What is Operation Jam Jar?

Operation Jam Jar is all about getting back to basics in the kitchen.

Check out my efforts at cooking from scratch - cakes, soups, biscuits

Learn how to make things that you would normally buy at the supermarket - wraps, ice cream, pizza bases

Try to live a more 'country' lifestyle in the city - making your own jams or relish

Get the skills to enjoy cooking in a thrifty way, and have a bit of fun while you do it

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Souped Up

When you’re planning your meals for the week it’s always good to include a healthy soup option.  By using seasonal vegetables you can make something that tastes good but is also easy on your wallet, as they tend to be more affordable.  You can dress them up with a swirl of cream or yoghurt when serving, or add some crusty bread to the table.  They’re also great on a wet weekend for lunch. 

Over the past few weeks I’ve made a couple of stand out soups either from things I already had in the kitchen or from affordable seasonal veg from the market.  You will see there is no meat in any of these, so if your partner or family need some you could always add bacon to any of these recipes.  The great thing about soup is that you could make some on a Sunday afternoon and keep it in the fridge for another night when you don’t feel like cooking, or take it to work for lunch

Here are my top three for you to try out:

1.    Minty Pea Soup (pictured) 
2.    Cauliflower Soup
3.    Roast Veg & Lentil Soup

Minty Pea Soup – this is my new favourite soup.  It looks like something from outer space but tastes so so good and is super quick.  Finely chop 2 onions and brown them for a minute in a saucepan with some oil and a teaspoon of minced garlic.  Add 700ml chicken stock and when it starts boiling, add 500g frozen minty peas.  Boil for about 6 minutes or until peas are tender.  Add a handful of mint leaves if you have them, or a big glug of mint sauce.  Season, then whiz it all up with a handheld blender and serve immediately. 

Cauliflower Soup – this soup somehow manages to come out quite creamy despite the fact there is no milk or cream involved.  Cut a medium cauliflower into small pieces, and then grate an onion, a carrot, and a potato.  Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a big saucepan and soften the veg for a few minutes.  Add a teaspoon of chicken stock powder and half a teaspoon of curry powder.  Add enough water so that you only just cover the veg, and bring to the boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until all the veg are tender.  Season, then whiz up with a handheld blender and simmer for a further 20 mins before serving.  

Roast Veg & Lentil Soup – chunkily chop up a roasting tray of vegetables (you can use anything but I used a smallish pumpkin, a carrot, 2 brown onions and some fresh garlic), coat in some olive oil and season with salt & pepper, chilli (if you like it), cumin, ground coriander and some paprika.  Cover the tray in foil and roast for about 90 mins on 180°C.  Whiz up the veg in a food processor with a tin of tomatoes and about 500mL chicken stock (you need 1.5L chicken stock in total).  Bring it all back to the boil; add remaining stock and the tin of lentils.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Lovely with a dollop of yoghurt when serving. 

What are some of your favourite soups?


  1. Lil - potato and leek soup is one of my favourites.

    Chop 2 medium-size leeks and flash in a hot saucepan with some oil, garlic, salt and pepper.

    In 700ml of chicken stock, boil approx. 6 large potatoes and the leeks for about 6 minutes or until the potatoes are tender enough to blend with a handheld blender.

    Serve immediately with fresh cream, cracked pepper and a crusty roll. Easy.

  2. Yum that sounds delish, might have to give it a go!
    Don't forget to leave your name on your comments :)

  3. Sounds delish! My favorite soups are listed on my lens: Recession Soup: www.squidoo.com/recessionsoup