With these cooler days and the nights drawing in earlier we tend to change our eating habits, more frequently reaching out for something comforting to warm our souls. Soups, stews and steamed puddings all come to mind as "comfort food" and Soups particularly so.
Not only are soups comforting however, they also have a great range of other benefits. They generally are very economical, surprisingly small amounts of initially quite uninspiring produce, such as a stick of celery, 1/2 an onion, a couple of potatoes, a limp leek and carrot can be used to create a highly scrumptious soup by the imaginative home cook, a soup which in turn can against these odds even become a family favourite.
Soup comes in many varied and wonderful forms from thick stew like bowls of hearty goodness as with a Hungarian Goulash to the thin, clear, broth like bowls for of warming freshness as popular in Asian cultures with the addition of noodles or with Miso.
Lets not forget the rich and creamy delights like the often admired French Lobster Bisque, or Coconut Cream Laksa although these are the ultimate in comfort they should ideally be treated with some respect as the tend to be a lot higher in calories and fats.
However even with all these delicious soups to choose from I think it would be fair to say the soups preferred by most at home cooks generally tend to be very simple to make. Puréed soups in particular are common place being as they require little effort or great chopping skills. In it's most basic form, the purée starts with vegetables being peeled, roughly chopped and simmered together with some beautifully good homemade stock until perfectly tender. Finally it is seasoned and whizzed to a smooth nourishing pot of gorgeousness with a blender.
But perhaps the most beneficial trait of almost all soup, no matter what style of soup, is that it can be packed full of nutrients and is served in a deliciously easy to digest liquid form. It's not surprising then that almost every country in the world has their own unique take on soup.
The Seasonal Soup pictured is Thai Inspired Pumpkin Soup with Lime and Coriander Pesto from bronmarshall.com