This soup is easy, cheap, filling and very, very tasty. You'll definitely want a second helping.You can finish the soup in various ways: a few more snippets of bacon, fried until crisp, make a lovely sprinkle, as do some simple fried bread croûtons.
River Cottage summer garden soup: You may not have access to the same range of just-picked veg, but gather some good, fresh stuff from a farm shop, market or greengrocers and you will get a similar result. Vary the veg according to what is available. Just chop it all into small, similarsized pieces, and ‘build’ the soup, cooking the harder, denser veg for slightly longer, and you’ll end up with a vibrant, fresh-tasting bowlful.
Mexican tomato & bean soup: this fresh, piquant summer soup combines many of the ingredients you might find in a feisty salsa, but in this case they re all souped up. Add more chillies if you like it hot, and a handful of fresh sweetcorn kernels, sliced straight from the cob, is a good addition if you have them. A scattering of diced avocado can replace the soured cream, if you prefer.
Creamy roasted tomato soup: The creaminess in this soup comes from a couple of handfuls of cashew nuts, thrown into the roasting tin with the tomatoes. Once puréed, the result is rich and sumptuous. The riper your tomatoes the better – but roasting will sweeten and intensify even less than perfect specimens.
A wonderfully hearty soup, this is also very straightforward. It relies on some good puréed tomatoes for the base flavour. We prepare our own, but you could use a good-quality ready-made passata instead. In this case, you might want to add some bay, thyme and a whole garlic clove to the simmering soup to boost the flavour.