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Tips and ideas to keep you warm as the weather gets colder
Finish your soup with nondairy cream, olive oil, herbs or seeds when serving, especially if trying to impress dinner guests.

It’s the season for soups. The nights are drawing in, the weather’s getting colder and winter is coming. At this time of year, all we crave is a hearty, filling and soul-warming soup to power us through the day.

The beauty of soup is that there aren’t really any rules to restrict your imagination. If you can imagine it — you can make it. The possibilities actually are endless. Keep it simple or make it more complicated, but be sure to pack your bowl full of plant goodness too, to provide your body with all the nourishment it needs.

Virtually any vegetable can be added to soup, so it’s the perfect way to use up those kitchen cupboard loose ends that you’re not sure what to do with. As long as you like the flavour, then chuck it in to your soup. The texture of the vegetable doesn’t really matter, because different soups can have different textures anyway.

What do I need?

Got your vegetables at the ready and now wondering what to do next? Grab veg stock powder for flavour, plus oil or dairy-free spread to cook your vegetables in. All of the usual baseingredients for adding flavour can be applied to soup — think onion or garlics plus seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. If you want to be daring, add a splash of wine to the mix.

Thick or thin? Chunky or smooth?

There’s no right way to have soup. Everybody likes it differently. So whether you like a nice thick blended soup, which is smooth and creamy all the way through, or prefer a flavourfilled broth with chunks of crunchy veg throughout, you do soup your way. When making a Vietnamese influenced pho, the key is to have a thin broth which is full of great flavour. In this case the flavour virtually all comes from the spices used, infuse with ingredients such as ginger, lemongrass and garlic for an authentic-tasting pho. For your thick soup, on the other hand, the flavour predominantly comes from the vegetables, seasoning and stock used. Creamy, thick soup tends to have a base ingredient that thickens it up, such as potato, lentils or a roux base. Traditionally, of course, a roux base is a mixture of flour and fat, however, to make a vegan equivalent, use equal parts flour with oil or dairy-free butter. If you are looking for a gluten-free soup, then opt for a different base ingredient.

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About PlantBased

As we move onto Issue 2 of PlantBased, we have enjoyed receiving such amazing feedback from the first issue. The positivity surrounding the launch was infectious and we’ve particularly loved hearing from excited people who had never considered plant based eating before picking up the mag, but are now joining the food revolution as a result of reading it. November means winter is officially on its way. In the office at PBHQ that means our tea and coffee habit has been taken up a notch (though, if I’m honest, we’ve barely stopped all summer anyway) and it also means that I have now got an excuse to dig out my much-loved and rapidly growing collection of jumpers to keep me warm as the temperature drops. The chillier weather calls for warming and hearty meals and this issue shouldn’t disappoint. We have our Essential Guide to soul-satisfying soups [page 54] including the delicious and striking beetroot soup you will have noticed on the cover, plus we show that salad can be for winter too, with our Winter Salads recipe section [from page 30]. This month, we were also really thrilled to have Tammy Fry (of the Fry’s meat-free meat fame) in our PlantBased Kitchen cooking up a Thai Green treat. Travelling from Australia, Tammy only had time to stay for the morning, but I could have spoken to her for hours — the achievements she’s accomplished and the passion she shows for turning the whole world plant based really struck a chord and I spent the rest of the day feeling extremely inspired. Have a fantastic November and we will see you next month for a Christmas issue that you won’t want to miss out on.