We know it’s tough to prep a wholesome meal on busy weeknights, so we’ve picked out some trusty soup recipes you can prep ahead over the weekend, and freeze. From a hearty French Onion Soup to yummy Chicken Pho, there’s something for every night of the week!
Bouillabaisse recipe below.
Prep & Cook 2 hours | Serves 4
12 (500 g) mussels, cleaned
12 (540 g) medium to large uncooked prawns, shelled, deveined, leaving tails intact
600 g firm, white skinless fish fillets, such as ling of blue eye, chopped coarsely
Crusty bread, for serving
SEAFOOD FLAVOUR BASE
¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil 500 g white fish fillets, cut into large pieces
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium (350 g) leek, sliced
1 medium (120 g) carrot, peeled, sliced thinly
1 trimmed stalk (100 g) celery, sliced 1 medium (200 g) fennel, chopped coarsely (fronds for garnish)
3 fresh bay leaves
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp tomato paste
Stalks from 1 bunch parsley, chopped coarsely
2 x 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
3 pinches saffron threads, or to taste
½ cup (125 ml) Pernod (anise-flavoured liqueur from France)
1.5 litres (6 cups) fish stock
1. SEAFOOD FLAVOUR BASE
Remove rind from orange with a vegetable peeler and cut into thin strips (or use a zester). Heat oil in a large saucepan or stockpot; add fish pieces, garlic, leek, carrot, celery, fennel, bay leaves, fennel seed, orange rind and parsley stalks and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Cook over medium heat, or until starting to soften. Add chopped tomatoes, saffron, Pernod and fish stock. Bring it to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour. Allow to cool a little, then blend the fish mixture, in batches, in a blender, food processor or with a stick blender. Strain blended fish mixture through a coarse sieve over a large bowl, squeezing to extract all the liquid; discard solids.
2. Pour strained liquid into a large clean saucepan. Place over medium-high heat, until just boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer, add prepared seafood and cook for about 3 mins or until mussels are open, and seafood is just cooked.
3. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish soup with fennel fronds and serve with crusty bread.
Pea and Ham Soup will thicken considerably upon standing, and especially after refrigeration. Add a little water to thin it down when you reheat it.
Dinners In A Bowl
Nothing beats a pot of soup gently bubbling on the stove. These comforting meals will warm the heart of your home
ULTIMATE PEA & HAM SOUP
Prep & Cook 2 hours | Serves 4-6
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
20 g butter
3 large (600 g) brown onions, chopped coarsely
2 trimmed (200 g) celery stalks, chopped coarsely
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 litre chicken stock
1.5 litres water
1.5 kg ham hocks
3 parsley stalks, leaves reserved 2 cups (400 g) green split peas 2 cups (250 g) frozen peas
2 tbsps chopped parsley leaves
Garlic bread or bagels for serving
1. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan on medium heat; cook onion, celery and garlic, stirring, for about 10 mins or until vegetables are softened and browned lightly. Add stock, water, ham and parsley stalks. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer and cover for 1 hour. Add green split peas, simmer, cover, for a further 45 mins or until peas are very tender.
2. Remove ham hocks and parsley stalks from soup. Shred meat; and discard skin, bone and parsley stalks.
3. Blend or process half the soup mixture with thawed peas in batches until smooth. Return pureed soup to same saucepan with shredded ham. Stir over heat until hot. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Ladle into serving bowls, top with parsley and serve with garlic bread, if desired.
Harira is a soup commonly eaten in Morocco and served especially during the month of Ramadan, to break the fast.
Prep & Cook 2.5 hours (+ standing time) | Serves 6
1 cup (200 g) dried chickpeas
30 g butter
600 g lamb shoulder, cut into 2 cm pieces
2 medium (300 g) onions, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 tsps ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp ground turmeric
1 litre (4 cups) beef stock
400 g can chopped tomatoes
½ cup (100 g) dried brown lentils, rinsed
2 tbsps plain flour
¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice
1 cup chopped fresh coriander
Flatbread, coriander sprigs, to serve
1. Place chickpeas in a medium bowl, cover with cold water, and stand overnight. Rinse under cold water, and drain.
2. Melt butter in large heavy-based saucepan over high heat, add lamb and onions; cook, stirring for 6 to 8 mins or until browned slightly.
3. Season with salt. Add garlic and all spices; cook, stirring, for 1 min or until fragrant. Stir in drained chickpeas; cook, stirring for 2 mins.
4. Add beef stock and 1 litre (4 cups) of water to the pan; bring to the boil. Cover the pan, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
5. Using a large metal spoon or paper towel, remove and discard scum from the surface of the soup.
6. Stir in tomatoes and lentils; simmer, and cover for 1 hour.
7. Add flour to a cup or small bowl. Gradually stir in ¼ cup (60 ml) cold water, mix to a smooth paste.
8. Gradually stir flour paste into the soup. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 20 mins or until thickened.
9. Stir in lemon juice and chopped coriander. Serve with flatbread and coriander sprigs.
Preheat oven to 180 C. Using a serrated knife, cut 1 cobb loaf (400 g), 4 cm apart, three-quarters of the way through, repeat in the other direction to form a cross-hatch pattern. Place on a baking paper-lined oven tray. Combine 250 g chopped cherry tomatoes in a small bowl with ⅓ cup chopped pitted Sicilian green olives, 2 tbsps chopped fresh basil, 2 crushed cloves garlic and ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil; season. Divide tomato mixture and 1 cup coarsely grated mozzarella evenly into each cut. Bake for 15 mins or until cheese is melted, and bread is golden and crisp. For meat-lovers, add salami, ham or pepperoni (or all three).
SPICED CARROT & SWEET POTATO SOUP
Prep & Cook 50 mins | Serves 4
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
2 large (400 g) brown onions, chopped coarsely
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsps cumin seeds
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
5 medium (600 g) carrots, chopped coarsely
800 g Australian sweet potato, chopped coarsely
1 litre (4 cups) salt-reduced chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups (500 ml) water
¾ cup (200 g) Greek-style yoghurt
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat; cook onion, stirring, for about 5 mins or until softened. Add ground coriander, cumin and chilli; cook, stirring for 1 min or until fragrant. Add carrot, sweet potato, stock and water; bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 mins or until vegetables are tender.
2. Cool soup for 10 mins. Blend or process soup, in batches, until smooth.
3. Sprinkle soup with fresh coriander and serve with yoghurt, and the Pizza Loaf (recipe above), if desired.
BEEFED UP FRENCH ONION SOUP
Prep & Cook 2 hours | Serves 4
2 tsps extra virgin olive oil
600 g gravy beef, chopped into 2-cm pieces
50 g butter
6 large (1.2 kg) brown onions, sliced thinly
1½ tbsps plain flour
1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine
1 litre (4 cups) water
1.5 litres (6 cups) salt-reduced beef stock
2 bay leaves
2 tsps fresh thyme leaves
1 small French bread stick, sliced
¾ cup (120 g) Gruyere or Jarlsburg cheese, coarsely grated
1. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan, cook beef over high heat until browned. Remove beef from pan and lower heat to medium low.
2. Add butter to pan; add onions, cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 mins or until very soft and browned lightly. Increase heat to medium-high, add flour; cook, stirring, for 1 min. Gradually stir in wine, then water, stock, bay leaves and beef.
3. Bring soup to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 1½ hours or until beef is tender. Stir in half the thyme leaves.
4. GRUYERE TOASTS
Preheat grill; toast bread slices one side then turn and sprinkle cheese over untoasted sides. Grill croutons until cheese has melted.
5. Serve soup topped with Gruyere Toasts, and sprinkle with remaining thyme leaves.
Prep & Cook 2 hours | Serves 4
1 bunch fresh coriander
2 litres good-quality chicken stock 60 g piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, quartered
1 star anise
2 (450 g) chicken breast fillets, sliced thinly
2 tbsps fish sauce
750 g thin fresh rice noodles or 375 g dried
4 green onions (green shallots), sliced thinly
150 g bean sprouts, trimmed Vietnamese mint leaves, sliced fresh red chilli or sambal oelek, lemon or lime wedges, to serve
1. Cut the roots from the coriander; wash well. Place the stock in a large saucepan with the ginger, garlic, coriander roots and star anise. Bring to the boil and simmer covered loosely for flavours to infuse. Strain the stock into a large heatproof bowl; discard the ginger, coriander roots, garlic and star anise.
2. Return the stock to the pan. Add the sliced chicken and bring to the boil; simmer until the chicken is just cooked through. Add fish sauce and season to taste.
3. Meanwhile, prepare noodles according to packet instructions. Drain well.
4. Divide the noodles between 4 heated serving bowls; pour over the hot soup. Top with green onions, bean sprouts, coriander and mint leaves. Serve with chilli and wedges of lemon or lime.
PHOTOS: JOHN PAUL URIZAR/BAUERSYNDICATION.COM.AU