Buffalo Sweet Potato Soup (Full of Plants)
How to make a bowl of soup is pretty easy, if you follow a certain formula. A bowl of warming soup is the ultimate comfort meal. It’s a great way to use up leftover veggies in the fridge, so zero waste too. There’s nothing wrong with the odd tin of soup, and some good brands are listed below. But homemade soup is a simple way to whizz up a quick tasty meal, serve with salad or bread. Also see the best brands of tinned soup.
See medications for foods to avoid. No nuts, seeds and nut/seed butters for young children. Cut carrot sticks/veggie hot dogs lengthwise and again, to avoid choking. Choose palm-oil-free vegan butters. See foods to keep away from pets.
Start with a base, by frying off some chopped carrot with celery, leek or onion in a little rapeseed oil, adding spices if wished. Then add some veggie stock and chunky veg (potatoes or root veggies) and simmer for 20 minutes, adding quick-cook veg (like spinach) just a few minutes before serving. You can blend for a creamier soup or just leave it chunky. Then season to taste and serve.
Vegan Soups is a good basic book by an artist in Derbyshire, who illustrates all her soup instructions beautifully. She will teach you the fundamentals of making soups and toppings, then offers 100 simple recipes including Black-Eyed Bean Chilli Stew, Curried Greens & Coconut Soup and Butternut Noodle Soup.
Quick & Simple Soup Recipes
Tomato Basil Soup (The Simple Veganista) uses fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic and basil. Or to cheat, open a tin of Suma organic tomato basil soup. Either way, they are better than most tomato soups, which are often made with factory-farmed milk or cream, and not much flavour. In a Which? Survey, 3 supermarket soups beat the brand leader on taste. Suma’s soup has much better ingredients, and a higher percentage of tomatoes. Which soup do you think will taste better?
Slow-Cooker Minestrone Soup (The Simple Veganista) is loaded with vegetables, tomatoes, herbs and pasta. Italian for ‘big soup’, this thick brother is way better than the watery commercial tins found in stores.
Always use new safe slow cookers, and keep trailing wires away from paws and little hands. Use tinned kidney beans, as dry ones need thorough boiling to remove a toxin, and slow cookers don’t reach high enough temperatures to do this.
Vegan Clam Chowder (Planted and Picked) replaces the cute ‘burrowing foot’ sea creatures – they are endangered due to over-fishing and destruction of coral reefs – with marinated mushrooms, and dulse flakes and miso for a seafood taste (avoid seaweed if you have iodine or thyroid issues). Chowder often uses sweetcorn; keep corn-on-the-cob away from pets, it’s a choking hazard.
Suma’s tinned vegan soups are ideal to keep in the cupboard, for when you want a quick snack. Either alone or with a crusty roll, these make a filling meal. As well as being organic and not needing a tin opener (just pull the ring and recycle with the can), most contain ‘vegan meaty’ ingredients, to round out the meal. Also see how to make a bowl of soup.
Keep these soups away from pets, as they may think they are real meat and the soups contain soy, garlic, onion and other toxic ingredients for furry friends.
Sold in Co-op and other shops, choose from:
- Suma Vegan Pea & Ham Soup is made with wholesome ham-style pieces, and also in a simple pea soup version. Made creamy with coconut milk, over a quarter of the tin is nutritious green peas.
- Suma Organic Tomato Soup features lots of tomatoes, thickened with rice flour and flavoured with vegetable bouillon. There are even some concentrated vegetable juices in there of onion, carrot, parsnip, mushroom and pumpkin, along with herbs and spices (turmeric, parsley, lovage, garlic and fennel seeds).
- Vegan Mushroom Soup made with creamy coconut milk, garlic and onion powder, dehydrated onion and a mushroom bouillon made with salt, and both shiitake and white mushrooms.
- Minestrone Soup with kale, carrots, green beans and tomatoes, served with onion, concentrated vegetable juices, herbs, spices, tomatoes and macaroni elbows.
Other Good Soups
- Baxters has soups for Sri Lankan sweet potato, butternut squash & lentil or Jackfruit three bean chilli
- Tideford Organic Soups are nice but you’ll have to recycle the plastic pots. Flavours include country vegetable, Italian tomato, minestrone (with gluten-free pasta), red lentil & spinach/split pea/nutmeg. There are also seasonal winter greens and winter-spiced parsnip soups.
Plant-Based Organic Cup-A-Soup
Just Wholefoods offers nice organic vegan cup-a-soups, sold in health stores. Just buy in bulk and keep them in the cupboard, for a warming treat. In 3 flavours:
- Tomato Basil
- Leek Potato
- Carrot Coriander
Alas, that’s really it as far as suitable brands are in shops, as most of the others are made with animal ingredients or chemicals or both. You can therefore make your own instant cup-a-soup mix, just make sure you keep it in a very dry jar. It’s basically a mix of oats, herbs and rice krispies !)
Another good reason to make your own or buy the brand above, is that the main brand Batchelors, contains palm oil (its use worldwide is harming orangutans, there is no such thing as sustainable palm oil). Other ingredients include glucose syrup, potato starch, maize starch and croutons (with more palm oil). It’s also owned by Premier Foods, a bit multi-national food brand, it’s much better to support small organic brands instead, isn’t it?
Japanese Miso Soup
If you want a quick and simple tasty soup, then try miso soup. Everyone has this in Japan each day, and they are all happy and healthy, and live to 150! Seriously, it’s made with very tasty ingredients, and believed to be good for your gut. You can’t really describe the taste, because it depends on the ingredients. But it’s pure ‘umami’. One chef described it as a mix of ‘beans, nut butter, Parmesan cheese, salt and sugar’.
Tsubi Soup is an instant miso soup. It’s sold in 4 flavours:
- Aubergine, Ginger & Onion
- Spinach, Cabbage & Carrots
- Tofu & Seaweed (avoid for iodine/thyroid issues)
- Japanese mushroom & green onion
Just place a cube into a cup, add hot water and watch as the cube miraculously turns into soup in 10 seconds. Then relax and enjoy your soup moment! Another good brand is Miso Tasty, which always uses vegan stock (some dashi uses seafood).