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How to turn any veggie into easy homemade soup

February 27 2018
Esther Reynolds
By Esther Reynolds

How to turn any veggie into easy homemade soup 1

When it comes to cooking, few dishes are more satisfying—or easier to prepare—than a hearty, warming bowl of soup. Soup also fits in perfectly with Food Optimizing, our healthy eating plan. Ingredients like vegetables, broth, beans and grains are all Free Food—this is everyday food that can be enjoyed freely, with no counting, no weighing, and no measuring—and no risk to your weight loss.

You can turn just about any veggie into a tasty, filling soup, and it’s a great way to use up odds-and-ends veggies on their last legs. Read on for some top tips, and you’ll be savoring your next bowl in no time.

Tip #1: If they look the same, they’ll cook the same

A successful soup often begins on the cutting board. Chopping vegetables as uniformly as possible ensures they’ll cook at the same rate. Peel any tough skins off ingredients like winter squash or root vegetables—your efforts will be rewarded with a smooth soup!

Tip #2: Stock up

Stock or broth builds flavor and complexity into soups. This pantry staple is a Free Food with Slimming World, whether canned, concentrate, or cubed. Go for low-sodium options so you can control how much seasoning is in the finished soup.

Tip #3: Timing is everything

While you can turn just about any vegetable into a soup, layer ingredients for maximum flavor and optimal cooking time. Start by sautéeing aromatics like chopped onions with a little minced garlic in cooking spray*. Once you pour in the broth, add heartier veggies like diced carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, and turnips—they’re best when simmered slowly. Add delicate produce like baby spinach, asparagus, and zucchini during the last few minutes of cooking to preserve their texture and color.  

Tip #4: Fill it up

There are a couple of ways to make soup richer and more filling. For soups that are made of vegetables like butternut squash, cauliflower, or potatoes, a whirl in the blender will create a thick, creamy (and cream-free!) texture, like in this classic leek and potato rendition. For a brothier soup with lots of diced veggies, simply stir in a few handfuls of your favorite cooked bean, grain, or pasta at the end, like in this rustic minestrone.

*Up to 10 short sprays of any cooking spray are Free. After that, count ½ Syn for every additional five sprays used.