut costs and enjoy a nutrient-rich diet. While your garden may look sparse in January, plenty of in-season plants can be added to homemade soup – and they will cost you a fraction of the price. Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, plant-based chef and nutritionist Lisa Marley shared two immune-boosting recipes using a mixture of carrots, parsnips, potatoes and more.

Lisa said: “Soup is a great way to use up any vegetables you may have. Adding beans to soups is a fantastic way to increase fibre and bulk out the dish. while roasted tray bakes are a quick and easy way to create a tasty and fulfilling dinner with minimal effort but maximum flavour.

“Seasonal food, especially grown locally tends to be much cheaper due to the fact there aren’t any importation, travel and potentially storage costs. Sadly, this will vary from place to place in the UK.

“Depending on where you live, the cost of products may vary slightly. However, broadly speaking, it’s always better to buy seasonal food, locally grown. This is due to seasonal food being nutrient-dense, fresh and better tasting.”

The chef noted that while different types of products have “ideal times” when they are “at their best”, consuming them in their prime season can lead to a stronger immune system, while also having a positive effect on the local economy.

READ MORE: Save £35 off the ‘life changing’ Instant Pot slow cooker

To make the soup, start by boiling the pearl barley in a pan for 20 minutes, or until cooked. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion for five minutes until soft, adding a tablespoon of stock if it starts to stick.

Next, add the spices to the onion and cook for one minute. Throw in the carrots, celery, parsnip and potato, chopped tomatoes and stock and cook gently for 30 minutes.

Five minutes before the end, add the cooked pearl barley. Season to taste and enjoy while it’s hot.

If a smooth, sweet soup is what you’re after, Lisa’s carrot and parsnip ensemble is perfect for lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

  • Two teaspoons of rapeseed oil
  • Two onions, finely chopped
  • Two celery sticks, finely chopped
  • Two garlic cloves, crushed
  • One teaspoon of dried thyme
  • Three large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Two large parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
  • One tin butter beans drained and rinsed
  • One litre of vegetable stock
  • A handful of parsley, finely chopped, for decoration

In a large saucepan add the oil and fry the onion, celery and garlic on medium heat for five minutes. Add in a tablespoon or two of stock if the onions start to brown. Throw in the garlic and fry for one minute.

Add in thyme, carrot, parsnips, butter beans and stock and boil. Turn down the heat and gently simmer for 12 – 15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Use a stick blender to pulse until smooth. Season to taste and garnish with parsley. Serve hot with warm bread to mop up every last drop of the flavoursome soup.



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