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Sol’s 2021 winter soup guide

Is there any winter dish that is more comforting and wholesome than soup?

Not only is soup a relatively easy thing to make, but it’s often economical and healthy too. When you’re scrambling for dinner options at the end of the month it’s more than possible to fashion a delicious soup from leftover ingredients in the fridge that might have otherwise been thrown away.

Onion & mustard seed soup with biltong

In 2021, the global soup trends are pointing towards going back to basics with traditional recipes and traditional techniques. Right now there’s less of the over-the-top refinement and embellishment, and more of a focus on flavours & textures.

Here’s what we’ll be covering in this post where you’ll learn that the most humble ingredients can produce the most intense and memorable flavours. If you’re into comfort, nostalgia and rustic eating, this soup guide is for you:

Sol’s soup guide for winter 2021

Blended/puréed soups are not as popular on a global scale with a sharper focus on broths & dashis, especially following in the wake of 2018 & 2019’s worldwide ramen craze. Broths or textured soups (like minestrone) are made with multiple ingredients and serve up an array of flavours, as opposed to just one main hero ingredient (a trend that remains in place at upper-echelon restaurants). At home, however, typical consumers are going back to basics, which makes a lot of sense. That’s not to say, though, that blended soups don’t have their place in a typical home cook’s repertoire.

Sol’s slow-roasted tomato soup

Dumplings & noodles are so hot right now

Soups provide the perfect excuse to transform a simple bowl into a complex and multi-textured affair. Dumplings are hearty, substantial and surprisingly easy to make at home and they come in various shapes, forms, varieties and sizes. They’re also found in almost every county’s cuisine. That’s how you know they’re good. Dumplings are incredibly versatile and act as vehicles for pork, chicken, beef, vegetables and can be eaten as snacks, in soups, as side dishes or even as a main course.

Classic steamed dumplings

Noodles in their various guises hardly need any introduction and are easy to locate at most supermarkets or speciality food stores, if there’s something specific you’re after. The influence of Asian cuisine on the rest of the world should never, ever be underestimated.

Five easy-to-make winter soups

We’ve been spending more time in the kitchen lately, for obvious reasons, and that’s provided us with the opportunity to play around and put a unique Sol’s twist on a couple of classic winter soups. The onion & mustard seed soup with biltong is a perfect illustration of a humble ingredient becoming transformed into a comforting classic, while our slow-roasted tomato soup is a nostalgia-invoking midweek meal that’s ready in minutes.

French onion & mustard soup with a twist

There are also a handful of cool, easy-to-follow soup recipes on themanual.com that are tailored towards amateur cooks. We found these at the tail-end of 2020, aka the European winter. If you like the look of a soothing Thai chicken soup or a corn chowder with jalapeno cream, check those and others out and have a bash at any of them as mid-winter approaches.

The pandemic sourdough bread craze

There’s no better accompaniment to rustic soup quite like a crunchy loaf of bread slathered with butter. One thing that the global pandemic has taught a lot of people (if their Instagram stories are anything to go by) is that baking bread isn’t an entirely daunting task. Sure, banana bread was the more ubiquitous of the baked goods during the lockdown, but we spotted quite a few sourdoughs too, and sourdough is where it’s at. Practice makes perfect, however, if you want to create a legendary sourdough so we’ll be sharing our sourdough secrets around this time next month. Watch this space.

Sol’s crusty bread

How to make Sol’s foccaccia

Sourdough is sensational with soup but so is focaccia. Our recently published focaccia recipe, in case you missed it, is easy to follow and delivers great results even for novice bakers. From braai and potjiekos, cheeses and cured meats, to pasta or a simple green salad, the main function of this bread is to elevate the dishes it’s accompanying. So if you haven’t already clicked the link above and you want to make our focaccia, you know what to do. Let’s be honest, no soup is quite the same without bread.

Sol’s fresh-baked focaccia

Let us know some of your go-to winter soups and we might try our hand at making them.

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