Easy, Hearty, Healthy Soups

Delicious and comforting, these soups make great dinner options.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
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Curried Cauliflower & Chickpea Soup

Prep 15 mins / Cook 50 mins / Serves 4 to 6

1.5 kg cauliflower florets

2 x 400 g cans chickpeas, rinsed, drained ¼ cup olive oil

2 tbsps curry powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground coriander

8 cups (2 litres) chicken stock

Juice 1 lemon

Greek-style yoghurt, baby spinach leaves, chopped smoked almonds, bread, to serve

1.  Preheat oven to hot, 200 C. Grease and line two oven trays.

2.  In a large bowl, toss cauliflower and chickpeas with olive oil and spices. Divide between trays. roast 20 to 25 mins until golden. reserve 2 cups florets and chickpeas.

3.  Transfer remaining cauliflower and chickpeas to a large saucepan. pour stock over and bring to boil on high. reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 20 to 25 mins, until very tender.

4.  Using a stick blender, process mixture until smooth. reheat on low, stirring, 2 mins. Stir lemon juice through and season.

5.  Divide soup between serving bowls. Drizzle yoghurt and top with baby spinach, reserved cauliflower mixture and almonds. accompany with bread of choice.

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Thai Pumpkin & Ginger Soup With Prawns

Prep 20 mins / Cook 30 mins / Serves 4 to 6

¼ cup olive oil, plus 1 tbsp extra

1 kg pumpkin, peeled, seeded, chopped 3 carrots, chopped

8 cm ginger, peeled, sliced

1/3 bunch coriander, leaves and stems separated, finely chopped

2 eschalots, sliced

1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, bruised 2 kaffir lime leaves

1/3 cup Thai red curry paste

6 cups (1.5 litres) vegetable stock 12 medium green king prawns

Greek yoghurt, sliced red chilli, lime halves, to serve

1.  In a saucepan, heat oil on high. Saute pumpkin, carrot, ginger, coriander stems, eschalot, lemongrass and lime leaves, 4 to 5 mins until golden. add curry paste and cook 1 to 2 mins.

2.  Stir in vegetable stock and bring to boil on high. reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered 20 to 25 mins, until the vegetables are tender.

3.  Remove lemongrass and lime leaves and, using a jug or stick blender, puree until smooth. return to medium heat for 5 mins to warm though. Season to taste.

4.  In a frying pan, heat extra oil on medium. Cook prawn 2 to 3 mins each side, until cooked through. peel, retaining head and tail (or completely, if preferred).

5.  Divide soup between serving bowls and top with prawns. Drizzle with yoghurt and serve topped with sliced chilli and coriander leaves. accompany with lime halves.

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Hot & Sour Soup With Pork

Prep 30 mins plus marinating / Cook 1¼ hours / Serves 4 to 6

750 g pork rashers, halved crossways 1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp sweet soy sauce

1 tbsp Chinese five-spice

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp ground white pepper

400 g rice noodles, cooked

1 bunch gai lan or Chinese broccoli, trimmed, leaves shredded, stems sliced

125 g baby corn, halved lengthways

1 long red chilli, thinly sliced, to serve Lime wedges, to serve


2 tbsps vegetable oil 

4 green onions, whites halved lengthways, ends shredded 

2 eschalots, chopped 

2 long red chillies, chopped 

8 cm piece root ginger, sliced 

1 bulb garlic, halved crossways 

2 tbsps chopped coriander root, stem, leaves reserved 

1 cinnamon quill 

1 star anise 

1 tsp fennel seeds 

8 cups (2 litres) chicken stock 6 cups (1.5 litres) water 

1/3 cup dark soy sauce 

¼ cup Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine) 

2 tbsps fish sauce 

1.  In a bowl, toss pork with oil, sweet soy, five-spice, sesame oil and pepper. Set aside for 20 mins.

2.  MASTER STOCK in a saucepan, heat oil on medium. add vegetables and coriander root and stem. Saute 3 to 4 mins until golden. Stir in spices, stock, water, soy sauce, wine and fish sauce. Bring to boil.

3.  Preheat a barbecue grill or chargrill pan on high. Cook pork 2 to 3 mins each side, until grill marks appear. add pork to master stock, then simmer, covered, on low 1 hour.

4.  Remove pork and set aside. Strain stock, discarding solids. return stock to pan with pork and bring to boil on high.

5.  Divide noodles, gai lan and baby corn between serving bowls. Top with grilled pork pieces. ladle hot soup over and top with reserved coriander and chilli. Serve with lime wedges.

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Italian Roasted Tomato Soup

Prep 20 mins / Cook 1 hour / Serves 4 to 6 2 kg Roma or plum tomatoes, halved

1 red onion, wedges

¼ cup olive oil

8 garlic cloves, bruised

1½ tbsps red wine vinegar

1 tbsp dried oregano

2 tsps smoked paprika

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

6 cups (1.5 litres) vegetable stock

100 g sliced prosciutto

Drained cherry bocconcini, fresh basil leaves, curry leaves, crusty bread, to serve

1.  Preheat oven to hot, 200 C. lightly grease two oven trays.

2.  Toss tomatoes, onion, oil, garlic, vinegar and spices on one tray. Spread into a single layer. roast 25 to 30 mins, until they are tender.

3.  Transfer vegetables and roasting juices to a large saucepan. pour stock over. Bring to boil on high. reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 30 mins.

4.  Using a stick blender, process until smooth. Season to taste and add a pinch of sugar (see tip). Heat on low, stirring.

5.  Meanwhile, arrange prosciutto in a single layer on remaining tray. Bake 4 to 5 mins, until crisp. Crumble into pieces.

6.  Divide soup between serving bowls. Top with torn bocconcini, prosciutto and fresh basil leaves. accompany with bread.

Photos: John Paul urizar/