Power soups for winter

On cold evenings the last thing you want to do is spend too much time cooking family meals, so try these soups which are easy to make and taste great!

Lentil soup with mushrooms

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
Difficulty: easy
Approx cost: £4.50 



  1. 15 ml olive oil
  2. 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  3. 250g smoked pork rashers or bacon slices
  4. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  5. Small handful parsley, chopped
  6. 150g button mushrooms, quartered
  7. 250g soup lentils of your choice, rinsed
  8. 1 celery stick, sliced
  9. Stock or water
  10. Lemon, to taste
  11. Mint leaves, to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pot over a medium heat and tip in the onions, celery, pork or bacon rashers, garlic and parsley.
  2. Sauté gently for 5 minutes before adding the mushrooms. Then sauté for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils and cover with water or stock. Allow them to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Season the soup and add a squeeze of lemon juice and mint to taste.
  5. Serve with bread and strong cheddar cheese for a hearty dinner.

Spanish bean and chorizo soup

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1.5 hours
Serves: 4-6
Difficulty: easy
Approx cost: £5


  1. 250g borlotti beans, soaked overnight
  2. 30ml olive oil
  3. 1-2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  4. 400g potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
  5. 100g cabbage, shredded
  6. 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  7. 2 chorizo sausages (about 200g), sliced
  8. Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  9. Paprika


  1. Drain and rinse the beans and tip into a large pot.
  2. Cover with water and bring to the boil, skimming off any froth with a slotted spoon.
  3. Turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes until just cooked, but still firm.
  4. Drain and set aside.
  5. Reheat the pot over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Sauté the onions, potatoes and cabbage and season well.
  6. Add the beans and stock and cook for a further 30 minutes, adding the chorizo slices for the last 10 minutes.
  7. Ladle into bowls and serve with a good sprinkling of paprika and a dash of salt and pepper.