Beating the Cold Weather with Nutri-Soups â€“ We are experiencing very cold weather that has blown down from Siberia recently, and so soups, and especially Nutri-Soups are still very much on our menu in an attempt to do lunch better! Todayâ€™s post is all about how to add extrasÂ to your soup, by way of toppings and dippers.
Do Lunch Better
Baby itâ€™s cold outside, as the old 1940â€™s song goes! Apparently, itâ€™s a cold front thatâ€™s sweeping down from Siberia, and all of a sudden,Â Spring seems to have disappeared over the horizon in a trail of frost and snow. With that in mind, we are staying inside as much as possible, although the odd brisk and invigorating walk is good for the soul, as long as you are wrapped up well, and in an attempt to do lunch better, as in quickly and with the minimum of fuss, but with the emphasis on taste, soup is very much the order of the day, almost daily. Iâ€™ve been working with the New Covent Garden Soup Co for the last few weeks, as readers will know from some of my previous posts, from trying to replicate one of their soups in a blind tasting, to offering tips and ideas how to add toppings and dippers to a bowl of lunchtime soupâ€¦â€¦..and in my last post today, Iâ€™m ending with some more ideas how to â€œdressâ€ your soup up for lunch, in under five minutes, with some more ideas for toppings and dippers.
The soups I am enjoying and am posting suggestions for today, come from the New Covent Garden Soup Coâ€™s Nutri-Soup range;Â the two soups we chose to enjoy the other day, wereÂ Chicken & BarleyÂ andÂ Buckwheat & Bean Ribolita. As these soups are packed with protein and fibre, making them extremely nutritious, I decided to add even more protein and fibre, as you will see from my toppings and dippers ideas, as well as adding more veggies. My favourite soup out of the range was the Chicken and Barley, which has chicken, butternut squash, tagliatelle carrot, haricot beans and barley in its list of ingredients, and is finished off with a sprinkling of sage and thyme for a herbal flavour to this hearty soup. My husband, who is an avid meat eater, actually preferred the vegetarian soup, Buckwheat & Bean Ribolita, which is a Tuscan inspired recipe, withÂ carrots, green beans, peas and kale, cannellini beans and buckwheat in the list of ingredients.
My ideas for toppings and dippers are based on each soupâ€™s ingredients, and are listed below.â€¦â€¦they are all easy to assemble and prepare, and they all add an extra dimension to the already tasty bowls of soup:
Toppings and Dippers Ideas for Nutri-Soups:
- Kidney beans, in chilli sauce or plain â€“ add a heaped spoon to the soup, with the chilli sauce or drained for the plain beans.
- Grated mature Cheddar cheese â€“ scatter the cheese over the top of the hot soup, and allow it to melt over the other toppings.
- Sourdough bread, toasted and cubed â€“ add these little cubes of toasted sourdough to the soup, with the cheese, for a cheese on toast kind of taste and texture!
- Â Pesto â€“ we both loved the addition of a spoonful of pesto added to the soup, it went especially well with the Italian style soup,Â Buckwheat & Bean Ribolita. We used a classic Parmesan and Basil pesto, but any flavour pesto would work, such as sun-dried tomato or roasted red-pepper pesto.
- Creme fraiche mixed with ground chilli powder â€“ this added a wonderful creaminess and spicy hit to both soups.
- Leftover oven-roasted veggies â€“ leftovers from a previous meal, I just microwaved them before adding them to the soup and then smothering the with grated cheese!
- Chilli and herb seasoning salt â€“ just add a pinch for an extra spicy hit.
- Fresh parsley â€“ this topping added colour, flavour and freshness to the soup.
- And finally, we both enjoyed batons of carrots to dip into our soup, and that just added to our five-a-day too!
I hope you feel inspired to try some of my ideas for toppings and dippers, and so let me know which ones worked best for you! KarenÂ
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