One of Mr T’s homemade creations.

Time to get soupy!

It is soup weather! It is the time of year, when we need a tummy hug and nothing works better than a nurturing soup that goes warm down your throat and nestles in your tummy to spread the warmth across your whole body.

Now, buying ready-made soups is nothing to frown upon – at least not when you buy good soups. Always make sure to read the label and check the sugar and salt content – these are flavour enhancers and cheaply made soups are loaded with them.

Soups are easy to make at home – yes, you will have to peel and chop but that shouldn’t stop you from making your very own soups. The base of any good soup is sautéing a finely chopped onion and if you like, some minced garlic.

Don’t let the onion and garlic brown, you just want to release the beautiful aroma. When the onion has become translucent, add your spices and stir for a few minutes until all the fragrance has been released.

Now add your vegetables – the order depends on the cooking time for each. And finally add your stock. You might expect me now to tell you how to make stock – I do buy stock. Not stock cubes though which are mainly salt and then some flavourings.

I do tend to use Knorr Stock Pot (oh the horror). Is it better than anything else? I doubt it very much but it is easy and quick (if you are looking for a great chicken stock, head to the Chicken Inn in the English Market).

If I can, I finely mince up vegetables that are not at their best anymore – no tomatoes, cucumber etc but carrots, leeks, celery, celeriac etc. and mix it with salt. I then put the mix in a jar in the fridge and whenever I need vegetable stock, I scoop a tablespoon of the mix and add boiling water over it and voilà, you have a vegetable stock.

When I am very lazy, I tend to sauté an onion and garlic, add tomato passata and let it cook down a bit until it thickens. Then I add herbs from my garden and presto, you have a tasty tomato soup in just a few mins.

A few years ago, I gifted a Soup Bible to Mr T and he started creating soups with gusto. He got very good at it to be honest and it has been a long time since he had to use a recipe book.

Nowadays, he might look at a recipe for inspiration but mainly, he grabs some vegetables, start peeling and chopping and at the end, there are very good soups (see photo for one of his creations). He tends to make quantities that last him two to three days so that it doesn’t become a chore to cook every night (and no, I don’t cook every night either).

The difference between Mr T and me is the type of soups we like. I like mine smooth and creamy while he prefers them chunky and rustic. We both agree on flavour though – it has to pack a punch. There’s always chilli involved when we cook. Same with garlic, turmeric and cumin – these are just beautiful spices that can enhance any dish.

Over the years, we have noticed that we moved from a heavy meat-based diet to a more vegetarian one.

Not on purpose I might add – it just happened along the way.