Now Autumn is well and truly kicking in, the nights are starting to draw in and the mercury is on a slow downward slope, our bodies start to crave the warmth of comfort food. But instead of opting for stodgy, carb-based staples that will comprise all the salads you ate during the summer, discover afresh the ultimate cold weather comfort food – soup. Quick and easy to prepare, extremely versatile, nourishing and healthful, it’s a great comfort food to turn to when it gets chilly outside. There are so many great qualities that mean soup deserves to be your new best friend this autumn…
1. PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME…
Modern life seems to be a constant rush, so it’s little wonder that we see an inexorable rise in the popularity of convenience foods and takeaways. One of the great benefits of soup is that it can be made in advance, frozen easily and reheated quickly. Or you can simply pop your ingredients into a soup-maker and enjoy fresh food ready for when you come in in the evening – check out a few of the best soup makers.
2. A SATISFYING MEAL…
Another problem with junk food is that it’s a lot of empty calories – you may fill yourself up with unhealthy treats only to find that you’re hungry again an hour later. Soup can be made as hearty as you like – try bulking it out with potatoes and pearl barley for a traditional Scotch broth, lentils and beans for a spicy Mexican flavour, pasta in a Minestrone or noodles in Asian-style udon. The possibilities are endless – you could even make deluxe cheesy croutons on top of a French onion soup. Soup has a large water content, which means it keeps you hydrated as well – people often confuse hunger with being dehydrated. Studies have even cited soup as a diet aid for this reason, as being hydrated means that you’ll feel satisfied for longer and are less likely to reach for calorie-laden snacks.
3. SOUP IS A HEALTH AID…
It’s a fact that most cooking methods reduce the amount of vitamins and minerals in a vegetable. Making soup is the only method that doesn’t, due to all the vitamin-packed cooking water becoming part of the broth. Homemade chicken soup has also been proven to help alleviate colds and flu due to its ability to clear mucus and act as an anti-inflammatory to soothe aching muscles.
4. IT HELPS YOU EAT MORE VEGETABLES…
If you are trying to achieve your five a day, soup is a great way to get more vegetables in easily. Try adding peppers and onions to homemade tomato soup, or coming up with great tasting new combinations, such as butternut squash, leek and shallot. The only limit is your imagination. Plus, if you have children who are fussy about eating greens, it’s a great way to sneak extra nutrients in!
5. IT’S SUPER EASY TO MAKE…
Even if your culinary skills leave a lot to be desired, soup is easy to make. You can experiment by adding in any ingredients you like, and the whole thing is very hard to mess up. You can even vary a recipe by making a batch of soup and then adding something new for the following night.
We had a recent one week’s cruise to Bruges in Brussels, Copenhagen and Skagen in Denmark and Oslo in Sweden. The weather was beautiful apart from in Oslo where it was dull and damp but that certainly didn’t spoil our visit.
Our first port of call was Bruges where we could easily walk to from the ship and where we were determined to have some of their famous moules frites.
Our second port of call was Copenhagen where we were told before we embarked that eating a meal in Copenhagen was very very expensive so we decided to just have a drink then go back to the ship for lunch. We had a lovely boat ride around Copenhagen, which was stunning.
Our third port of call was Skagen also in Denmark where we were taken to a little village with lots and lots and lots of little coffee shops and restaurants but this time we decided we would have a Danish Pastry and a cup of tea.
It was the nicest, lightest danish I had ever had and was worth every penny to pay for it. I loved Skagen and it’s quirky interior shops. Our final port of call was Oslo, the home of the troll which was another expensive stop but well worth walking around the town and the views as we left Oslo were something I will never forget. It seemed to go on for ages with little island after little island and yellow painted houses and ski lifts. I would love to make a visit back to Oslo as I felt out of all three it would make a great place for a weekend break.
The Dairy Box of Home Cookery by Emily Anderson is a special anniversary edition of this book celebrating 50 years of this classic cookbook, featuring 950 classic recipes including 50 new recipes sure to become firm family favourites.
The Dairy Dairy website has lots of gift ideas around this famous book with recipes and competitions to enter. The legendary Dairy Book of Home Cookery is the perfect reference book for both novice and experienced cooks. It’s cited as one of the most trusted recipe books of all time and is revered by all those who own a copy.
It has extensive cook’s information and over 900 recipes from soups to desserts, baking to confectionery, this is the one cookbook you’ll return to time after time. This new edition contains all the favourites from the original book along with new British classics.
Its photography has been updated to create a stunning, attractive and invaluable book. Over 3 million sold! 18 chapters 900+ recipes & variations Triple-tested recipes Nutritional facts per recipe Ribbon page marker Easy-to-follow instructions Essential cooking techniques Hints & tips for success.
Babycham was created in the 1940s by Frances Showeing where it became one of the first drinks actively promoted to the middle-classes. Post-war, it was one of the first adverts to appear on television and it was targetted specifically at women.
The first Babycham Deer leapt into our lives and onto our glasses in the 1950s. He was a white deer standing upright at first with all four legs together. In the 1960’s the deer turned into a golden brown colour with a loose blue bow.
In the 1960’s and 70’s, it became an international icon for chic. It was also very important in Somerset as the drink maker employed around 1,000 people.
During the late 1970s, a champagne flute with the well known yellow deer came into circulation with no wording around the base and no gilt trim. It remained as a champagne flute into the 1980s but the deer changed from yellow to fawn and he lost his antlers.
In the 1990’s the deer disappeared with a rebrand of Babycham which they did in the hope it would appeal to both sexes. However, by 1997 the deer returned for the female sex.
You can still find Babycham in the supermarkets now and of course, it always tastes better out of a Babycham glass whatever decade it originates from!
The hardware shops of the fifties were where you could get most of your household goods as supermarkets were not up and running then. It was home for household items like balls of string, cook’s matches, mothballs, toilet blocks and nails. You could also purchase crockery, cutlery and cooking equipment.
Some of the traditional cleaning products survived the war and are still around today. Those who have changed little in their design including Brasso (in the can), Lux Soap Flakes, Tide Washing Powder and Ajax Scouring Powder. Other popular brands include Harpic, Flash and Surf. Of course, laundry detergents were quite different with optical brighteners like Reckitts Blue which would be added to the final rinsing water to ensure the linen was whiter than white.
Even some of the old breakfast cereals are still going strong, Kellogg’s Cornflakes and Frosted Flakes (now known as Frosties) Shreddies, Quaker Puffed Wheat, and Scotts Porridge Oats.
Although the fast food was not happening until the middle of the 1950’s there was plenty of canned foods around like, soup, luncheon meat, corned beef and tinned fruit and vegetables. Frozen foods were also starting to become popular with fish fingers being one of the first ones on the market.
Of course, there are still a number of stock cupboard items still going strong now including Marmite, Oxo, Bisto, Colemans Mustard Powder and Atora Suet. Diet drinks were not available at that time but Tizer, Lucozade, Kia Oran Pepsi and Coca-cola topped the list of favourites.
If you still love some of your oldies then try the British Corner Shop below.
The British Corner Shop is a unique online supermarket for expats around the world. Whether you miss Marmite or crave Warburtons crumpets, they can deliver your British favourites straight to your door.
Their website stocks over 10,000 products from Britain’s most loved brands, meaning you can enjoy the British food you miss, wherever you are in the world.
Customer service is at the heart of their business. Since their humble beginnings in 1999, they have refined and developed British Corner Shop, building on the wants and needs of their loyal customers.
From purchasing your shopping through to the delivery, they want their customers to have total confidence when ordering with them.
You don’t have to be a British expat to use the service. If you have friends or relatives overseas who may be missing the taste of home, why not order them a box of British happiness? Their service is perfect for sending parcels of British food to Brits in the Armed Forces and others working abroad.