The time of year where soups are welcomed has well and truly arrived! We currently have a fridge full of soup friendly vegetables so a vegetable soup was quite fitting. Soup is such a warming wholesome lunch or dinner and in most cases are really easy to make, and can be frozen or refrigerated well so you will have soup for days!
Whenever making a soup, I believe it’s really important to include a good quality protein component. This could be your obvious options, such as meat or chicken, as well as any sort of bean, legume or lentil. The protein helps to balance out a usually vegetable dominant soup and helps to assist with filling you up and keeping you fuller for longer.
I know that whenever I eat soup for lunch, I always feel like a nap afterwards, a food coma, and I think this stems from the fact that I usually serve myself too much, which I think is a common mistake. Soups are a pretty filing meal, I mean, think of all those veggies in there and divide that between the number of serves and you’ve got a pretty good plate of veg. So when ladling your soup out, reconsider the final ladle-ful. Bread is also a historical companion to soup, but the chances are it isn’t always 100% necessary, as most soups are usually filling enough on their own, so consider the need for bread or keep it to 1 slice.
I have added bacon to this soup to enhance the flavour, but if you’re a vegetarian, you could definitely omit the bacon. If you don’t have spinach, this can be substituted for silver beet or kale.
My kids, surprisingly, seem to love soup. I don’t know if it’s the idea of eating a liquid with a spoon or if it’s the novelty of being able to dunk bread into their meal or if they just genuinely like it.
I hope you like it too. xx
Makes ~3L of soup
- 4 rashers of bacon, fat trimmed, chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 1 long chilli, chopped finely
- 5 button mushroom, chopped
- 1 x 400g tin of brown lentils, drained and rinsed
- 150g red lentils
- 2 bay leaves
- 2.5L chicken stock
- 1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans
- 3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Heat a large soup pot over medium heat, add bacon and cook until bacon starts to caramelise and go brown.
- Add onion, carrot, zucchini, celery, garlic, thyme and chilli and cook for ~ 10 minutes on low, stirring occasionally, to allow vegetables to soften.
- Add red lentils, stock and bay leaves and simmer for 10 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- Add the brown lentils and mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes
- Add cannellini beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Add spinach and season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with toasted bread, if desired.