Soup isn't an everyday event in this house ... more of a once-a-month thing. As a child, we had soup for supper on a Sunday evening, made by my stepmother from whatever was in the fridge. She's a great cook, so mostly it was delicious, but even she would agree that it was a little hit or miss. She's a Scot, hates waste - and, on one never-to-be-forgotten occasion, she chucked in a little chocolate cake which just happened to need finishing up.
So when I make soup, I like to know what is in it, what it is. If I'm not making one of my standards (minestrone, parsnip soup, lentil and bacon, potato), then I like to follow (more or less) a recipe. Here are loads of new ones ... and enough variations on lentil soup to mean that even I, with a house-ful of lentil-haters, have got to be able to find one soup that they'll all eat ;)
As you'll see from my submission, Lady Westmorland's Soup, I'm in need of a bit of soup inspiration - and there's plenty here.
I'm giving them in the order they came ... there's not much scope for dividing them up scientifically, so it seems fairest. Thanks to everyone who took part - it's been really fun reading all these different takes on heart-healthy soup for a winter's day.
Sophie at Mostly Eating has made a thick chestnut parsnip and orange soup, using vacuum-packed chestnuts. There's interesting nutritional information about chestnuts (not your average nut), and a zesty fresh yoghurt mix to drizzle over the finished bowl.
Franz from Duesseldorf has given us an old family recipe for vegetable soup with - intriguingly - coffee-flavoured buckwheat pancakes. In English & German.
Take a look at these carrots Ann found at her farmers' market. She made them into a carrot and cumin soup, which you can find at Redacted Recipes.
Nupur made her roasted allium soup to keep out the cold of a St Louis winter. It's very low in calories, fat-free and vegan. You'll find it at One Hot Stove
Helene at News from the Kitchen has given us another bi-lingual entry for German-readers to enjoy: it's a three-coloured soup, using fennel, spinach and tomatoes, to beat the grey winter light.
Dhivya at Culinary Bazaar gives us a vegetarian Vietnamese Pho soup, something I've never tried, which is a broth full of floating goodness.
Lisa at Unique Little Bits says she's been reading HotM for a while, but this is the first time she's taken part. Her soup is an earthy mixture of barley and mushrooms with herbs and wine. Mmm
Co-host Michelle, the Accidental Scientist, has made a lemongrass and ginger scented chicken soup for the heart. Lovely flavours to keep out the cold and remind us that there will be warmer days!
Doodles at Peanut Butter Etouffee has made a lovely lentil soup, packed full of flavours and goodness, and a little wilted spinach or kale to finish - an idea which could be used in a number of the soups featured here.
Chris at Melecotte has made a chunky tomato soup which she finishes in a variety of ways - I like the sound of grated lemon zest, another combination I might not have thought of, but which I will definitely try.
Diane at Gluten-Free Journey gives us a recipe for a quick cock-a-leekie - a Scottish classic soup based on chicken broth. She promises haggis if we come back again!
Over at Thyme for Cooking you'll find Katie's fabulous post on winter soup: is it vegetable soup? or beef vegetable soup? You decide - and if you've never made beef stock before, you'll find clear instructions in her post.
Lisa at Food and Spice has made a lightly-spiced soup of black-eyed peas and vegetables, which is also finished with wilted greens for extra goodness.
Anke at Vegan Bounty has made three soups ... this roasted pepper with cinnamon and ginger was a New Year's Eve treat (made the day after she got back from her honeymoon). Then there's Caldo Gallego a la Scarborough Fair, lots of beans, potatoes, herbs. Finally, broccoli-cauliflower-yin-yang-soup, complete with really useful and clear instructions for making vegetable stock. She asks if she went over the top ... I don't think so, they're so unusual and beautiful.
At Green Gourmet Giraffe you'll find a chunky beetroot soup with kidney beans, originally created by Anthony Worral Thompson. Johanna says it's summery, but that it reminds her of winter days huddled round the fire in Scotland. Low GI as well as low fat.
Pumpkin notchilli soup got it's name after a family row about whether chilli should have beans or meat, what vegetables there should be ... well, you get the picture. They grumbled, but they ate it up - and then asked for more.
Christine Cooks a heart-healthy lentil soup: loads of vegetables, a little tuna if you'd like, and a good squeeze of Meyer lemon.
Laurie at Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska gives us a traditional Turkish soup, Ezo Gelin Çorbasi - Red Lentil and Bulgur Soup with Mint and Lemon. She also tells us the beautiful story of this dish, which, she explains, is sold in most kebab houses, eaten for breakfast, and used to cure hangovers. It is low in fat, full of legumes and grains, and very heart-healthy.
Last but not least, David at Book the Cook, gives us a flavourful and earthy Brown Lentil, Smoked Bacon and Swede Soup. He says he's feeling jaded because of the weather, and isn't up to creating new dishes, but regular readers of his blog will know that David has very high standards ... and won't be surprised to find that this traditional-sounding soup is full of modern twists - I bet his granny didn't put garlic or chilli flakes in hers!
Did I say last but not least? Here's Ilva's lovely hot broccoli soup, which I saw at the time, but she forgot to send me the link, and I would have forgotten to include it except that we were emailing each other about next month's HotM. Phew!
Thanks to everyone for taking part ... as always, lovely recipes, beautiful pictures, some great posts and moving stories. Next month ... well, Michelle will be posting about that in the next day or two.
PS somehow, not at all sure how, this delicious recipe got left out: labelga's beautiful and fragrantly-spiced red pepper soup, which you'll find at Leafy Cooking.