3 warming soups that you can make in a flash
The platonic ideal of soup is the image of a big pot slowly simmering for hours on the stove-top — even if nowadays it’s more likely to be a slow cooker perched on the countertop.
But what if you could cook up a fresh, flavorful soup in 30 minutes or less? As it turns out, it can be easily done.
The key is having homemade or store-bought broth on hand, and gathering the kinds of highimpact ingredients that can be prepped to come togeth er quickly.
Just in t imeforc hilly weather, “Leon Happy Soups” by Rebecca Seal and John Vincent (Conran Octopus, $19.99) offers 100 recipes for hearty ,h ealthy soups that show you how to do just that, and super fast. The cookbook is an offshoot of Leon, the beloved British “naturally fast food” restaurant chain whose dishes that aim to “taste good and do you good.”
Most of the “Happy Soups” recipes can be made in less than an hour, including prep time. And many have a cook time of 10-30 minutes. There are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan recipes, with a wealth of international flavors. The eight chapters include takes on “naturally fast,” “comforting” and “posh” soups, along with recipes for broths, sides and toppings.
One soup tha t caug htour eye was Tom Yum, a spicy Thai soup with shrimp and oyster mush-
rooms, brightly flavored with chili, lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves.
Surprisingly, perhaps, it calls for boiling water rather than broth, and it cooks in just 12 minutes, deriving even more flavor and aroma from a final jolt of fish sauce, fresh lime juice and cilantro.
Perfect for a winter supper, the authors’ spinach, sausage and orzo soup takes on the Italian flavors of tomatoes, garlic and Parmesan cheese in a hearty combo that recalls the textures of pasta and meatballs, and cooks in a quick 30 minutes.
Another 30-minute winner, a classic mushroom soup, which can be made with either chicken or vegetable broth, is earthy, creamy and clearly belongs in the “posh” category — especially if you use the tip of serving it with truffle oil, a splash of sherry or brandy and some crusty buttered toast.
Tom Yum is a spicy Thai soup with shrimp and oyster mushrooms, brightly flavored with chili, lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves. It cooks in just 12 minutes.
“Leon Happy Soups” is the latest book from U.K. authors John Vincent and Rebecca Seal.