Warming soups to batch cook and freeze to boost your immune system and cut cooking costs

On a cold winter's day, our bodies tend to crave warm, hearty meals to see us through to bedtime and a delicious bowl of soup definitely ticks all the boxes.

Luckily our Lifestyle Editor, Victoria Gray, has devised four recipes so you can whip up the winter staple to comfort you on the chilliest of days. Not only that, but the nutritious ingredients used are just the thing to boost your immune system and keep you fighting fit.

Each recipe makes enough for four portions, but given the challenges posed by the current cost of living crisis, if you have space in the freezer, why not supersize the quantities by doubling or tripling the ingredients. Then you can batch cook and freeze multiple portions to save you time and money.

Spicy mixed bean soup

Ingredients

● 2 tbsp olive oil

● 1 large onion, finely chopped

● 1 garlic clove, crushed

● 2 sticks of celery, sliced

● 1 tbsp tomato purée

● 2 tsp mild chilli powder

● 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin

● 400g can chopped tomatoes

● 500ml vegetable stock

● 400g can mixed beans, drained and rinsed

● Fresh herbs, to serve

Method

1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan and fry the onion over a medium heat until translucent.

2. Add the garlic, celery and tomato purée, stirring for 1-2 minutes until combined. Add the spices and cook for another minute.

3. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan. Pour in the stock and simmer on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, uncovered.

4. Add the beans and cook gently for another 15 minutes.

5. Top with fresh herbs, to serve.

Borscht soup

Ingredients

● 1 tbsp vegetable oil

● 3 medium-sized beetroot, diced

● 1 large carrot, diced

● 1 stick of celery, diced

● 1 large potato, diced

● 1 onion, finely chopped

● 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

● 1 1⁄2 litre beef stock

● Black pepper and sea salt

● 1⁄2 a green cabbage, finely shredded

● 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

● 2 tbsp sour cream

● A small handful of fresh dill

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the beetroot, carrot, celery, potato, onion and garlic, then sauté for a couple of minutes.

2. Add the beef stock and season.

3. Bring the soup almost to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cabbage and tomatoes. Cover the pan and leave the soup to simmer for another 20 minutes.

4. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh dill.

Carrot, orange and ginger soup

Ingredients

● 2 tbsp sunflower oil

● 1 large onion, chopped

● 900g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

● 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

● 1 litre vegetable stock

● Black pepper and sea salt

● Juice of 3 oranges

● Yoghurt and herbs, to serve

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and fry on a gentle heat for 10 minutes until soft. Add the carrots and ginger and stir to combine.

2. Add the stock. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the carrots are soft and tender.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

4. Blitz the mixture in a blender. Season to taste. Return to the pan, add the orange juice and gently reheat.

5. Serve with a drizzle of yoghurt and sprigs of herbs (optional).

Rustic tomato soup

Ingredients

● 1 tbsp olive oil

● 1 onion, chopped

● 1 carrot, chopped

● 2 garlic cloves

● 1.25kg fresh ripe tomatoes, chopped

● 1 litre vegetable stock

● Black pepper and sea salt

● A pinch of sugar

● Fresh herbs and croutons, to serve

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and garlic, and sauté over a low heat until soft. Add the tomatoes, stock, pepper, salt and sugar.

2. Simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Serve with a garnish of fresh herbs and croutons, or purée in a blender to freeze and save to enjoy later.

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