With the colder weather we think comfort food, and that means hot, nourishing soup.
A good soup can provide a large amount of our daily nutritional requirements and is a great way to meet our “5+ a day” requirement. They’re also the perfect solution for using up vegetables lost in the bottom of the fridge.
Soups cooked with beef and lamb provide good sources of iron, and adding vegetables ensures we maintain our necessary levels of Vitamin C. Hence, people often make soups for those feeling unwell or recuperating. Packed with flavour, vitamins and nutrients, soups are filling, satisfying meals and easy to make.
Bones and hocks go in the pot
Using beef bones in a soup adds extra flavour, and during cooking the meaty bits fall off the bone ensuring they are extra tender and easy to digest. If you’ve still got the ham hock from your Christmas ham in the freezer, now is the time to use it in a warm, comforting soup. It takes a bit of time to cook the hock, but the effort is worth it. Generally the hock is cooked with the vegetables and liquids, then removed, and when cool the meat taken off the hock and returned to the soup.
Bacon hocks and even the bone remaining from a roast leg of lamb are ideal for your winter soups. Additionally, there are plenty of other meat cuts available to be used in soups – left-over meat, diced lamb, lamb shanks, chuck steak and any other cuts that respond well to slow cooking.
Adding some pulses or grains such as beans or pearl barley helps the soup go further and ensures fibre content.
Using the slow cooker is ideal for soups and avoids you having to stand over the stove during the cooking process.
Soups freeze well, so make the most of your effort by cooking a large pot then you’ll have soup galore on the ready in the freezer for those chilly nights.