Soup: in our opinion, it's the ultimate comfort food. Easy to make, wholesome and fit for feeding a crowd, nothing beats a bowl at the end of a long, cold day.
It's also the stuff of food legend – back in 16th century France it was served by street vendors to help those suffering from physical exhaustion (we're all well acquainted with the idea of drinking chicken soup when we're run down).
Best of all, there are so many different soup recipes out there that you could very easily end up slurping on a bowl five times a week (we often do).
Here are some of our personal favourites, from creamy chowders to silky bisques and cold-curing broths.
cod noodle broth with pak choi and baby corn
This pho-style dish is ultra nourising, combining meaty chunks of cod with tasty broth and plenty of rice noodles. Low in fat, sugar and salt, this soup will feed four - making two fillets of cod stretch that bit further.
Smoked haddock chowder
Craving something creamy? Allow us to point you in the direction of this chowder. A 'chowder', incidentally, is a thick soup often made using cream or milk. This recipe calls for butter and whole milk, which are thickened with a tablespoon of cornflour. Smoked haddock is flaked in, along with potato and sweetcorn – simply sprinkle with parsley and serve in a generous bowl with a big chunk of bread.
This minestrone recipe from The Hairy Bikers is packed with fennel, borlotti beans, tomatoes, celery, onion, courgettes, peas and herbs. Tasty way to get your five-a-day, eh? Just grate some Parmesan on top, spoon over the pesto-style dressing and tuck in.
roast cauliflower and kale soup
Roast cauliflower, fennel and onion are blitzed along with kale, vegetable stock and crème fraîche in this thick and creamy soup recipe. Top with chopped chives and serve with hot, buttery bread.
Balsamic roast tomato soup
Tomato soup is all well and good, but have you ever had slow-roasted tomato soup? Pop those tomatoes in a roasting tin with a pepper and balsamic vinegar to add some serious depth and caramelised goodness to those summer jewels.
Top it off with a spoonful of soft ricotta and some fresh herbs to add a delicious finishing touch. Creamy tomato soup has never looked so good.
SPRING VEGETABLE MINESTRONE
You can't beat fresh spring greens – but if you happen to want to make this colourful soup in winter, frozen veg works brilliantly too. We've used spaghetti instead of small pasta, for a more substantial twist.
irish onion soup with soda bread croutons
What could be more simple yet delicious than a thick onion soup with cheesy croutons? This version uses Guinness in place of wine, and soda bread instead of a French baguette. The perfect winter warmer*.
vegan spiced parsnip bisque with beetroot crisps
This vegan-friendly bisque is made creamy with coconut milk, while beetroot crisps add a little colour and crunch. A great starter, this one would impress guests at a dinner party (and of course, everyone will be able to enjoy it).
Pea, spinach and pesto soup
Pea and ham? Nah, you're alright thanks. Pea and chorizo on the other hand...
Add some punchy Mediterranean flavour to your pastel pea soup with a spoonful of pesto and a fried chorizo crumb. This chunky number makes a great meal soup for rainy weekend lunchtimes. What's more, you can get a bowl of this mean, green deliciousness on the table in just 15 minutes!
mexican tortilla soup
Super-quick to make and super-satisfying to eat, this tortilla soup by Miguel Barclay is the work of moments. You could cut down even more on prep time and buy in the tortilla chips; drizzle a little cream over the top to serve.
Chicken and rice soup
Autumn weather got you feeling blue? This fragrant and filling chicken soup has everything the doctor ordered.
A herby broth bursting with chicken, rice and veg, top with some fried leeks for a hit of crunch. You'll be feeling 100 per cent again in no time.
Indian-style lentil soup
This spicy, wholesome Indian-inspired soup is perfect as a hearty lunch or light supper, served with lots of coriander, poppadoms or naan bread.
Curried butternut squash soup
Sometimes you just need a big bowl of steaming vegetable soup. The balti curry paste and spices in this hearty recipe complements the sweet flesh of the squash and sweet potato - the ultimate autumnal flavour combination.
Want to give your lightly spiced soup a bit more oomph? Why not try frying some pumpkin seeds with some curry powder until they take on a deep, toasty flavour.